Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"I have seen the devil, and he publishes a magazine called InStyle."

As someone who struggles hard with materialism and a covetous nature, this article was particularly encouraging. I particularly liked this part about trying to keep us with other people:

I can't tell how many of them are just pretending, as I once did, that they can afford to eat out seven days out of seven, take cabs hither and yon, and wear whatever "Sex and the City" dictates. Nobody talks about money.

It's just assumed that you have more than enough of it. To indicate otherwise is gauche, embarrassing and somehow sets you apart. You're supposed to be keeping up with the Joneses, even if you have no idea who those Joneses are. Just keep your eye on what everyone else is doing (and spending) and do likewise.

Patrick and I have tried to be better about our money. We started a budget, use a budgeting program (into which I'm constantly forgetting to enter my receipts...bad bad bad), and really tried to be more conscious of our spending. But it is HARD. Especially when I see other people/friends, who I know make the same or even less money than we do and are droppin' it like it's hot. I have to remind myself constantly that we are trying not to be slaves to credit cards, that eventually I would like to stay home with our babies, that we are called on to give back to our church, and that it is better to give our money away to people that really need it instead of just increasing our stash of stuff. I am so selfish.

I was listening to a sermon by John Piper entitled "What is this Recession for?" as I walked on the treadmill last night. One of the points he made was that economic recession is good for us because it gives us a better sense of the other 2/3rds of the world for whom "recessions don't come and go, they just come and come and come." It was convicting and encouraging at the same time. I will leave you with his words of how God has relocated our joy as Christians. They have also become my prayer:

Our joy is not rooted in circumstances.
God has relocated our joy in his grace, not our goods—in his mercy, not our money, in his worth, not our wealth.


Jenna said...

I totally feel you on this! Anthony used to get teased in med school because he packed lunch everyday instead of eating out, but he's point out that he has a wife and baby. We almost never eat out and when we do, its planned for... moral is, you're not alone :) Hang in there!!

Hokie Girl said...

You are on the right track and at such a young age. I know that I'm not much older, but with one child and another on the way, you really do have a great goals and realistic expectations!!! I wish I would have started a budget program when we were first married!!! You will get there. AND, you will be so proud of the "sacrifices" you made along the way because to you they won't really be "sacrificies" at all when you realize all the great things you can enjoy later on - like staying home with babies!!!

Allie Kier said...

I hear ya sister. I have such a hard time with the same thing, trying to remember that frugality is not something to be ashamed of, but a worthwhile endeavor. Thanks for sharing that article!

Shelley said...

Emily, this was really good to read I can totally relate. I think we've definitely grown up in a time that makes this harder. I constantly search realtor.com for a bigger, better house (paying no mind to how fortunate we are to even own a home in our mid-twenties, and a nice home at that). I shop for clothes, I shop for house decore, I eat out way too often....

Maybe if we can all just stop, there will be no one to "keep up with" anymore!