As the due date nears, we’ve been eating out a LOT. I just can’t do as much and poor DH is overworked with taking up the slack. On top of that, I’ll get a sudden craving, “must have korean short rib tacos”… and given my mom (who is visiting) doesn’t eat beef, it’s easiest just to listen to the siren call of take-out.
There are choices: we can throw money at a problem or we can throw time at a problem. Right now time is at a premium.
It is wonderful to be able to throw money at problems. Even more wonderful than the ability to throw money at problems is the ability to throw money at problems without feeling the least bit of guilt about it and without hurting our bottom line all that much.
Now, we can’t always throw money at everything… if we did that all the time we’d run out. But for the short-term we can.
Why do we have this ability?
1. We got rid of our (non-mortgage) debt quickly and early on. The sooner you get rid of the drain of high-interest debt, the sooner you can throw that money at something that actually worth something, like investments or things that make you happy.
2. We’ve been living below our means for many years now, building up savings. We spend money on our priorities and not so much on things we don’t really need or want.
3. These savings have been invested. Now instead of money draining away as in #1, our money is *making* money for us, and it compounds. We get money just for having money. And that is awesome. It is amazing being on this side of the investment curve… magical, even.
4. We made these sacrifices early on so the drain stopped quickly and the compounding started soon thereafter. “Gazelle Intense” (though we’d never heard of Dave Ramsey) in our early 20s meant that later on we could spend like people who talk about “balancing life while in debt,” only, without the debt dragging us down and with our net worth increasing at a nice clip. The temporary sacrifice paid off well down the road.
So since we’ve got extra, we have that wiggle room to eat out a lot more than we usually do because that takes away stress. At some point we’ll have time again, but right now it’s nice knowing we’ll be able to buy time and our finances will still be on track.
Are you at the point where you can just throw money at problems? How did you get there? Was it worth it? If not, do you have plans to get there?