As we’ve climbed up and fallen down the income distribution we’ve talked a lot about how things have changed. Mostly they’ve been big things like not having to worry so much about stuff, being able to ignore (or being highly focused on) work pressures, being able to pay (or not) to make big problems go away, and then being able to pay (or not) even more to make problems go away. Really, I enjoy the lack of fear, but that started at a much lower income than what we have now (though there’s definitely been diminished stress with more savings).
Here are some things that we’ve done since DH’s re-employment now that we’re high income for which I’m a bit surprised about how much I appreciate them.
- Forgetting to get a meal receipt for a conference trip (or losing it or laundering it) is not that big a deal– I can just not submit a receipt and pay for the meal myself. $10 or even $20 is not going to break our budget, so to speak.
- TSA-PRE turns out to be pretty nice. I did not realize how much I would enjoy not taking my shoes off or taking my liquids bag out of my bag. I’m sure I will feel the same way about not taking my laptop out next time. These things are still true even when the TSA-Pre line is long. It’s not just saving time like I’d thought but also decreasing hassle. I put a lot of mental effort each time to getting everything out/off and back/on as quickly and efficiently as possible and now I no longer need to keep that mental space going.
- We’re finally getting a toll-tag for the city nearest us, even though we only go about once a month and even though we mainly only would ever use the toll-roads on the way to the airport. There are some tolls that ONLY take the electronic pass so we can’t even stop and pay taxes when we’re in a hurry (though we can get a bill later including fees for law-breaking, ask me how I know), which means we were driving on the access roads which are crowded and stop-and-go. Now we’ll be able to hop on the toll roads and just not care about the money part because the tolls aren’t high enough to matter for us.
- When I got to unexpectedly high shipping costs for a recent political thing (I bought a yard sign and t-shirt(!) for a state election), I just went, “meh, we can afford this” instead of taking it as a sign that I shouldn’t be purchasing.
- We flew out my MIL to watch the kids while we were both on work trips (using miles, so no frugal-card problems there). DH for some reason decided he had to fly out of a city that doesn’t do an airport shuttle to our town, so he has to drive his car and park it at the airport. After looking at the kids’ schedules and my schedule, I decided to spend $130 to rent a car for MIL for three days rather than having her drop me off and pick me up at work/airport/etc. Now I can park my car at the (local tiny) airport super early and drive myself home without anybody having to bundle DC2 into the car. And I don’t have to worry about explaining to her how you have to start braking waaaay in advance to get my car to stop, ditto acceleration and speeding up. My MIL demurred at the expense, but honestly, $130 is just not that big a deal for not having to worry about things. (There were a couple cheaper car rental options, but they had one star on yelp… another thing I didn’t want her to worry about.)
- We paid for valet parking at the restaurant where we took my sister out for her birthday instead of finding a (distant) lot that wasn’t full and walking.
I guess these come under two headings: Things that reduce hassle for people with money and money mistakes I used to feel guilty about.
I suppose if I were Frugal Samurai I would be thinking about the things we can’t afford to do yet and using that as “proof” that we’re not rich. (And it is true that we still couldn’t afford to buy a house in a decent school district out where he lives, even if we kept our current incomes.) But I look at these luxuries and think wow, we can do this and it doesn’t really make a dent. That’s amazing. And man, you really can buy less stress, even in these little ways. The world is set up to separate high income people from their money and to make life less pleasant for everyone else (except the current Government, which is set up to keep high income people high income while making life less pleasant for everyone else, possibly so that money can be siphoned off for private interests). #resist
How does money make your life easier?