Sep 1, 2007

"Sacrifice" and Personal Finance

Day 3 of NCN's 33 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Debt is about "sacrific[ing] some of the things that you have, some of the things you like to do, some of the places you like to go, and some of the conveniences that you’ve been using - so that you can get out of debt and focus on improving your financial future." He asked what his readers have been willing to sacrifice and what they have refused to give up in order to get out of debt.

I've never thought of our financial choices in terms of sacrifice - instead, they are just that: choices. Our debt is in the form of student loans, a car payment with an extremely low interest rate, and our mortgage. Instead of paying off those debts completely, we have chosen to build our emergency fund, save for retirement, and save for our children's education. We do, however, pay (significantly) more than the minimum on the student loans in an effort to pay it off quickly while still achieving our other financial goals. We live comfortably but not extravagantly, keeping our expenses in check so that we can save and pay off more.

I think it helps our perspective to think less in terms of sacrifice and more in terms of choice. We don't feel deprived, we feel in control. And that makes a huge difference.


Mrs. Micah said...

I like that. It's reframing.

I've been trying not to buy new quilting, drawing, crafting materials but using up what I already have. Discovering things I'd forgotten about, finding news ways to use stuff, it's like a game. Same with books, I think about it as exploring the breadth of my library's collection.

Choices, all.


ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

@Mrs. Micah - I like the game analogy. It's apt because it really is fun to make do, re-purpose, and achieve our financial goals :)

Mrs. Micah said...

Indeed. :-) I found a place that takes tiny quilts, so now I don't have to buy more quilting material. I have so much left over. It's like shopping all over again in my baskets!


Anonymous said...

Are your savings earmarked for retirement and child education invested? If so, they are at risk. You'd be better off paying off your mortgage as quickly as possible. Emergency fund should only be 6 months to a year.
Look at the stock market today? Suppose you had college fund or retirement fund and needed them now? Both would be worth less. You'd still need cash to make up the difference. When your mortgage is paid, you have more money later to apply towards education and retirement.
You should seriously rethink this.

otherdeb said...


I find it interesting that you don't sign your name.

There is never only "one, true way" of doing things, and I think that you are implying that there is. Different things work for different people, and each of us must find out what works for us. And, while we can and do share our findings, it certainly does not behoove any of us to think that the way we found is the only way.

Chief Family Officer said...

@otherdeb - You're absolutely right, we all have to find our own way!