I've been told by people that they were "in some ways" happier when they had less money. I've been told I'm "lucky" not to have a mortgage hanging over my head. I've been told my children are lucky because they get to see their parents all the time (hey, I totally agree that parental presence is a huge boon to children, not saying it isn't).
Apparently, Dave and I have it great! We don't realise just how fortunate we are that he doesn't have to be at work until late at night, and we don't have to stress about having two incomes to meet the house and car loans.
What gets up my nose is that when people are busy telling my how lucky (and obviously ungrateful) I am to be a renter with no job, they refuse to acknowledge how they could be as lucky as me! How they actually have the CHOICE.
Hey, if you don't think your kids are seeing their parents enough, if you feel the pressure of the mortgage and the car loan is too stressful, if you wish you could spend all day with your children like Dave and I do, it's really easy! Just sell your house, and your car (or cars), get yourself fired so you're eligible for unemployment benefits or the parenting pension and family assistance! You can do it! Honestly, it's within reach for you, too!
We, on the other hand, don't have choices. We can't choose to go to work tomorrow, get a mortgage and car loan and not see our kids for most of every weekday.
You see, it doesn't look quite so "lucky" when you're living the only choice you have.
We're not living like this because it's a lifestyle choice.
I used to say that money isn't everything. I didn't have a lot of money back when I was saying that, and Dave was only working part time at the time, but I had more money than I do now. I had enough.
I had enough money that we could afford to do some of the things for our children that they saw their friends doing or receiving.
I had enough money to occasionally intersperse the needs with the wants (without having to have an anxiety attack before, during and after).
I had enough to feel that not having everything wasn't a big deal.
People who claim cutting back isn't that bad and is something everyone should at least consider doing are people who can afford to cut back.
People who believe they were happier when they had less are people who probably have more than they need.
We have no debt and I'm very grateful for that. We also have no disposable income and that is a bad way to be because that's when I struggle the most to remain debt free out of sheer desperation for some sense of levity. I just want to relieve the pressure and do something spontaneous (spontaneous is very, very bad when you can't quite afford the basics).
Dave received another rejection letter this afternoon, for an unskilled position. He didn't even get an interview. Money may not be everything, but I don't want everything, I just want a break from this financial pressure. Honestly, I wish I had the options of the people who tell me I'm so lucky when I have no other options.