For some reason I have always been very money-conscious. In some ways that’s good, and in some ways that’s bad.
When I turned 15 and was able to get a job, I did. I have pretty much worked in some form since then.
I worked as a waitress, as a receptionist, as a tutor, as a camp counselor, as a substitute teacher, as a research assistant, as a newborn hearing screener, and then as an Audiologist when I finished my degree.
The weird thing is that I got these jobs, not necessarily for the money, but for the security.
Even though my schooling was paid for, I chose to work. It was never because I needed more money, or felt like I didn’t have enough. I am actually very blessed to have parents who provided for me far above and beyond my basic needs.
I chose to work because I thought that if I had a job, I was being responsible for myself.
Some people may call me “cheap”, but I wouldn’t say that. I have just always been aware of how much I have, how much things cost, and what I need to do to make sure I have enough. I liked having that feeling of security and independence.
I don’t want to rely on others to provide for me, I want to be able to provide for myself. If a big health or life emergency happens, I want to be able to meet those needs financially for myself or my loved ones.
Money Today vs. Money Yesterday
I have had to take a step back from where my mind was going and make sure that I don’t let money and things be the focus of my life. Instead of money goals, I now have lifestyle goals. I am not in pursuit of success, but I am in pursuit of purpose.
Thankfully, I have a husband who is on the same page. When he first showed me his budget spreadsheet after we got married, I fell in love with him even more! I can’t say we have always been on the same page when it comes to money, but these past few years we have worked harder and dreamed bigger!
Pursuing your dreams can be a scary thing, and while it does take some sacrifice, I want to be sure that we don’t abandon our dreams and turn back towards money as a sense of security.
Our new lifestyle and budget
So now we have set our priorities and come up with a plan to live a new lifestyle of purpose and adventure. As I talked about in my own personal Fit Life Pursuits, I don’t want to place so much value on things, but on people and experiences.
While I may not live a life of luxury, there are a few things that I am unwilling to cut from our budget.
1. Healthy Eating
Having a healthy lifestyle hasn’t always been a priority for me. I am a recovering junk-food addict and have done a complete 180 when it comes to how I take care of my body.
If that means that I need to spend more on the healthy whole foods, I’m fine with that. I don’t necessarily eat organic, but I do try to eat whole foods versus packaged foods.
This includes Shakeology, which is my nutrient-dense breakfast every morning. It feels like a cheat meal, but is actually good for me, and I intend to always make room for it in my budget.
I am not a good cook, and am kind of a picky eater, so Shakeology gives me a way to easily get in the daily nutrients my body needs.
As a Christian, I believe I am called to give 10% of everything I earn back to God. After all, it is His anyways. This is non-negotiable.
I also want to be able to give to others when the need arises. This could be giving to a charity, giving to a friend, or a stranger whose need has touched me. It may not be much, but I want to be able to meet that person’s need however I can.
In case you are looking for an organization to give to, I have listed some of my favorite ways to give below:
- Your local church
- Local foster care support organizations (The Twig is my local example)
- Diapers for a family who just had a baby, adopted a baby, or is fostering a baby
- Pet rescue organization
- Pick a disease or illness that has impacted you and donate to their research organization, like the American Cancer Society
The world has so much to offer and I want to see it all! This may be selfish, but I want to be able to see the beauty of the world, experience other cultures, and be adventurous!
I would rather invest all my money in travel and life experiences than in things. I feel like I grow so much as a person when I travel, and it is something my husband and I enjoy doing together.
What is one thing you won’t cut from your budget?