Outdated?

So, I’m realizing that a lot of technology is passing me by. Windows is advancing, and I’m still on Vista, and there are new devices, and programs, and operating systems out there that I can’t maneuver so well. The fact is, I’m getting older, and my information is becoming “outdated” and soon, my kids will have to show me how to run this, or that. Just like I did for my parents.

But I am realizing that they weren’t “out of touch” or “old,” in fact, they weren’t even lacking any intelligence.

They were smarter than me!

I have learned the value of a dollar, and instead of getting a new computer every 6 months, or even every year, I have been using mine for four years. And I’m reformatting it tonight, because something corrupted, but I am not quite ready to chunk it. I mean, why waste it if it’s still useable?

I’ve learned this about cars. Sure, new ones smell nice, but the hubs and I got a heck of a deal on our current vehicle. And we have NO payment. SCORE!

It is not always about having the newest, coolest stuff. Sometimes, sleeping well at night, and working a few less hours because the bills aren’t so many, are what is most important!

What is the breaking point?

I have believed in the idea of living debt free for a very long time, but have been persuaded to afford “the payment” just to have stuff, get stuff, buy stuff, give stuff, whatever the reason it is, it’s something I’ve always caved on.

I spent over a year hammering down on some of my debts and working toward living debt free. I made the mistake of purchasing a different vehicle, which was not a decision that any one else persuaded me in to making. I just wanted to be cool again…being a single mom, in a minivan, was just not cool. Great reason to buy something expensive, isn’t it?

Occasionally, I’ve taken on debt out of utter desperation, because the savings was gone and something needed to be fixed or replaced, or I couldn’t bare the thought of my kids doing without for a holiday or birthday. But as I’m writing this, I am at a breaking point. I cannot fully express how hard it is to know that the choices I made over the last 7 to 9 years are affecting some of my big dreams right now.

Money should not get to decide for us if we get to do the things we are passionate about…and I am struggling with this on a couple of levels. And what’s worse, is one of the dreams that I know I need to put aside right now, is a once in a lifetime….well, thrice in mine, opportunity. And it really sucks knowing that I made choices, and have paid so much stupid tax in my life, that I will not get to see that dream come true in my life.

And as I look at my boys, I want something different for them. I don’t want the dollars to be tied up in payments, when instead the dollars could be funding field trips and visits to see Grandma and Grandpa. I want to teach them to START differently, instead of having to ever find there way out from under debt, I want them to never have it.

So at what point does all of this cause a life changing decision to stop nickel, diming, and stuff-buying away every cent we encounter, and actually put something in savings, and abolish the burden of debt? For me, for my family, I hope it is now…I hope that the loss of a really important dream compels me to be strong and say no to debt, because I don’t want to know what the next once in a lifetime opportunity is until I can take. I don’t want the money to make these big, important to me, decisions ever again. I want to make them, based on what is best for my family based on our personalities, our talents, our dreams and our goals, and I want the money to be a tool that we can use to accomplish those things.

Has money ever been the biggest deciding factor in a dream-decision for you? What did you do/how did you handle it?