Growing up poor, I am acutely aware of how money affects family and legacy. Legacy is important for me to consider in family finances, because it is a factor less about the present, and more about our children’s future. What kind of inheritance — material and non — are we leaving them? My husband and I talked about a journey towards debt freedom before we married. We want to send a clear message to our children about our financial priorities. Legacy is a financial priority for us. Yes, it comes at a sacrifice, but it will be worth it. For us, every dollar counts.
I love the idea of “owing no man nothing, but to love.” Have you ever noticed how people tend to treat you differently if they think you have more money . . . or less? Material items send a message! However, when it comes to a journey of debt freedom, materialism is for the birds! The more I grow, the more I know: Less is more. With less stuff, I can live modestly and give generously on my terms. Yes! I like nice things, I have nice things, and sometimes I buy nice things. But, I will not be consumed by nice things. Nice things will not impact how I treat people or desire to be treated. Nice things will not deter me from my financial goals.
Now, I know some people really don’t mind debt, and that is fine. I also know one sweeping accident (surgery, natural catastrophe, etc.) or incident (divorce or injury) can make huge, life-altering, financial impacts in the blink of an eye. Yet, I carry on with my quest. In general, it takes many personal sacrifices, determination, and collaboration to stick to financial planning. Kudos to all mamas on this journey! From my own experience, I know it can be especially challenging when you have a young family. Whether you want to decorate a home and entertain, or take the Disney dream vacation with what seems like the rest of the world, it is so tempting to step outside of the budget. No mother wants her family to have less than anyone else, no matter the scale. It can be humbling when you entertain with spaghetti knowing you are just as capable as the next gal in presenting filet mignon. Darn you, money. Why don’t you grow on trees? Yet, the reality is sometimes we must choose between luxury and legacy. It is a travesty when we try to do both, and cannot afford to do either.
Financial planning is a good reminder to live intentionally and think long-term. Love people, not stuff. I am genuinely inspired by, and celebrate my friends who find ways to execute daily style, hospitality, and creativity without debt-ridden extravagance. They are the real MVP in my book when it comes to Pinterest, postings, and parties. Show me the homemade crafts and minimalist holidays! Engage me in laughs and hearty conversations over fifty cent coffee in a paper cup on the floor of a messy living room. Living well does not have to mean spending more. I appreciate every reminder. I appreciate these mommas in my own financial journey!