3 Worst Things About Being Financially Responsible

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Everybody talks about all of the wonderful things that happen when you’re saving money and being responsible.   I know I do.   It’s true, good things do happen.    There’s really nothing like the feeling that you’re suddenly not living paycheck to paycheck.

But what about the other side of the coin?   What sucks about staying in the black?

1.  You have to make choices.   When you’re living on credit, you can buy a car, charge an expensive dinner every week, and go on vacation.   If you’re not spending real money, then who cares?   When you’re living for real, you have to prioritize.   Do you buy groceries or video games?   Do you buy sexy lingerie or a fancy dinner?   Braces or college?   You’re given a lot of choices, but you can only pick the ones you can actually afford.

2.   You’re no longer the Joneses other people are trying to keep up with.   The guy down the street, with the fancy car, big screen TV, and artificially perfect noses on his teenagers?  You’re not him, anymore, but that’s okay, because he’s financing his lifestyle 9.9% at a time.  Yes, a bit of incoming envy can give you a warm, tingly feeling, but it doesn’t put food on the table.

3.  It’s boring.   Taking a trip in a fast car and picking up an entourage for a 10-day party is fun.   Balancing your checkbook and spending 6 months saving up for your kid’s braces is not.   If you’ve been living like a rockstar, rolling back to a responsible standard of living is going to come as a shock, but it’s better than suddenly running out of money and having your world come crashing down around you.

Being responsible comes with a lot of downside, but it’s all superficial.   The benefits are real, and long-lasting.  What’s the worst thing you’ve had to deal with by being responsible?

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  • 12 comments

    Comments

    1. Mrs. Beagle gets frustrated for the third reason, that it’s boring. Right now, it also gets frustrating. We focus a lot of our attention on extra debt payments, so it’s nice to see the ‘Debt’ side of our net worth statement go down, but when the stock market and real estate market are going down, the ‘Assets’ side falls even faster. In the end, I know paying off debt is a great thing but when your Net Worth continues to go down regardless, you sometimes want to just say the heck with it.

      • My wife is frustrated by the long slog left. “Honey, we paid off the car a year early!” “That’s nice, what about the next 2 years of credit card payments?”

    2. This is great. You’re right though, about it all being superficial reasons and the real reason definitely outweigh these.

      It doesn’t have to be boring though. Getting out of debt was really exciting, but now that we are in savings mode I guess we have lost some of our mojo.

      • I’m excited whenever we pay something off, but those days are few and far between now. I’m working on a $20k credit card at the moment. I don’t get to cheer for a while, yet.

    3. I have never felt that I was missing out on anything. We still travel, dine out and enjoy life although on a modest scale.

    4. We have always done well and had lots of fun but there is always more to be had. I find I struggle with the limits sometimes- balance really. I want to do everything all the time. I am working on it though because we both know this is not realistic.

    5. Oh, I don’t know, I don’t think there’s anything bad about being financially responsible. Sure, you have to make choices, but you make choices when you’re financially irresponsible too.

      It’s definitely hard when you’re making the switch from not being responsible to being responsible, but the longer you’re responsible, the easier it is.

      Strangers regularly say nice things about my (very old but apparently still snazzy) car, we have a big screen TV (but no cable because I hate that), and we travel. A lot. We’re finishing up our last bit of debt now, and it’s going to be even nicer to continue to be responsible once that’s done!

    6. Mrs. 20’s gets bored with living frugally. That’s usually when we spruce things up and find new ways to have fun while staying within the budget. It’s a challenge, but worth it in the end.

    7. Yea it certainly can be boring living the straight life, working towards goals and saving all the money instead of blowing it, but in the end, we’ll be the ones having all the fun interest free.

    8. Jessey @ Best Debt Management says:

      @Jason; great article and very close to the reality, I suggest to everyone to buy a car, go on vacation with family or alone buy a big screen TV, do each and everything but with your won saving money, if you use credit card with all these purposes then your debt will increased day by day. Save your money in emergency account and manage your budget on monthly basis, pay your credit card bill regularly.

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