In my series of Hard Choices posts, I outlined several big-ticket items that were causing a lot of stress in our household. Choices had to be made. If only following advice from objective financially-savvy friends and readers was so simple.
What Really Happened
1) BOTH Airplane ticket to home country ($1,600) AND Semi-professional camera $1,300 (Spouse). Choosing between the two resulted in a huge argument. However, spouse agreed to buy a less expensive camera (about $400). We’re now both more aware of the household budget and have decided on monthly “fun” money for both of us. That should alleviate stress and reduce future arguments.
2) iPad or Tablet (Kids, Me) – $300 used/refurbished. We’re shopping around for #1 and #2 so this will likely be purchased first.
3) Dental Work (mine) – $900 – Done. Turned out to be $200 because the problem wasn’t as bad as originally thought.
4) Car #1 Repairs (Spouse) – $1,000 TBD, still a priority
5) Car #2 Maintenance (Me) – $200 to $500, still a priority
6) Dental Work (Spouse) – $500 to $2,000 – TBD
7) Foam mattress or topper (Both, more me) – $1,000 – $2,200 – TBD, We’ll have aching backs for a little while longer.
As often happens, emotion wins out. This might be more difficult for upper-class households to understand but when you’ve been in the lower middle SES for a long while and will probably never go higher, it’s much harder to put off emotional needs and make the practical choice.
This is one in a series of tips/ideas to help you stay middle-class (HTSMC). Whether you consider yourself on the lower- or higher-end of the spectrum, you can probably find some useful tips to help you stay there and find save more for retirement even as wages stay