In my slumber last night I pondered what it is going to take to achieve this seemingly impossible feat. It came to me about 5:30 this morning. The two guiding principles that will be my beacon: One - Listen to your mother. Two - Don't spend money you don't have.
As I continue to play house in my 10th year of marriage I can hear this little voice - not always so soft - playing in the back of my head... Turn the lights out when you leave a room, finish the food on your plate, don't touch the thermostat, Why are you standing there with the refrigerator door open, do you think we're cooling the neighborhood?
When I was young these constant reminders of conservation were nothing less than annoying. Now as the mother of three young kids myself I completely understand the need for this type of rambling. Sky high electric bills, wasted food, over heated dwelling space, and dull stares into the refrigerated abyss are things I must keep in check. When cutting dollars at every corner it's the little things that count. And so I find myself ladling a smaller portion on my plate at dinner time. Heaven knows I'll soon be eating the leftovers from the kids plates in my attempt not to waste.
As I finish off the last bit of beef stew from my one year old's tiny bowl, I channel my grandfather, mother and all the other caretakers who've gone before. Making sure that my offspring have enough to grow healthy and strong and take the scrapes left behind for myself. But truly, this way I spend less and waste less and am more able to follow Guiding Principle #2.
Spending money I don't have will only lead me to spending more money I don't have until I'm dizzy in the downward spiral of debt for the simple sake of consumerism.
It makes more sense to adjust my lifestyle now while I'm still without burden of servitude to the almighty credit card companies. Maybe this way I'll be able to fulfill my dream of taking off to Costa Rica on a whim with my family and living on the beach for months without a care in the world. It's only a dream, but one that will never come true if I'm stifled under the weight of paying three times the price for that darn granola I so love to buy pre-made.