...that they just can't afford to do something? When did it become embarrassing to admit that you just didn't haven't the money to do "X" or "Y"? It occurred to me that so many people prevaricate rather than just saying, "We'd love to, but that isn't in our budget right now." Why is that? Shouldn't we encourage our friends and relatives to live within their means? Wouldn't you feel terrible if you found out that someone was going into debt to buy you a present or, even worse, impress you?
I've noticed that people don't know how to react when I decline participation in "X" or "Y" for financial reasons. Why? Seriously, sometimes the only reason I'm declining is because I can't afford to participate. It is not that I don't want to participate, it is that I cannot if I am going to be fiscally responsible. If I'm not embarrassed to say it, so why should someone be embarrassed to hear it? It is really mind boggling when you start to think of it. How many people are NOT telling us the reasons they aren't participating in things? How many people are participating in things they can't afford so that no one will know they can't afford it? This is a vicious cycle and I think it has trapped a lot of people.
So, just in case you were wondering, this is the truth: We can't afford it. We need to pay off our debt and that is what we're focused on...it is that simple. There is no shame in admitting that, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is simply a statement of fact.
Do I wish we didn't have debt? Yes. Do I think we've made some mistakes? Yes. Are we asking anyone else to rectify our mistakes? No.
If one thing could come out of this economic downturn, it would be that people were proud of the decisions they made to live within their means and pay off their debt. Even better, I'd like this period to serve as an example that will keep my children from ever acquiring debt.