I like to think that Eric and I are (usually) ok at life. Thank goodness for good luck. Part of that is owed to our parents who were conscientious enough to realize that we would need to be decent, productive humans one day. Part of it was the God's unfailing grace - He knows what we need even when He has to drag us through it kicking and screaming. The rest, my friend, we owe to being broke. You were taught wrong: Necessity is not the mother of invention...poverty is.
Things I would have never learned with well-lined pockets:
1. You can buy GREAT movies for $5. We own a LOT of $5 movies. A lot, a lot. That's because $5 movies are how we "go on a date." We go to Blockbuster, pick out something we've never seen before, and have a date-on-the-sofa night. It's awesome.
2. You can have a fantastic date night on a shoestring. Even simple "nice" date nights can cost over a hundred dollars:
- a nice dinner out for 2: $60
- movie tickets at the fancy theater: $30
- popcorn and drinks: $20
Instead we do this and save ourselves some funds:
- $5 movie: $5
- Takeout Dinner: $20
- Wine: $15
3. Sewing is therapeutic. I learned to sew because it satisfied my need to create as well as my need to patch clothing and make curtains without having to pay someone.
4. Children don't have to be picky eaters. I know, I know...it's easy for me to sit on my high horse when I'm not dealing with a picky eater, but I have to be honest...I firmly believe that the reason that Sadie isn't picky is because when she was little, we were far too broke to offer her choices. If she didn't want what I cooked, she was perfectly within her rights to refuse it. And I was perfectly within my
rights budget to allow her to get down from the table without offering her an alternative. To this day, we are thankful for the fact that we "couldn't afford" to give her options. And to this day, if she doesn't like what's for dinner, she is welcome to excuse herself from the table without eating it (or anything else). Guess how often that happens now that she knows the routine?
5. You can save hundreds of dollars on major purchases (like appliances) by doing your homework. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, do NOT walk into a Best Buy and purchase your TV without doing your research. We just bought a shiny new TV for about $400 less than the sticker price because we paid attention to the competitors. We saved $2000 on our car by doing the same thing.
6. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. If I want that new little whatchamacallit, I try to wait a week...I always appreciate it more (and take better care of it!). If I don't end up getting it - cha ching! For bigger purchases, I have learned to wait for months...sometimes over a year before I make the purchase. I always, always, always appreciate the purchase more if it's something I know I wanted bad enough to wait for.
7. You can get 10% off of almost anything...just by asking. If I really like a thingamajig, but it has a scratch on it, I ask for a discount. Nine times out of ten, I get the discount. If they say, 'no,' what have I lost?
8. Casseroles make amazing leftovers. I learned to cook casseroles. Most of them are very simple 4-6 ingredient dishes that take about 20 minutes of prep time and make a full meal. Decreasing time in the kitchen = increasing time doing stuff I love!
9. Being broke forces family time. We have spent many a night playing games in the floor with Sadie, pretending to play house with her dolls and her play kitchen, snuggling up together to watch a movie, and reading books. Why? I'd love to say it's because we think that having a night out on the town doesn't allow us to interact as closely, but it's really because we're broke.
10. Dreams are more important than money. Even when people tell you that you'll be poor, don't listen...the adventure will be worth it.
So go on, embrace your brokeness. If you aren't thankful for it today, one day you will be...think of all the things you wouldn't have ever learned without the blessing of need!