Do you ever look around and think “How do they afford things?”

When I was little I heard my parents talk about how much things cost and what they could afford.  I always thought you make money, buy what you need to live and save the rest for luxuries.  I didn’t understand loans, buying items with credit cards and investing money.  I just thought you get a paycheck and you buy what you can with that money.  Throughout my life I’ve seen people with good jobs have really nice things and wondered: how are they paying for it?  I guess I was very naïve and careful with my money.

I’m still conservative when it comes to spending money, but I feel like I have a better understanding of how you buy and pay for what you want in life.  I’ve learned that a lot of people in this country buy items, pay with multiple credit cards and live in debt.  I’m surprised how many credit cards a person can acquire and how much debt they can ring up without many consequences.  Others finance items like cars, furniture and home improvements.  On the other hand, my mom reminds me about how people inherit money, invest well or just know how to pinch a penny.  It’s very true.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people out there that work their tails off and have good paying jobs and make money to afford things.  I’m just amazed sometimes when I know how much my family brings in and how much we spend and I see that there isn’t always a lot left for luxuries.  That being said, my husband and I like to pay all of our bills on time and don’t have a lot of debt.  I also realize that the amount we paid in school loans could have been spent on other things.  Maybe some people don’t have school loans to pay.

When pondering these things I think: 1) what does that person or family do for a living 2) how do they spend the money they earn (food, clothing, housing, car, travel and possessions) 3) do they have a lot of debt, and 4) are they responsible with their money or do they spend frivolously?  There are lots of reasons why people are able to afford the finer things in life, but don’t you still wonder sometimes how your next door neighbor can afford their nice updated house, two beautiful cars, and a great vacation every year?  I know I do.  I’d like to be a fly on the wall when people make decisions about their money and what they buy.  So tell me how you afford things in life!!!!

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