This blog has always been about living within my means. While I chat about frugal tricks I employ and have dug myself out of my consumer debt, I also speak about luxury items such as re-decorating my home or going on holiday.
I am very fortunate and though I have worked hard it would be a mistake to not recognize that some of my experience is due to luck or that word that sometimes rubs people the wrong way…privilege.
Some people get quite worked up about privilege, insisting that they check all the boxes but are no better off than so and so. While I can’t speak for others I can tell you that I have won a lot in the privilege lottery.
I recently was involved in a United Way meeting in which they had us ‘play’ Make the Month. It was a stark reminder that while I waffle over whether I spent too much on cosmetics or vacation others are battling with if they can make rent or afford utilities & food for the month.
I did it a few times and sometimes I had money and made it to the end of the month but more often than not I didn’t. it’s realistic in the sense that there are hidden costs to choices so though you think you’re making a good choice sometimes you lose additional money because your work sends you home or you need to purchase parking, etc.
It also served as a reminder that I really need to keep my savings accounts up so that I don’t fall into the norm of living paycheque to paycheque and will be able to keep my head above water if anything horrible happens.
The benefit of being me is that I have:
- a full-time job with benefits
- The time and health to explore good deals
- The ability to do a lot of my own work so that I’m not paying others to cover basic needs
- A supportive partner
- Network of family and friends who provide emotional support
It’s important for me to have these wake up calls and recognize that my stress about going over budget while appropriate and something I should work on being good at it is a result of my own privilege. I often go over budget because I’ve indulged over the course of the month.
I’m not going to try to rectify this in August as I’m hosting 2 friends and will be touring with them but will make it the focus of the latter part of my year. What I will do in August is not be stressed about my finances, I won’t complain about the budget and I will recognize that I am choosing to indulge in this final month of summer.
Image from here