SUCCESS in this society, needs to be redefined. Clearly, lots of people have gotten sidetracked into this conspicuous consumption (shopping) idea that they are “trying to keep up with the joneses.” This has landed them into debt. The average household debt is $15,355, according to a source online in December 2015. Another source in 2016 cites the average credit card debt is $5700. The source found online: http://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt
This is no surprise that the housing market (real estate and mortgage) fell apart a few years ago during our “economic downturn.” This in turn, created, the great foreclosure trend across the country. We were spending too much money anyway, on the houses we could not afford, the cars we were driving, the clothing labels, the bling, the dinners, the drinks, and the list goes on and on.
I admit, I am a recovering shopaholic (shopping year-round gives me some leeway during birthdays and Christmas, though—I’ve had a gift closet for years). Getting what we wanted put everything into perspective for me. I became pregnant, after five plus years of trying to conceive. Yes, I had to get my S**T in order, which meant, I had to get into the habit of sticking to a budget (back to basics, kind of reminds me of when we were wedding-planning). I don’t like carrying debt. I am not one that borrows from friends; in fact, the last time I did this, I was in college. I pay my bills first. I have a retirement account. I have some savings accounts. We have a couple vacations every year. We don’t buy new cars every three years, which seems to be the norm. We’ve been in the same house for over a decade.
My priority is doing right by my family. It’s the reason I buy things for myself only when they are on sale. I enjoy some things here and there, but shopping’s not my main focus in life. I don’t rush into buying anything and everything for myself anymore, like I used to, when I was single. I make more informed choices. We do buy our son the essentials (and then some) at any given moment, and I could not avoid it, but he is a spoiled little man (my husband is an only, and he is an only, so…). My goals today involve paying down our credit card debt. I am so proud to be doing that right now. I am chipping away at that, until one day (hopefully, in a few months) each one is zero (after that, new goals are needed). Of course, there are some blockers (dental work, $$$), but I don’t stay down and out, I get back up, I push forward, and I move on. Each day brings new adventures, challenges, and opportunities.
Success is doing the best you can, with what you’ve got, doing hard work everyday, working on yourself everyday, treating your body and mind as a temple, holding true to your values, and enjoying time with the people you truly love. I used to focus on what wasn’t done but at the end of the day, if I have done my best, then that is enough for me. And that is the big picture.