Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are you living to work or working to live?

I was at a Christmas party the other night and one thing I noticed is that everyone seemed to be working a lot and hardly getting to see their families. I listened to a lot of conversations and was amazed at how much people want to upgrade all the time.

I’m not immune from wanting to upgrade things but I often wonder at what cost does this really come? I mean there were quite a few who had not seen their significant other all week. Literally, they were coming home at midnight only to have to leave at 5am. Others were tag teaming it, husband gets home, wife goes to work, also working weekends.

I understand with high interest rates and things the cost of living can be high and some people are locked into contracts and have no choice but many do have a choice and choose to live this way.

Personally I’d rather not upgrade or wait a bit longer and have more time with my family and doing things I loved. I have spent enough time with my husband working crazy hours and my kids pretty much never seeing him and him missing out on virtually every family event to never want to be in that situation again.

I am slowly upgrading things in my home such as our lounge, a new bedroom suite etc... but each thing is only being done when we have the cash for it. I could not justify going into debt just because I want things.

In Australia getting credit is getting harder but frankly it is still too easy and I still see so many getting in way over their heads.

Not long ago we got some new doors installed and did it on interest free terms. We could have paid cash with no discount or we could go interest free. I chose interest free as it means we can earn interest on our cash and pay the card in full before the due date 12 months later. We were told we would get sent a card and just needed to pay it off. We assumed the limit would be what we were purchasing. Not so. The limit was $14,000!! That’s right. With this card I could buy up big, especially when interest free offers were on, all I would have to do is swipe my card! Then if I didn’t pay it off in time they would make an absolute killing off me.

I was horrified. We rang up and dropped the limit to what we owed and have been paying it off so as not to pay interest at the end.

I mentioned this to my sister in law and said how easy it would be to max it out if I had no self control. She said if she had gotten it, it would’ve been maxed. The interest rate on this card is 10% more than most cards. 10 PERCENT! That is quite a difference. If you were to go on a low rate card the difference is a lot more.

So many people I know if given a card of this size would max it out purely because they want stuff. Then they would spend years paying for the stuff.

Yes, I like stuff, but I like not worrying about credit card bills and other debt. I like knowing we do not have to work 24/7 just to pay everyone else so we can have a big TV.

Are you living to keep up with the Joneses and have the latest or are you living life?

4 comments :

  1. We are not he Jones and don't keep up with them at ALL! We have stuff but have always paid cash for it. The only time we have ever had a loan was for our car when DS was born, DH hated the feeling so it was paid off in months not years. We'd rather have our money than someone else claiming it before it hits our account. Oh and we have never had a CC and honestly never want one.

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  2. Not keeping up with the Jones either ... but then again I could easily, I just chose to save/ invest 75% of my income and live on the leftovers.

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  3. Wow, $14000!

    Here cards start at $5000 and go up to unlimited (Amex) although you have to pay those in full monthly.

    I find I haven't ever needed more than $5000 so that's nice

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  4. Miggles, that's great. My hubby is terrified something will happen and he will 'need' the card. Um, that is what the emergency fund is for! lol.

    Awesome Anon!


    FB Start at $5,000? Wow, we can go pretty much as low as we want. we also can go unlimited which I would never ever want.

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