Thinking Through Financial Freedom
I wrote about financial freedom the other day, but that post has been lost in the ether of one of the many computers on which I work day-to-day, so… Here we go again, for the first time; (no worries, this'll be a short one)!
Lexi and I don't make a whole lot of money. There! I said it. We are nowhere near poverty, but we often feel the need to be frugal. We have gotten so good at doing so that we haven't spent even as much as the Lenten Compact allows. In this post, I wanted to update the reader about how that was going, but the problem is that little has changed. Lent is not supposed to be surprising I suppose, but we have only spent approximately $150 so far. For those counting, we should have spent around $250 if we were maxing out our budget. Now, mind you, the Lenten Compact is about sacrifice, so one would think we were doing well. However, I am struggling to find where I am sacrificing anything during this season so far, especially given the fact that I am still able to eat well and be satiated each day.
For one, Lexi and I have given up going out to eat because, really, that is where a lot of people would drop the majority of their money for food each week. Of course, we did make this decision in the planning phase and since we are so far under the cap, we would not feel guilty about going out to eat if the situation arose. Nevertheless, Lexi and I are attempting first and foremost to be cognizant of the sacrifices that we are being called to make, in addition to the later monetary sacrifices that we will make with our total food spending in mind (See Lenten Compact post for a further explanation).
No matter what the budget, though, Lexi and I have financial freedom. For instance, when the MacBook Air went on sale, we were able to purchase one (pretty much without blinking an eye). When we are tired and hungry, we (normally) would simply order out without thinking. Even more so than that, we have the money to buy what I will call "feel-good beverages"; those that have no other purpose than to make us feel good at the end of a long, stressful day, namely wine and beer. Hell, we can even buy all the equipment and supplies to brew our own! Who on the SNAP budget can say that? This is financial freedom. Being a beer snob, I have to call myself out on my own stinginess moving forward.
I think what I am trying to get that, though, is the purpose of Lent for me, which has become less about the sacrifice itself and more about the realizations those sacrifices put on my conscience: I am blessed and I need to act like it, especially in my future giving activities.