March 5, 2013
NOTE: Although edited to make sense with the actually-published first part, this is in fact the original post.
The fact of the matter is Lexi and I have financial freedom. Although we may not have this luxury forever with future investments, kids, etc, we have always been able to maintain our comfortability no matter what our needs and subsequent financial status, probably in part to our general frugality. We honestly don’t make all that much money between the two of us, but we also live in a place that has a low cost of living, which translates to lower real estate costs, lower gas prices, and lower overall food prices.
In embarking on the Lenten Compact, Lexi and I realized that if we added up all the food-based expenditures we have from month to month, we don’t spend that much, not even reaching the monthly maximum in our most hectic months. We contemplated how to deal with the Lenten Compact, then, to make it more of a challenge, but that is not the point of Lent. We are, as previously stated, simply planning to donate the amount we spend during the Lenten season.
However, financial freedom is a burden and an idol over time because what you end up with is the ability to think less about where you spend your money; this is the point of the compact! In fact, the Lenten Compact is always about rethinking our relationship to the content, as well as content needs and spending habits, only the content changes from year to year. As a minimalist, I strive to spend less money on things I don’t need in the attempt to save for quality in those things I do need. Food should be the same way. I will attempt to share some of my Lenten Compact recipes on this site to show just how easy a cheap but healthy meal can be, perhaps with the help of my favorite recipe app, Basil; again, financial freedom is a relevant idea in every facet of life, even in the app purchase process.
Financial freedom, as a concept, was initially brought back to my full attention last week, as Lexi and I had car trouble. Both cars went into the shop and one had a long list of plausible repairs to have done. Though we did not venture to perform all of the repairs, we were able to write-off a few of them as necessary, put our credit card down, and move on with life. Many in this country do not have this liberty and a nail in one’s tire means they are out of work, out of food, and, at times, out of options.
This year’s compact has brought an interesting problem about, one about which neither I nor my wife gave much thought. My birthday lands the weekend before Easter. We would normally be able to go out for dinner, which would more than likely mean a drastic bill. Instead, we are unable to partake in such a ritual, even though we have the financial freedom to do it. This sacrifice will more than likely hit the point of the compact home more than any other situation we encounter during the compact timeframe. A low-key lunch with the family will just have to be enough.