I feel so free.
Rachel mentioned the book "Not Buying It" by Judith Levine awhile back. It gave me permission to focus on financial health in ways I hadn't before. I was worried Rachel wouldn't react well to a major cut-back on spending to pay off our debt. But she said, "I'm OK with it. I was worried you wouldn't be!"
So, I tinkered with the budget and we are striving to save $3K and be debt-free by October 1, 2008. I won't keep on about it but to give these few reflections.
1. I found that externally cutting off spending has had a great internal effect.
2. I do not want what I cannot have. Since we are still (obviously) buying essentials I don't feel deprived. I needed a pair of shoes last week so I bought a pair. Just like that. That was a big deal for me.
3. Since I'm not focusing on the next CD I want to buy or the next movie I want to see I have found a special shine to posessions I was taking for granted. The KEXP Song of the Day podcast, the reading list I am involved with, the desire-free time spent with Sebastian and Rachel. This is a really good place to be.
4. Not focusing on the next material consumption has broadened my field of vision. I've started thinking about how to invest after October 1, '08. I've started thinking about our kids' college fund. I've starting thinking about early retirement. This is new and I am enjoying it.
There is lots more to consider here. It can be frustrating to constantly wrestle with money and its relationship with the gospel. Just so long as I keep questioning, I hope I can find some answers. If not... I'll just charge it.