Saturday, March 1, 2014

perk #7 – my income, my decisions

I have really enjoyed my 9 months of home ownership. It’s has been quite an adventure and learning experience. As I look around my house, I have a mental list of projects, minor and major, that I want to do. Any other homeowners can relate to this. There will always be a project and an idea on how to make improvements. I wish I had the money to make all my visions come to fruition right now, but of course I don’t. I have to remind myself that change takes time, and saving money to do projects takes time. After all, rome wasn’t built in a day. And that’s ok. I can live with that.

But it got me thinking about where I’m at as a single woman and homeowner, and how much quicker some of these projects could be completed if I were married. I’d have a dual income and projects could happen much faster than they can on my single income. I’d also have someone to help tackle projects I am unable to complete. I consider myself pretty handy, but I don’t have the strength of a guy, that’s for sure.

So how does this translate to being a positive aspect of being single? Well, the fact of the matter is I may not have the funds to finance all of my dream projects, but I do have the freedom to decide what I want to do with what I can afford right now. And this freedom extends far beyond house projects. These decisions really come down to my ability to choose how I spend my finances.

I’ve always been good with my money. I have always tried to keep a great credit score and not go crazy with spending money on frivolous things. Not to say I haven’t had to learn things the hard way, but you learn and grow and practice self-control, and now more than ever before I don’t really make impulse shopping decisions. I don’t have a crazy amount of major expenses, and my responsibility to provide food and clothing only extends to my own needs. But if there is something I really want, my decision making process doesn’t go past my internal dialog. I chose the tv I wanted, the vacuum, I wanted, I love shopping for antiques and when I find something I love I don’t have to run the idea past anyone. If I want to travel, buy a sewing machine to start a new hobby, splurge a bit on a dress, go out for drinks with some friends, I have the freedom to just make the decision and go for it. Not to say that marriage would mean I can’t do any of these things, I’m sure I could, but perhaps not to the extent I do now. There are just 2 opinions involved, 2 incomes to budget, and 2 people’s needs to meet.

If I’m being completely transparent, the older I get and the more independence I have with spending my income the way I want, I think it’s going to be a challenge when I get married to compromise on these types of decisions. Of course I’d be willing to share decisions and come up with a solution that both of us are comfortable with, I’m just saying that it’ll take some adjustment, as will so many other things. I’ve picked the brains of many married friends and have heard some great ideas on budgeting as a couple. But for today, it’s one less thing I need to worry about at this stage of my life.

Ok super honest moment here, and this post is about to take a sharp turn. I’ve wanted to write about this perk for a while, and I’ve hesitated because I’m afraid it is coming off as selfish. I had a conversation about this blog with a wonderful friend of mine, and it made me want to clarify my intentions with writing about the perks of being single. I am in no way against relationships and marriage. I have the same desires to be married as every other single girl that has approached me about my blog. But that’s not the stage of life I’m in. I could sit here and write about the struggles of waiting on God when in the midst of singleness, because if truth be told it is hard. I could write about the things I’m looking forward to if and when God brings that type of relationship into my life, because there is a lot I’m excited for. But in my own journey of life, I don’t want to focus on the struggles or be excited for things that haven’t happened yet and who knows when they will happen. In my experience, it just makes that longing harder. I’m not anti-marriage, but I am also not anti-singlehood. There’s joy in all chapters of life if we’re willing to open our eyes and find it, a lesson that I’ve been learning as I’ve started this blog.

I’m single and this is where God has placed me right now. I don’t want to look back and see the perks of this time when it’s too late to enjoy them. I want to live a full and happy life, and I want to appreciate what I have each day. And today, I get to enjoy the 7 perks I’ve written thus far, and so many more. Today, I get to be an independent, self-sufficient woman. I get to spend all my holidays with my family. I don’t have the responsibility of children, and I can travel as often and as far as I want. I can meet as many people and build as many relationships as I’d like. I can worry a bit less, and I can spend my hard-earned money any way I choose. I can’t wait to write about more of the things I enjoy at this time of my life. I have so many things to be thankful for, and I’m enjoying the life God has blessed me with. Not to mention warm weather is coming, and that fact catapults me into a state of excitement so strong I may just burst and spread happiness all over everyone (yes, I love summer that much).

At the end of the day, I’m happy with my life. I may have rough moments or days, perhaps even rough months, but every stage has its joys and challenges. I’m going to try my hardest to look at the positives of where God has me here and now. Who knows, maybe the day I meet someone, my blog will transform into the perks of relationships, then the perks of marriage, and then one day the perks of being a mother. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be honest about our struggles or the difficulties of each season, because everyone has struggles, and it’s part of what makes others able to relate to one another. But every day is full of gifts, and even through painful times, I want to be able to see God’s blessing, and not miss out because I was dreaming about the future.

I know this started as a 7th perk, and transitioned into an honest look at what I hope to achieve with this blog. But I think it’s an important reminder to myself and to others that looking forward to marriage is perfectly ok, and we can do that while still being excited for what life has to offer now. 

1 comment:

  1. I definitely like your idea and I plan on following your posts. It'll be good for me to read your posts on the positive aspects of being single... not to pressure you into always having to be positive! ;) Anyway, I enjoyed the read!


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