Sometimes I get a little concerned about myself. I remember being in university and living off of less than $1000/month – substantially less. When I purchased a luxury, that’s what it was – a luxury. In those days luxuries included clothing, shoes, cosmetics… pretty much anything that went beyond the necessities.
I recall when I left university and was working full time. This is when I bought my car. The car I bought was worth almost an entire year’s salary from the job I had at that time. I was living on a budget and was sacrificing hard to get that car. I was incredibly proud of myself.
These days the picture has shifted. I’m making real money, a fact about which I’m incredibly thankful. It’s given me tons of freedom to travel and purchase luxuries that I couldn’t have even dreamed of being able to own less than five years ago. This is great. Please don’t think that I’m not happy about this, because I do know how well life is treating me.
Here’s the part I’m concerned about though. I’ve lost that sense of pride and accomplishment that I used to get upon purchasing the luxuries and treats I worked so hard for when times were tougher. Last weekend I bought a $900 camera lens… on impulse. The purchase isn’t entirely frivolous; there are a number of reasons for which it was a well informed and worthwhile purchase. But I just pulled out my card and bought it, no production, no planning. I’m happy I can do that, but I miss the days when these kinds of purchases were a big deal.
Basically, I think this boils down to me having to change my budgeting. I need to be saving more or taking on more responsible financial commitments so that I’m not continuing to immediately gratify myself when I see something I want. While it’s lovely to be able to do that, I don’t think it’s healthy. I was appreciating everything more a mere few years ago, and I think that was a much better place to be.
My upcoming move overseas should facilitate this change. I am planning to buy my first place and may be forced to take a pay cut to be able to switch careers. I can’t wait to make these changes.