Thursday, May 20, 2010

LiveSouthNash Article

For those of you who do not live in the local South Nashville area, this is my article that is in the LiveSouthNash magazine this month! And as if I wasn't already a big deal? I am so excited to announce that I have been asked by "At Home Tennessee" magazine to write a column every month! So if you haven't subscribed to it yet, do it now and nobody gets hurt.

"The Thrill of the Thrift"
This week the B-word was used in our house. That’s right, Budget. I usually try to avoid this word like the Black Plague, but like most of us in these economic times, I caved. The thing is, I have never followed a budget. I grew up in the credit-crazed 80’s and 90’s in a middle class family that didn’t talk about money. If we wanted something, we got it. If we didn’t exactly have the money, we charged it. Debt was just a part of our language, something that we accepted as an ingredient that was necessary to live. But there is a side effect to that kind of mentality (aside from the obvious debt snowball), and it has to do with value and putting a price on the dollar. Because I didn’t have to earn anything growing up, I didn’t appreciate the things that I had, nor was there any satisfaction in acquiring them. Even after I started making my own money as an adult I still had the mentality that everything is disposable, that if something breaks down or tears up then just get a new one. No investment, no value, move on. However, I got the wakeup call I needed in the form of “The Great Recession” and for the first time in my life I started following a (gasp!) budget. But more surprising than my newfound discipline was my newfound thrill for the thrifty. Sure, it would be fun to dine on lobster and steak three times a week but there is something more thrilling about being faced with the challenge to eat on $50 a week that ignites my inner competitor, creating a spark in the pit of my stomach that no lobster can match. Suddenly when every spare cent matters in helping you achieve your goal, no restaurant meal tastes as good as the victory of your 49 cent double coupon canned tuna feels. And that is something you can take to the bank.

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