Note: I’m starting an occasional feature I like to call Things Therapy Ruined for Me, in which I get to rant about something that drives me bonkers in my post-therapy life. You can also read a piece I wrote for Rachael magazine (subscription required). First up: Excuses.
Life is all about choices. I love my friend Nicole’s philosophy on a few things and choices is one of them particularly when it comes to money. It’s not that you can’t afford to go on vacation, it’s that you have other priorities. If traveling were important, you could make it a priority by taking on some side work or cutting back on cable TV or renting out your basement. There’s always a way.
Or you can just use lack of funds an excuse for not doing something that isn’t really a priority for you.
Back in October, when I was thinking of a New York move and how that would work, I had to make some choices. A lifestyle comparable to the one I had in Seattle would cost a fair amount more than I make in New York. I decided I was OK with not saving as much as I did before (I had been putting $200 per week in my savings account), but I was not OK with touching my existing savings or going into debt to fund my experience. I also knew that I didn’t want to spend too much of my income on rent. What would be the point of living in New York if I couldn’t afford to enjoy it? I also knew that I wanted to live in Manhattan at least to start. I could always move out of the city later. So, I put the idea of my own apartment out of my mind and started looking for roommates. I wasn’t excited about having to rely on other people to pay their part of the Time-Warner and Con-Ed bills, but my priority was living in Manhattan, so that’s the sacrifice I chose to make.
I realize choosing an apartment in Manhattan falls into the “rich people’s problems” category. But, people have to make choices every day, so excuse me if I roll my eyes when I hear, “I can’t do that ….”
And it’s not just financial excuses. Either something is important or it’s not. It’s fine if it’s not, just own up to that fact.