You guys are all enablers. Get the camera! Get the camera! And I’ve decided that I will, but I’m just sort of letting the price tag simmer in my head so that it’s not quite such a shock when I get handed back the receipt. It’s the same price as my computer, a MacBook Pro, but it’s interesting that I perceive it differently. When I needed a new computer I rushed out to get one, no questions asked, but a new camera? Isn’t it just a tool, just like the computer, that I use everyday? Then why is it so hard to pull the trigger on the “buy” button?
Which brings me to this question. How do you say yes to a purchase that you’ve been on the fence for so long? I’m not talking everyday things, but big purchases. It could be a vacation, or a new shiny toy, or even a car. I know anything can be rationalized to death, but how to you pull that trigger?
It’s always been hard to make big purchases on a variable, self employed income, but through discipline and budgeting, we’ve managed to save up a nice little nest egg, aside from retirement and a bit of college savings for the girls over the past 8 years. Mark and I have always made modest to decent salaries, but we’ve made saving a priority so I’m really proud of what’s sitting in the bank. It’s a security blanket in case times are tough, but sometimes I wonder what we’re saving for.
I wasn’t taught to save when I was a kid. I wish I had been, but it wasn’t the way my parents grew up so they didn’t pass those values on to me and my brother. My parents were born into the Korean War and grew up poor. When they say stuff like “I used to walk miles and miles in cold, bitter winter weather with a thin pair of worn out shoes and a light jacket”, they really meant it. They came from large broken families and were often hungry. They didn’t own any possessions and there wasn’t any money to save so I don’t blame them for not teaching us the value of saving. The American dream is real for some people. It’s amazing how they, like other immigrants, have come here and made something from literally nothing. While they may not have taught us to save, we learned about survival, tenacity and determination, albeit from more privileged circumstances from their own childhoods. Still, the concept of saving and managing money was something my brother and I have had to learn entirely on our own.
So I can understand my hesitation for pulling the trigger. I can also totally justify the purchase as a business expense. I’m in the process of redesigning our website which I hope will launch in the Spring and I see the dire need to update our photos – most of those product shots were taken 3 years ago with a point and shoot! But the real reason I’m willing to take a chance on that purchase? I haven’t been inspired to take any photos in a few weeks. I haven’t felt any joy in it for quite some time. I think that is far scarier than the money spent.