Living in the Lap of luxury was a common phrase generations ago. Is this something people do? Is this truly prosperous and satisfying? How can we live in a prosperous and satisfying manner? We will seek to answer these questions. The answers may make a positive change in a person’s life. Please consider…
Throughout history man has been in search of more. Some whom have a lot want more. Some whom have little are satisfied and why? There are always times of plenty and times of famine.
Think of times when food was rationed, could it happen again? Is it always some far off place? If a person has plenty, why should they worry about this?
In some places in the world a person can go buy what they want or think they need. Getting the vehicles, homes, clothes, beauty treatments, vacations, etc…and fritter money here and there without much thought . Then they do more, buy more, and more is never enough, not recognizing situations change. The money may not always be there. Most people do not feel the need to worry about it. But should we consider our circumstances?
We never expected our situation to change so dramatically. It can change on a dime is also an old phrase. I personally know this is true. Our situation has changed. I wish I had thought about all this sooner.
Personally I have never been into the beauty treatments and getting nails done. I kinda like being a plain Gina. It is Good not having to worry about being a diva or beauty queen. Being ordinary takes the pressure off. I get my hair trimmed or cut twice a year and trim it the rest of the time myself. My hair is a blaa blond, and when I am outside it brightens up some. I dream of cutting it a shoulder length and dying it a dark red. The only deterrent is being a slave to roots. I do not do well with chemicals so I just continue as it is anyway.
Doing my own fingernails and eyebrows helps too. I wouldn’t win any awards for the outcome.
I do not smoke or gamble and rarely have a glass of wine so that really cuts down on expenditure. Imagine the money that literally goes up in smoke for some. My mother spent so much money on her cigarettes when I was growing up. One time when I was a young teenage girl I figured out how much she spent in a month on her cigarettes and I mentioned this to her. She hauled off and slapped my face. I never figured out whom was in the wrong with that one. I just remember her being on the phone saying she needed money for the power bill.
I use to love going to thrift stores and yard sales. But it really cost me a lot of money and I was dragging stuff in the house. I had to put a stop on that.
Do you like clothes? I love clothes and shoes. I fall in love with clothes all the time and I always see the need. Yet, my closets are bursting at the seams. If I got rid of some of the less best garments I might be one of the best dressed women of our generation. What generation? This one of luxuriant living is what I refer to.
We love eating out, yet, we have cut back on this. We still do eat out sometimes. It costs so much more than it use to. Like a days wages if you think about it. Something else to consider: It is just, when I was young, the tips for your server were usually 10%, then later it went up to 15%, then 18%, now it is 20%. Sometimes the tip is so big it is like paying for another meal, for the invisible person. It is almost painful. The knowledge that the waiter may be emotionally hurt if they do not get the 20% is something that keeps us pigeonholed into this. They really rely on this income. The other problem is that they may not even receive all of their tip if paid w a credit card depending on the establishment. How can I support this big game when the cost of the meal could really buy a couple bags of groceries or fill a gas tank? What is balance? That, each man or woman or family must figure out. Try looking at a month, compare to another month. Start keeping track. This does not mean we cannot go out to eat. Just, how often…might be considered.
Junk food, what is that? It happens to us, going to the store hungry, our cart is always fuller. A drive thru happy meal would be more economical.
Just the requirements of daily life have snuck up in costs. And it seems what previously was considered a luxury decades ago, cable tv, Internet, cell phones, not everyone had them. We always seemed to be the last to get them. The latest, the greatest, and speed seem to be a factor.
The utility bills have come up and take out a chunk of change.
I feel bad for many children being raised to think that this is normal. They are unhappy always wanting more, always wanting newer, competing with their peers. The status symbol, and their esteems are built on a slippery slope. Parents are begged and bullied into getting their children expensive phones etc. The assumptions by children that they can expect their parents to provide all this and so much more. Most cannot afford but quietly, stressfully, helplessly go along which creates unrealistic expectations.
We are truly trapped it seems. Can we say No!!!.? Where are the boundaries? Can adjustments be made? How can I create satisfying boundaries in my life?
In high school we had an Independant Living class. We looked at a potential monthly budget based on a basic wage. Then we subtracted the rent for home, the utilities and insurances, and fuel, then we knew what we had for groceries. We then could see what was left and we put a percentage of that in a savings account.
The times we live in are really more expensive when we add it up.
Remember a game of chess, or a board game and the fun we had. How about the woodworking, sewing, knitting, embroidery, cooking and baking? A hobby was very satisfying and earned you a real esteem. A child proud of a picture they drew is a real event. Sadly, many are more proud of their scores playing their games on their phone.
People have many vices in search of something, it breaks up families, and leaves people broke and depleted.
Slow down, calm down, recollect, reconnect, reconsider, appreciate, make new boundaries, stress less, be satisfied sooner, reassess needs. Save yourself, save your family. Hebrews 13:5,6 says: Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things. For he has said: “I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.” So that we may be of good courage and say:”Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid… “ please read the whole chapter of Hebrews 13. It shows us how we can live a better life.
Changing things up here financially is helping. Yet, it has not been soon enough. We still feel the stress of the heavy load we unwittingly created. The scriptures admonish us to “live within our means”. Inflated needs which are built on an imaginary lifestyle. Needs the world around us makes us believe are normal. The scriptures talk about us being satisfied with our daily needs being met. Figuring this out can be a rewarding challenge. In the last three years I have quit using three department store credit cards. Three other credit cards I no longer use. I am down to two credit cards and I am working on using them less. It really is making me happy. It still seems our credit/debt/income ratio is off balance. This makes me really uncomfortable. When we consider what this really is and how this affects so many aspects of our lives, it is rewarding to make an adjustment. We still have a long way to go and more adjustments to make. It seemed we were blind to boundaries we should have had. And financial situations change in many ways, the world scene, the country we might live in, the income, health, living expenses, job security, all are temporary.
How often do you say no to yourself?. I do not say no as often as I like but I do say no more often than I use to. It feels good. A small measure of control.
Luxurious living is living within our means while having joyful interactions with those we love. Cooking together, going to the park, enjoying creation, gardening, building something or sewing a garment are also rewarding activities. Really living a life with a positive outcome in view.
Written by: Gina Rydin (the photo is a dinner my husband and I prepared together, leftover spaghetti baked, sautéed asperity Gus And avacado) that was a nice luxurious evening.