Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The true Cost of Living

We all are familiar with the term "cost of living".  I even worked at a job years ago where we frequently received COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) bumps to our paycheck.

But I never really thought about the phrase until recently, never thought about what it really says:  "living" costs money.  I never thought about how much living we want to do needs to be worth the money we spend doing it.  It occurred to me last month when I had the opportunity to get away for two fun weekends in a row... each costing money (of course.)

That opportunity might not seem like a big deal to many, but I am thrifty, conservative. My husband might call me cheap.  Regardless of the term, spending money like that for two weekends in a row is a luxury I typically wouldn't allow myself.  Then I thought—why not? I know many people with the work-hard-play-hard motto, and I've got to say, they look like they're having the time of their lives.

I've worked hard for my money, as we all do, and in the past have at times had to live hanging by a financial shoestring.  Now that I have spending money, I'm having a hard time actually spending it, on me anyway.  No problem spending it on others (something I used to wonder about when I'd see my parents and grandparents do the very same thing.)

I had to really think about what I was working for.  Wasn't I supposed to be enjoying this prime of my life?  Aren't we all?  Yes, there are so many out there, barely getting by.  The last thing they have is money to spend on having fun.  And I think about many fun activities I enjoy, like playing cards, that don't cost a dime.  Spending money doesn't equal happiness.  I get that. 

But I also know that going on these weekend getaways was well worth the cost for me.  And that the "cost" of not living life to the fullest, isn't worth the money saved. I'm not big into New Year Resolutions, but for 2015 my goal will be to do more “living.”  How about you?  What do you hope for your future?


  1. I think that's a great idea! The only time my husband and I go crazy spending is on vacation, when we've saved for it. I hope to make enough from my books to erase our debt. And I want to go to the beach...

    1. The beach sounds wonderful this time of year, Karoline! I hope you make plenty of money on your books for a great vacation. :)

  2. I know exactly what you mean. There's a fine line between being able to enjoy life by "living" and spending conservatively, thus not enjoying to the height of what others get to do. I get caught up in it, as well. We're not promised tomorrow, so why can't I go on a cruise? Or, take the kids to Disney World? But, then if you do those things, your financial responsibility of paying off a credit card would go by the way side. Sometimes you have to just do it! Responsibly, of course!

    1. Thanks, Julie. And, as writers, I think it is hard to sit there day after day, putting so much time and effort into our writing, while the rest of the world "lives." As important as my writing is to me, I make myself step away from my computer, and enjoy something each day - whether it is free or not! :)