Friday, December 23, 2011

Expenses Expand to Fill the Income Allotted

Her relatives are cheetahs.  Never forget that.

While feeding Minerva (our cat) the other day, I had one of those brain-lapse moments and opened the freezer instead of the cupboard.  As luck would have it, Elias noticed and started laughing at me.  Then he started asking why anyone would keep cat food in the freezer.  I recalled seeing a type of specialty raw cat food that you do, in fact, keep in the freezer.  I told this to Elias, mostly to demonstrate that looking in the freezer for cat food really isn’t as nuts as it might have looked initially. 

“How come we don’t buy Minerva that kind of food?”  Elias asked. 

“Because it’s really expensive and it’s not exactly within our budget,” I answered. 

“If we had a lot of money, we could buy Minerva that kind of food,”  Elias said.

Well, yes, I suppose we could.  At that point the little wheels in my head started turning.  What other little “improvements” would we make if we could improve them?  Although our income was essentially double at this time last year, we really weren’t any better off then.  With the cut in income, we cut down and cut back on every little item that wasn’t essential.  When we had more money coming in, we simply frittered away the extras on those things that were “upgrades” from the bare minimum. 

I think these sort of little expenses are part of the reason that so many people feel like they are constantly broke and can’t figure out why.  People don’t think about these kinds of expenditures.  After all, when we purchase the “upgrade,” it’s usually only a little bit more expensive.   We deserve these little luxuries, we tell ourselves.  Even when it’s just the more expensive cat food. 

I’m not saying deprive yourself of every little luxury in your life.  But the next time you start thinking of making an upgrade to something, ask yourself if a) you can really afford it, and b) you really need it.  After all, if your cat is like mine and spends most of her time laying around purring, I don’t think she really needs an evolutionary raw-food based diet.  She’s doing just great on the Whiskas.  

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