August 10, 2010

Like a Piece of Humble Pie?

This weekend, driving out to meet a farmer at our 5.5 acres of land where we hope to build one day, I started thinking about how rich we are.  Not in the classic sense of course - we don't drive pimped out Cadillac SUVs, we don't live in a McMansion, and we certainly don't spend money like its going out of style.

Still, I'm more wealth than I ever dreamed about growing up.  

I'm sure I've told you before, my parents didn't have a lot of money when my sister and I were kids.  One year, Christmas only came because of the kindness of family, our church, and my dad's coworkers. 

Thankfully, that year was an isolated event (due to my father becoming seriously ill and unable to work).  He recovered, got back to work and was able to put food on the table, but it certainly wasn't easy for them.  We didn't get meat nightly for dinner, and when we did it was Spam or Freezer Queen Salisbury steak. 

Never did it occur to me, that I would ever be where I am financially.  I'm working on baby steps #4 and #6 of the Dave Ramsey Plan (15% of income in retirement and paying the house off early).  In the mean time I'm sitting on over 5 acres of land that's paid in full because "someday" we're going to build on it. 

We've also got a 4 wheel drive rag top toy in our driveway, that rarely gets driven because its vehicle #3 in a 2 person family.

See - I'm rich.  Certainly by my standards as a child, if not by the world's standards.

So I suppose it really was time for me to be a bit humbled.

Jay and I have been car pooling some.  It doesn't help a lot with savings, but why not if we're both set to work the same hours in town.  The big savings will come in Jay leaving his gas guzzler parked and driving my car around town on his work errands.

Today normally wouldn't have been a car pool day - I've to Rape Aggression Defense class after work until 9 PM - but Jay had an abnormally busy schedule, so he said we could ride together.   I packed my lunch, my workout clothes, and my class clothing and loaded up the car.

Come lunch time I realized I hadn't packed dinner (I'd meant to grab a Lean Cuisine on the way out of the door).  With no transportation, I was only left with the option of getting food from our Bowling Center cafe.  I placed my order, then got in my purse to get my money together.

Only I didn't have any cash.

Jay had wanted to give the guy who pressure washed our house and cleaned our gutters a little extra, and he took the last of my cash this weekend. 

So I got out my checkbook.

Only I had written my last check on bills this morning.

I called back and asked if they took credit cards.  Nope, just cash and checks. 

So I called both of my coworkers here at work that are also 2 of my closest friends - only they'd already left for their lunch breaks.  She'd already started fixing my order so it was too late to cancel.

I had to suck it up and ask my boss for money.  All 3 of my bosses are from a different generation where people didn't function without cash in their pockets.  Lucky for me.

Not sure why it was embarrassing for me to ask.  He handed it to me without even asking why I needed it.  And sarcastically said that he was real worried about me paying him back promptly.

For me it was humbling though.  To be that out of control in my situation.  That needy. 

While I might live in a "self imposed poverty" as a friend of mine calls it,  its what I choose.  When I'm in a situation where I feel limited, or choices aren't available, I freak.

Like last fall, Jay and I were at a football game.  We hadn't planned ahead well enough to have plenty of cash for parking and snacks.  As I stood at the concession counter, adding up the prices of everything I wanted, realizing that I only had the money for one thing - I felt like that poor little girl I use to be.

I hate that feeling. 

But every once in a while, its good for me.


  1. I can so relate...except that I still don't have any money, ha! :)

  2. That would have bugged me, too! Even though I knew I would be able to pay it back without problem. But your life experiences have probably made you not only hungrier to succeed than someone who had it easier.

    (Oh, btw, guess who started listening to "The Millionare Next Door," and adored that "Big hat, no cattle" line? Of course, I live and work in an environment of ginormous hats, although the "hats" around here are usually fancy cars and houses yet casual clothes. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond those hats and realize that there may or may not be any cattle.)

  3. Great post!! It is good to feel humbled once in awhile to realize how much we truly have.
    In reality we are so much richer than 95% of the world even if we own one pair of shoes!
    That is so neat that you own 5 acres to build on one day - What a great thing to look forward to!

  4. I usually try and pack snacks and what not, so I play a game of how much did I not spend at the venue.

  5. Great Post! but ick. what a situation. I would have been super uncomfortable in that situation too. not sure but think I'd have cancelled the order rather than borrowed because I Hate to owe.

  6. I hate that kind of thing too. Just the other day I was in the store, picking up a couple of things. I planned to pay in cash, but realized I only had $5. The total was 6 something and I had to use my debit card.
    I think it's probably good for all of us to have that feeling occasionally!

  7. I know what you mean. It's a good reminder that it can quickly disappear. Live well within your means.

  8. I didn't have any money all of yesterday too! But I think your self-imposed poverty is are doing what a lot of people, including myself, should do.

  9. A reality check is always good. I try to keep cash but Hubs is always taking it. I have learned to always always keep my debit card on me!


what up yo?