Frugal Living: When Doing The Smart Thing Blows

My goal for the year after I moved out of my house and into my wee apartment was simple: survive. It seems like a fairly obvious one, I know, but after the craptastrophe of last year, there’s no easy way to feel like “things are just going to work out,” when you’ve just survived Skyfall.

But I did survive and I’ve learned some stuffs along the way. I won’t bore you will the soul-searching stuffs, because obviously, but I will let you in on a secret: doing the smart thing? It kinda blows.

See, my other, less important, but equally lofty goal was to move into a bigger apartment so the kids would have their own space, so I could spend five minutes at a stretch not listening to the television ask, “Where’s Perry?” and “Oh there you are, Perry!”

I thought I had it all in the bag. I’d finally gotten a big-girl job. I had a boyfriend who’d be willing to help with stuffs around the house while I worked ungodly hours; I was READY to move into my bigger apartment. As much as I’d loved rubbing elbows with everyone anytime anyone had to pee, it was time.

Or so I thought.

My second job didn’t exactly pan out the way I’d expected (politics = boring), which opened another window. A completely DIFFERENT window: a job as a writer. Full-time. Benefits. Downtown Chicago. Sounded brilliant. No off-hours calls, no more looming threat of having to answer my phone at any time and be responsible for driving my sleeping butt across state lines to get something done.

Problem was, without all that responsibility, my paycheck was going to be a bit smaller.

Smaller enough that I decided to, rather than take a leap of faith and hope it all came out in the wash, stay in my current apartment, which, despite my whinging, I find adorable.

I won’t lie – I’m a little sad that I won’t be renting a townhouse with a garden and two floors because I’d wanted so badly to make my house feel like a home for the kids. But fiscally speaking, it was, and remains, the smarter choice.

And I’ve learned that home, really is, anywhere you are. You can cross-stitch the crap out of that one, crafty people.

So even if doing the smart thing blows, I know it’ll feel better in the long-term.

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When have YOU done the smart thing even though it sucked?
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8 thoughts on “Frugal Living: When Doing The Smart Thing Blows

  1. Right now I’m living in a small (for me) apartment, after selling my house because I couldn’t afford it anymore. But you know what? It has benefits. It isn’t the best neighborhood, but I know my neighbors and we look out for each other. I have great landlords and maintenance guys who fix things that I used to be in charge of at the house. But there are times that it sucks – I’d love to have a place I could go to hide out sometimes, and there isn’t one! I gave up my cable TV as well, and sometimes that REALLY sucks. But we manage. :)

  2. You’re not wrong – sometimes it sucks doing the thing that’s right, but sometimes it’s really worth it in the long run. Today I had an overwhelming urge to just go SHOP, to buy things I can’t afford and have fun. Instead I’m going to save the money, go home, and watch Yo Gabba Gabba with the kiddo and remember that he’s a lot cuter than any bag I’d buy and not really need anyway.

  3. I know for me, I’m renting 1 bedroom with a private bath. I live in the bay area in CA, and it’s ridiculous expensive. For the time being, my kids are living with their father. When they are visiting me, it’s a VERY tight fit. It sucks, but I’d rather live within my means and get to do some fun stuff with them out of the house, rather than have (my own) bigger place and have to eat cereal from the box every night for dinner. Being an adult does suck.

  4. I try to do the smart thing. I have cut my own hair, done my own manicures, pedicures, and bought hair color off the shelf. I hate it when I feel like the checkout girls at the Dollar Store, with their two inch long acrylic nails, are more well groomed than I am. I feel so terribly vain admitting that this is a sacrifice for me, but it’s true. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

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