I thought I’d do a list of things I’m looking forward to when we have a little more disposable income (i.e. as of the end of this year when I can get a nursing job).
Hubby’s been doing some cashy work on the weekends, and that has meant a little extra moolah in hand this past week, so I’ve been thinking about some of the things that we’ve been able to do this week that we haven’t done for a while.
- Regular date nights
We had our first ‘date night’ in almost a year on Saturday. It was really nice – we discovered this new Japanese restaurant, then went to a chocolatier for dessert (om nom nom fondue).
We used to do a proper date night once a fortnight, but we just haven’t had the disposable income for quite some time, and I’ve missed it. It’s all well and good to have a ‘date night’ at home, but it’s just not the same when you have to do the cooking and the dishes.
- Luxury food items
These aren’t even really proper “luxury” items either, by most people’s standards. I just want to be able to buy rye bread again, and afford to have things like avocados and tomatoes permanently in the fridge. It would be nice to be able to buy a block of nice quality dark chocolate every week (the one I get is a 200g block, with 8 serves in a pack. Perfect 1-week rationing haha). It will be fantastic when we’re able to buy red meat on a regular basis again (right now, Hubby is basically limited to beef mince as his red meat fix, because it is cheap. We eat mainly chicken – I was going to make lamb rogan josh this week, but I nearly DIED when I saw how expensive lamb was – $22/kg!!!!! No rogan josh this week).
- Some new clothes
Hubby needs new clothes – his wardrobe is now down to mainly “daggy/work” clothes and “really nice” ones. There’s nothing in the middle that is really good for a semi-casual night out :S He needs several pairs of new jeans (to replace the ones that need to be chucked out), some decent polo shirts, and some new work shirts/pants. I just need to get all my jeans taken up so they actually fit (disadvantages of short legs – even pants labelled “short leg” are too long. I can take up most stuff myself, but I just can’t get denim to look right when I do it. How tall do they think we are!?!?).
- Luxury items
More general discretionary purchases, like books, music, movies, games, etc. I hate not being able to buy a book that I want, without having to wait and hope it comes up cheaper at some point.
Also, a few appliances need replacing – i.e. new electric kettle, new toaster, a proper-sized dishwasher.
- Car stuff
This covers both some “really necessary” and some “discretionary” stuff – the “really necessary” like servicing (neither of our cars has seen a mechanic for about 3 years – oops) and the extras (like new suspension, new fancy tray/canopy for the ute, etc). Why do cars have to be so expensive? Which leads us to…
- A full tank of fuel
It will be nice to be able to just fill up the cars every week, and not worry about how much it costs. Right now, we are limited to a particular $ amount for fuel every week, and that is gradually getting us less and less fuel as the price/L goes up. We don’t even put fuel in both cars – mine hardly gets used, so we only put fuel in when I need to use it for something, which is maybe once a month at the most.
We haven’t really done birthday/christmas/mothers day/fathers day presents in quite some time. I made wedding cross stitches for everyone who has gotten married, but they don’t cost much except in hours. My sister hasn’t even gotten hers yet, because I haven’t had the spare cash to get the frame for it. We haven’t even really done presents for each other, for anything.
It will be nice when we can actually afford a holiday. We haven’t even been camping in over a year, because the “having money” never seems to line up with “having time” :S
- Someone else to do the cleaning
I will happily fork out $50/fortnight if someone else will come and deal with the majority of the cleaning for me. I HATE cleaning, and I can’t use most of the cleaning products that do the job quickly and with minimal effort because the fumes give me migraines. I can’t wait until I can pass this off to someone else, because as much as I can ask Hubby to do it, it NEVER gets done with any sort of regularity because he hates cleaning just as much as I do.
Money can’t make you happy – but it can certainly help.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone who tries to make you feel better by saying “money can’t make you happy” has never had to worry about money. Anyone who has had to worry about making ends meet is well aware that while having money can’t make you happy, having enough money to pay all the bills without robbing Peter to pay Paul takes away a HELL of a lot of stress, and that reduced stress makes it a lot easier to appreciate what you have and be happier with where you are in life.
We are currently at a point where we are able to pay all the bills with minimal worry, and while we don’t really have any discretionary income, we also aren’t skint. I am far less stressed than I was a year ago because of it, and that means that both myself and Hubby are happier (I’m far more pleasant to be around when I’m not on constantly on edge). Still, it will be nice to have a little extra money, because we have a list of “things we want to do” that is as long as my leg, and most of them cost money. And that is the essence of it – what we have now is ‘just enough’, but we’d like to be in a position where we have ‘enough and a little to spare’. That is what most people are aiming for, because being in that position CAN help to make you happier.