on lesser consumption

Well, now that it’s about two months until our wedding, Ryan and I have started looking in earnest for a house. We’ve got a couple of realtors that we’ve been emailing and Ryan is looking at a few houses today on his day off, the first since he’s been back from his conference.

In the midst of this whole discussion of square-footage, homeowners’ associations, and must-have features, I read an article today that really struck a chord with me. It was just this thing I ran across while I was browsing HR news, but it was about work-life balance, and raised the question: If you’re using your BlackBerry at your kiddo’s soccer game, are you balancing your life? Sure it beats rushing around all the time, but to me it’s just replacing absence with distraction.

One of the readers had posted a comment that really got me more than the article itself. What are we working so hard FOR? When I finally started really working in San Antonio, I worked two jobs. I had no free time, I was a total party pooper. I felt disconnected from our friends, lonely, guilty. Now I’m working a steady 40-hour, Monday-through-Friday job, and I am much happier. But I had the thought today… If Ryan and I COULD live on one paycheck… WOULD we?

I called Ryan and spoke with him for just a couple of minutes, and I asked him to keep in mind that it would be nice to buy a house that is cheaper to buy than what we’re paying for rent, and that smaller homes are usually cheaper to light and heat (or cool, here in Texas). We had talked a while back about the fact that we’d like to be able to live on one income eventually, and that we would like for one of us (it doesn’t matter which one) to be able to stay home or at least cut down on hours to raise our family.

I think now that married life is getting closer, it’s important for us to keep that goal in our sights. We have to really be careful about how we lay the groundwork now so that we will have the kind of life that we want, not just the kind that we have to have out of necessity. Is that really too much to ask of ourselves?

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