Today, my husband told me I was wanting instant gratification.
I laughed as he continued to look at me. Hold on. Me? The woman who considers herself to be so strongly anti-instant gratification? Funny. He’s just trying to get his way.
I, like many focused, seasoned baby steppers, am very proud to be “above” instant gratification. I’m quite a snob about it, actually. My husband and I save and pay cash for the things we need and want. Pay for the money to “buy” something? Nope, never again. I take pride in my maturity in being able to wait for the things I want, to not have to have it now.
Being able to wait. Not having to have it now.
It hit me. Yep, I am wanting instant gratification.
I was disappointed when I saw that his check wasn’t going to be enough for us to hit that 50% mark that I’ve had my eye on since we hit the 25% mark. I had gotten used to his overtime allowing me to color a new line on my mortgage payoff chart on Wednesday every two weeks. I had developed a habit of looking forward to sharing this chart with the Instagram debt-free community and enjoying the accompanying surge of rejuvenation from being cheered on.
Well, today is Wednesday, and for the first time in months, I didn’t color in a line. We are short of that mark by $538.37.
But…but wait! It’s an extra magical month because not only is there an extra Wednesday giving my biweekly paid husband three paychecks, there is an extra Thursday too, giving me five paychecks. I receive $869 after taxes every week, and this extra check was purposely not taken into account when we did our March budget. Instead, we chose to use it for the living room that we are remodeling.
So, I asked with excitement, “Can we use $538 of my check to hit 50% of the mortgage and put the rest toward the living room?” I was met with a laugh and a gentle but firm “No.”
That was yesterday. After today’s disappointment of not being able to color in a line, I tried again and received another no. Now, I tend to get a little pouty when I don’t get my way, so I tried everything possible. I was suggesting that we at least budget to take $30 from my paycheck next week since our standard mortgage payment on April 1st will leave us shy this amount. That’s when he said it. “You realize you’re wanting instant gratification, right? There is no reason we can’t wait a couple weeks.”
And he was right. I was being hardheaded and ridiculous. If it was almost any other percentage, I wouldn’t have even worried myself with it. I just want that moment of happiness and feeling of successful momentum that comes with hitting a major milestone.
Being logical though, that $538.37 will barely move the needle on the $45,538.37 we owe on our house. It will, however, put a huge dent in what we have left to do to the living room.
Sigh. It’s hard to stay balanced when your eyes are so set on the finish line of a major, life-changing goal, but life has to be lived in the meantime. Smaller goals of less importance still have to be met, and if I’m honest with myself, I would have regretted that decision after those feelings died down and my favorite room in the house we’re so feverishly working to pay off was still nowhere close to being finished.
Stay focused, financial freedom fighters, but stay balanced. Don’t lose sight of your other goals.