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Thoughts On Change And Adapting

May 16, 2012 · 16 comments

in Life, Personal Finance

Life is full of change.

Change Can Be On A Grand Scale

This happened to me when I planned on being a hugely successful career-woman, but ended up turning to mush when my oldest child was born.  Once I held my son for the first time, work didn’t matter anymore.  I just wanted to spend time with him, and not with a computer.  It took some time, but we eventually saved enough money so that we could live off of just one income and I could stay home with the kids.  When I was a student, I would have never predicted that I would eventually become a stay-at-home mom, but that is exactly what I was for many years.  (I now just work part time from home.)  I now just look back at my ‘evolution’ and just laugh.    I am grateful I am a parent for many reasons, but one thing that is interesting is that I got to see a side of me that I didn’t even know existed.

Change Can Also Be On A Small Scale

An example of this is my current mindset with saving and spending.

Life has been crazy this year for a variety of reasons.  Things I used to worry about like saving the absolute most I could at the grocery store have slid way to the bottom of my list of concerns.  Instead, I just want my family to eat.  We have eaten out way too much this year, but it was almost a matter of necessity.  Things have settled down, but my need to scrimp and save as much as I can at the store has decreased dramatically.  Instead, I am more focused on buying the foods I want my family to eat, even if the items are not on sale.  Yes, putting full-price things in the grocery cart still makes me cringe somewhat, but my attitude toward money has relaxed a little.

Overall, I am still a very frugal person at heart, and I can almost guarantee that I will rarely spend full price on clothes or most other items, unless I am completely desperate.  (Like I probably will be when I need to find a dress for my son’s graduation.)   Even though I am spending a little more at the grocery store, buying full priced food at the grocery is still probably cheaper and healthier than if our family of five ate out.  (That is the justification I use when shopping now.)

The Overall Lesson

Sometimes, you just gotta go with the flow.    If you can no longer keep up with what you were doing previously, don’t beat yourself up about it.  Life is busy and isn’t always easy, and sometimes, you just have to do what you can to get by.  Don’t make things harder by being frustrated or disappointed in yourself.  Do the best you can and move on!

 

 

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

First Gen American May 16, 2012 at 8:30 am

I have been trying to do the same thing. The other day I realized that we haven’t had Thomas’s Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins in our home for over a year (because only the plain ones were going on sale lately, so I stopped buying them altogether). I actually did buy 2 packs of them at full price last month and I was pretty proud of myself for doing that. They did finally go on-sale this week and I stocked up but it’s just sillyness to not eat something we really like for a year to save $0.25/muffin.

I also obsess about saving on small purchases when it’s really the big ones like homes + cars that break the bank. Here I am obsessing about $1, when I’m houseshopping and sometime in the future that might mean thousands a month more in home expenses. It’s definitely been a deterrent to just jump at anything because it’s just not worth it for most homes out there.

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Daisy May 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

This is so true! My financial priorities have changed so much over the past couple of years. I don’t have kids yet, but I certainly have had to adapt to whatever life throws at me.

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Krantcents May 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Ia gree that ometimes we get caught up on focusing on one thing or another. The big picture or the ultimate goal is more important that all this little stuff. I think savings is very important, but I won’t sacrifice my values for it. It is more important to eat well than just cheap. I remember long ago eating a diet prepared meal and not being satisfied. Did I save any money? No, because I ate additional food.

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Christa May 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

I was in the same boat as you about being a career woman when I was younger. My priorities changed when I hit 30 — seriously, I woke up on my 30th birthday and needed to have children! — so now I’m on a new path that doesn’t focus as much on a career as on a balanced life for our family.

My ideas about saving on food also changed. Now I find healthy foods and eat in smaller portions — I spend roughly the same amount of money on groceries as I did before.

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Gen Y Finance Journey May 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

I think it’s important to plan for changes, because change is inevitable. You’re not going to have the same budget when you’re a single 25 year old that you will when you’re a 35 year old with a family of 4. In fact, one of the reasons I have begun saving so aggressively as a Gen Y-er is because I’m not sure what changes will come in the future and I want to be sure I’ve done everything I can to build up my nest egg while I don’t have many expenses.

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Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager May 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

So true, thanks for the reminder that its okay for your money views to change over time.

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101 Centavos May 20, 2012 at 9:17 am

After seeing how crazy their travel schedule is, I no longer aspire to be in the top echelons of the company. Much better is the time spent at home and with friends.

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Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter May 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

We had been going with the flow for the last 6 months and now are in the save-on-whatever-we-can mindset just because of a new house. Give me a year, I’ll get back to normal, lol.

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Audio Equipment Tips Blog May 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

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Buck Inspire May 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

“Don’t make things harder by being frustrated or disappointed in yourself. Do the best you can and move on!” Love it! As a new dad myself, I can semi relate, but as the primary bread winner, I don’t think it works for us. Glad to see you are loosening up on the savings and going with the flow!

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Deacon May 26, 2012 at 12:22 am

One of my favorite quotes when it comes to change is, “All progress is change, but not all change is progress.” This made me realize that I needed to be intentional about the changes I want to see happen. Planning for change is key.

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investlike1percent May 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

knowing the why a change is needed helps …. really just about the right motivation

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Lyka Ricks May 29, 2012 at 5:01 am

So True! Moving forward is another way to enjoy Life. Be blessed and be content ,There are joyful surprises even in small gifts.

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Charlotte@EverythingFinance May 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I think you will find that as you get older a lot of things in your life change, including your taste. And I don’t mean just food taste, but your taste in clothes, color schemes, home decor. What I liked in my 20’s changed in my 30’s and probably again in my 40’s. I’m proud of you for staying at home with your kids. I would have loved to have done that with mine, but couldn’t. But fortunately he turned out ok anyway.

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Worli May 31, 2012 at 9:33 am

There is an important distinction in changing and adapting. When we change according to our circumstances, we are doing what we wish, even though it is difficult. When we venture to adapt, we feel invaded and forced to live up to what we think other persons expect of us.

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