Being a Baller
the height of sophistication
I was complaining to my sister recently how we haven’t received the title for our car yet, even though we bought it back in February and red tape shouldn’t be taking this long. She informed me that we wouldn’t get the title until the loan had been paid off and I informed her that we didn’t take out a loan. She said, “so you just bought a car? Damn, baller.”
Just in case you ever doubted that I am, in fact, a baller.
My sister was joking around b/c Brent and I are by no means ballers. The only place we’re VIP is Taco Bell, where we are the most frequent of fliers (and who am I kidding, we don’t even get the VIP treatment there). Her comment got me thinking though, how fortunate we are to be able to buy a car outright. Yes, it’s a used car and yes, we shopped around until we found the best deal, but still.
Brent and I are extremely fortunate that both of our parents talked to us about money. My parents never had a lot of it, but money wasn’t a taboo subject in our house. My sisters and I all were expected to get jobs at 16, to work through high school and college, and to pay for half of our college education. You can’t do all that to a kid w/out them knowing the value of hard work and saving. It’s probably the single most important thing my parents taught us.
Brent and I both paid off our student loans within three years of college. Other than our mortgage, we have no loans. We pay off our credit card bills in full every month and have no debt between us. When we were shopping around for the car one of the dealerships mentioned how we could finance through them, even if our credit wasn’t the best and I laughed like we would ever take some jenky dealership financing b/c our credit is the best.
Wow, I just read that over and I sound like a prick. Let me clarify: we’re not rich or well off by any means. We use coupons and shop at discount retailers and my idea of splurging on a great meal is Qdoba (if we’re feeling fancier than T Bell).
But we do know the secret to managing your finances. It's huge and earth-shattering and not many people know it. Ready?
Live beneath your means.
Shocking, I know. It goes against absolutely everything we see in the media. The millions of ads we’re subject to every day, and all the songs and movies name dropping designers and showing fabulous cars and houses. How are we expected to be happy w/ what we have when everything out there is telling us that what we have isn’t enough? How can I be happy w/ what I have when the Jones’ next door just put in a swimming pool and an addition to their house and bought another car?
Fuck the Jones’. Spending money you don’t have on the latest and greatest gadget is a surefire way to end up broke and unhappy. There’s always going to be something newer and shinier.
Getting caught in that whirlwind of needing to live a certain lifestyle is something Brent and I can happily say we’ve never cared about. We have T Bell tastes on a T Bell budget.
Damn, for all the times I’ve mentioned T Bell in this post, you’d think they give me free food, but alas, I pay my way there like the baller I am.