Ungrateful for what I have, please help!


#1

Please advise me, I really need help for my spiritual and financial sanity and I want to put the family in the right direction.

I am constantly distracted by what I DON’T have and I am embarrassed to say this. Like this weekend, when taking out our patio set; the chairs won’t open because they are rusted and our umbrella won’t open and is ripped. So, what do I do? Obsess about how we can get a new one. Of course, there is no money for this, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

It has been like this so often lately. The kitchen floor is ripping and 25 years old. The rug is stained. Things need painting, cleaning, repairing.

If I had a ton of free time my hubby and I could work on the house, but with a 2 year old and 5 year old, we never seem to get anything completed. Even if we do work on things they never seem done right. [FONT=Wingdings]L[/FONT]

I really need some advice about keeping focused on paying debt OFF not getting more in debt.

Please advise.

Humbly yours,
LynnieLew


#2

I can say that I know how you feel. I do the same some days. Like when our sliding door broke on the minivan last week all I could think of was how we NEED a new one, it is 7 years old and high mileage but at the same time, we don’t have the money to make a monthly car payment at this time and we ARE in debt w/ credit cards, big time! So I find myself frequently having to tell myself no to needed things however it is difficult in the world we live in, where people need instant gratification most of the time. I will say I don’t have any advice. I just tell myself “wants and needs, mamacita.” But all I can say is to just pray to the Holy Spirit for strength when you find yourself obsessing over the things that need fixing/replacing. I try to tell myself to remember the guy we met in Mexico last year that told me that since we had a house ‘we are rich’ he said. He didn’t understand that in the standards here we are not rich (I do however feel rich Spiritually;) and that’s what counts). But he thought that all Americans are ‘rich’ because we were on vacation, have a car, etc. So whenever I think about how I need a new car, I think about him and how he didn’t even own a car and he was in his mid 30’s and worked full time at the resort just to make ends meet. Sorry for rambling but that is just how I look at things differently now.:thumbsup:


#3

Have you taken this to confession? I usually do find the grace I need to battle particular sins by confessing them. Makes me feel lucky to be a Catholic.


#4

Hi Lynnie;

I have too been there at one point in my life…it’s easy to get caught up in wanting and having, instead of enjoying the now. I think it just comes from the material saturated world we live in, and every commercial screams at us that we need this or that, or we’re somehow not ‘making it.’

Suze Orman said something in one of her seminars that struck me…and has stuck with me…“Once you love SAVING MONEY as much as you love SPENDING MONEY…you will be in control of your money.” I enjoy spending…but, if you just try to save $100 monthly…then grow it to $200…over the course of a year…you could save up to $2000 – in just watching your spending. Nothing wrong with wanting to buy a new umbrella or lawn furniture by the way…but you said ‘obsess,’ and you just have to think to yourself…where is this obsession coming from? Do I only feel happy when I’m spending? (I am a recovering mall-aholic, and used to get a ‘high’ off overspending)

That type of happiness is fleeting. It seems that you already know this, because you are stating that you want to change your thinking…Take baby steps with your savings. If you/your husband have careers, then definitely have a 401k.

Remember…start loving saving as much as you love spending.:slight_smile:
You’ll get there.


#5

I KNOW what you mean. Things are SUPER tight for us right now too. Here’s a thread I started that received TONS of great tips for saving money at the grocery, and around the house. There’s also lots of links to other threads and other websites in this thread. :slight_smile:

Here’s the link…check it out :thumbsup: :
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=155392


#6

Limit TV timel, commercials sell you on the idea you *have *to have it. Call the catalog companies and get off their mailing list. Flipping through Pottery Barn is depressing when you aren’t in a financial position to buy even a knock-off of their stuff!

On a practical level, make a budget, set a goal for saving up money for these things, and stick to it. It’s so rewarding to go in and pay cash when you can afford it. If you can’t afford it, and buy it anyway, then it saps your joy when you sit on it and think about how you can’t afford it! Wouldn’t it be nice to sit on the new patio furniture thinking “I bought this free and clear”?

As to the desires of your heart, I agree with a PP about taking it to confession and/or prayer.

Think about Jesus, born in a stable. Mary didn’t have anything. Yet, she had everything as she held the Savior in her arms. Embrace Jesus in the Tabernacle through Adoration and ask him to help you.


#7

It is easy to start feeling sorry for ourselves when it seems like everyone has nicer and/or better things. My advice? Start working on small things. Maybe fix something, like a cupboard or door. Wash all of the curtains in the house. Go through your home and purge yourself of unneeded items. If you can afford a little paint, then paint the worst looking room in the house. It WILL lift your spirits, and in DOING something, you’ll feel like you’re making things better. With 2 little ones, you can just paint a little at a time. Take a whole month to do it. Who cares? You’ll feel better just by doing something.
You’re not alone!!! Others who seem like they have more, really may be in debt or have other problems that you just can’t see. Thank God every morning for your precious children and all of your other gifts. Ask Him to help you be more thankful.


#8

Dear LL and all,
I think that this problem is not particular to those who struggle financially, it is simply a tool of Satan to get all of us focused on the wrong thing.
LL, I do *not *have to struggle financially, praise God! We have more than enough, and I thank the Lord for it, but I still find myself wanting more. A pool, for instance, and I’m disgusted with myself. Thing is, we could afford one, but dh won’t get one for the dangers of them. He’s got a point, but with the warm weather on it’s way I have to battle my greediness in wanting it so much.
It seems even practicing Catholics are not immune to all that society tells us we can/should have. Detachment from things of the world is tough!
But, if things around your house are in disrepair, you many not be struggling with greediness as much as you think. It would be good stewardship to take care of what you’ve been given, as best you can. It is wise to keep things from falling into ruin, to the point that it cannot be fixed.


#9

I don’t have any great advice - just wanted to pop in and say, I do know just where you’re coming from. I have two the same age as yours, I work a demanding job 4 days per week, as does dh, plus he’s in classes 3 nights a week. We are stretched the max. We make decent money, but with the child care costs, pre-school costs, car repairs, house needs (having a 15-year mortgage doesn’t help), it never seems to be enough. Like you, we never seem to have the time or the money to keep up the house as we would like. To make matters worse, we’ve got it on the market. Thankfully the market is bad and no one ever looks at it!!! Otherwise, we’d be really stressed trying to fix up and clean up. I too, find it difficult to see the nice houses and yards of other people, and I do get feelings of envy and inadequacy. The thing that I find helps is to simply pray and ask God for thankfulness, gratefulness, and the inner peace of knowing that the “little things” don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

As for the practical matter of the house, I find this to be really good advice (I have done some of this and it really does help!):

“Start working on small things. Maybe fix something, like a cupboard or door. Wash all of the curtains in the house. Go through your home and purge yourself of unneeded items. If you can afford a little paint, then paint the worst looking room in the house. It WILL lift your spirits, and in DOING something, you’ll feel like you’re making things better. With 2 little ones, you can just paint a little at a time. Take a whole month to do it. Who cares? You’ll feel better just by doing something.”

and this too - “Others who seem like they have more, really may be in debt or have other problems that you just can’t see. Thank God every morning for your precious children and all of your other gifts. Ask Him to help you be more thankful.”

Thank you for that wonderful advice!

S.
RandA


#10

I can truly understand how you feel. We have been married for 24 years; and though things are better now, there are still times when I feel unsatisfied because we “need” some things fixed or replaced around the house.

It helps to remember all that we have to be thankful for: health, jobs, a roof over our head, food on the table, a regular paycheck. Also, don’t compare what you have to what your friends, relatives and neighbors have. There is a saying that, “Comparison is the root of all discontent.” That is so true. We don’t have to keep up with the Jones’s! Do the best you can with what you have. Ask God to help you be good stewards of all that he has blessed you with.


#11

I thought of something else that might be helpful. Do you do any volunteer work? Can you?

Sometimes volunteering a few hours a week/month at a charitable place that works with the very poor, homeless, crisis pregnancy, social work, etc. can be a REAL eye opener.

When I see these persons and the struggles they go through it makes me realize what all I DO have. It makes me ashamed that I complain about such BLESSINGS as meatless meals, inability to travel, go on dates, pinching pennies, doing without niceties, etc. At least I have FOOD, at least we have a CAR, at least I have a HUSBAND, at least I HAVE pennies to pinch, at least we have the BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE, etc.

It REALLY does make you think. It might be helpful to you if you can, I know it has been for me. :wink:


#12

THe volunteering idea is excellent except all the volunteering I do has to do in the pro-life ministry. As far as I am concerned, there is no one as defenseless as the unborn. :slight_smile: I do see your point though and I need to consider this in another way.

I just bought Suze Orman’s book “Women and Money” to help me with the pscyhological nature of womena nd money especially the need to buy impulsively. I also learned that through her book there is a special code that helps you save money. She partnered with Ameritrade and if you save $50 each month in one of their accounts they will give you $100 at the end of the year.

Today I painted my window sills, something that needed to be done. I had extra primer and paint and I actually didn’t spend any money.

Keep the suggestions coming, I am so grateful!


#13

Just a suggestion. Could you volunteer in a place that deals with crisis pregnancies? Lots of these places are social work-type ministries. You meet these poor women and families head on. It was the most rewarding work I have ever done, and the most humbling.

I am SO glad you are SO concerned with the pro-life cause. I am sure that you bring Christ’s love wherever you go. God bless you and yours! :slight_smile:


#14

Hi again Lynnie…I also meant to add to indulge now and again…doesn’t need to be extravagant…but something like maybe a glass of wine, while taking a warm bubble bath…or splurge on a 1/2 hour massage a manicure…or whatever would be splurging for you. Being too restrictive with our money, can sometimes backfire, and cause us to overspend…so, keep it within reason, but splurge now and again.


#15

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