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Its amazing to me how quickly life moves.  It feels like just a few weeks ago it was Christmas, and a few weeks before that when we moved to San Fran.  Truth is, it was almost 5 months ago it was Christmas, and 8 months ago we moved here.  And surprisingly, for 8 months time, I dont feel like much was done.  A lot has happened, but not much actually done.

Since my last update, Chris and I went to Wisconsin for a week.  It was nice spending time with my mom and seeing my other family members.  Also makes me very grateful for what I have.

Growing up wasn’t easy for me.  My family was always just a few steps below poverty, and most of them are still living that way, if not worse off now.  Like having a cell phone with a small bucket of minutes for the whole family to share from, having the slowest internet speeds because thats all that can be afforded, buying store brand foods not because they taste better, but because they are cheaper, or only putting $20 worth of gas in your car and praying that lasts you til next paycheck because you dont have any more money til then.  I dont think I ever really thought about how lucky I was until seeing those kind of things.

In my day to day life, I have a cell phone plan with as many minutes and data and texts I could ever need.  In fact, just yesterday I got a text telling me we have used 50% of our data plan this month (and its over in 3 days), and thats the first time we have gotten that notification in over a year since we got this plan.  I have cable TV with every channel one could ever want, and we rarely watch TV.  We have an internet connection with the highest speeds available and we dont ever utilize it to its full extent.  I have a BMW with a couple hundred dollar payment a month, for a car that I have put 3,000 miles on in the 8 months we have lived in CA.  I pay $5.40 every morning for a cup of Starbucks.

This doesn’t mean that I dont do things to watch my spending, like buying clothes online or at outlet stores when they are on sale, or going to a gas station where I get money off per gallon when I go grocery shopping, or buying soda in bulk when its on sale.  I do these things on a daily basis, but I still am comfortable, and dont really need to make sacrifies for the things I need, or the things I want for that matter.

While Chris and I were in WI, we realized we had left our camera at home and wouldn’t be able to take any pictures while we were there.  We just happened to be near a Best Buy when we realized this, so we stopped in, and bought a new $100 point and shoot.  Even though at home we have a $500 Digital SLR.  Then I turn around and see my mom at the grocery store buying Roundy’s brand mac and cheese because its 40 cents cheaper then Kraft.  May taste worse, but it saves her money.  And when your trying to make it on less then 1.5k each month, 40 cents saved is 40 cents you can use on something else thats needed.

My spending habits haven’t changed, and I doubt they will.  But I did suddenly have a greater appreciation for the luxuries and the amenities that I have in my life.  I also felt a bit guilty.  I have all this, and my family, the ones that raised me and supported me for so many years, are struggling to put dinner on the table.  I know I have worked hard to get where I am at, and I know that I deserve what it is I am getting…. but that didn’t change this feeling of guilt.


Current Music: Dont Know Why ~ Norah Jones

Originally published at A Little Loco