With the combination of frugality on my part and my husband's successes at work, I feel like we are finally getting a bit of breathing room. Just a bit. This makes it sooooo tempting to let loose a little. The situation has made me wonder, "Will I continue in my frugality - even if I don't HAVE to?"
After much thought and temptation on this question my answer has once again come to YES - at least until my kids are grown. I realized that our kids (all girls for now) may not marry men with the same earning potential as my husband. If we give them a lavish lifestyle, then that is what the "norm" will be for them. That is what they will expect and anything less will not be acceptable.
If their husbands can't provide the same "lavish" lifestyle then there are three potential problems that I see.
1. They will go into debt trying to fund what they think their "normal" lifestyle should be. Debt is crushing, life ruining, and a potential marriage breaker.
2. They will not be able to fund what they want and so will turn to good 'ol dad and mom to still fund the "lavish" lifestyle we taught them. Not happening.
3. I will become the full time babysitter while my daughters work. I started having babies at 23. Even though I know I will love our grand kids and will enjoy babysitting every so often, I am looking forward to some freedom and travel.
So to avoid these potentially HUGE problems we will continue to live frugally. We will go camping for vacations and stay in hotels as occasional "treats". We will find joy in picking a fresh raspberry from our garden. We will thrill at a good yard sale find and congratulate each other on negotiating skills. We will continue to talk about life as we clip coupons together.
When they leave the house they will each have their own Coupon Binder for groceries, a Palm for their budgets, and a Speed Cleaning Apron. They will have the tools and skills to take care of themselves and we will be cheering them along the way.
Then when the last one finally leaves, maybe, just maybe, I will go to the mall.