Giving Up What You Want

We were recently taking the measurements to order my wife’s new cork floors when life too a sharp turn and my wife changed her mind is giving up on the cork floor in the kitchen (for now).  If your confused, don’t worry, yes this is the cork floor she stated on national TV that she really wanted after we paid off the mortgage.  We had pushed it off to fall due to cash flow issues and also I would have time for me to install the new floor.  So what happened?  She found something she wanted to do more.

We previously visited my sister-in-law this summer during our vacation and she was expecting her first baby this fall.  Yet this wasn’t a big deal since her plan at the time was to come back West for Christmas, so we would see baby for the first time then.  Yet we recently found out that isn’t going to happen (long story).

In the end, my wife decided she wants to see her niece rather than get new flooring so we pushed off the flooring project until next year so she can take a flight out between Christmas and New Years to see her baby niece and sister.  Since in my wife’s case, taking time off is not an easy under taking (her daycare policy requires she give months notice), it was easier for her to leave right after Christmas and come back on New Years.

I’m proud of my wife because she knows exactly where her priorities are in life.  So she didn’t even pause when I mentioned the idea pushing off the flooring project to cover her flight.  In her priority list, family and an experience totally outranks something as common as a new kitchen floor.  So she swas willing to give up one want for something else.

I suppose that is something similar when going for financial independence, I’m giving up a bunch of other wants in order to get a bigger one (not having to work full time until I’m 60+).  Sure there are times when you doubt things, but other times the decision is easy.

So when did you last give up a want for something else?  Did you think it was worth it?


5 thoughts on “Giving Up What You Want”

  1. I think my problem is more that I don’t give up wants. That said, I have been more conscious as of late with shopping and so on, as a new baby is on the way. I know I still need to spend about $1000 to finish buying everything we need (stroller, car seat, etc), so I’ve been a little tighter with myself this month.

  2. It goes against your approach to personal finance, but have you considered surprising your wife with an new floor installed while she was away? Financially speaking I’m guessing that jumping in and covering both the flight and the floor isn’t going to derail your entire plan. As long this type of one-time decision doesn’t ruin the good habit of prioritizing want/needs over the long run.

  3. I was just reflecting today on my good fortune that one of my wants led to being able to pay for another of my wants. I wanted to retire so I could spend more time doing more things that I want to do, including writing. Then that want lead to being paid to write some articles for the Wall Street Journal, which pays for another want–taking piano lessons.

    It’s a win-win-win!

  4. I gave up a top of the line sewing machine to spend Christmas with my son. I don’t really need all those bells and whistles, but I really do need the memories of a family Christmas (our first Christmas after retiring and moving away). I will pay for his airfare and buy a cheaper machine.

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