I love the satisfaction I get when I set a goal, bust my behind to do what has to be done, and reach that goal. I've always had a strong work ethic and competitive nature. Only in my mid-twenties did I use this to pay down debt and start putting money away. I was never afraid if I had to work more than 1 job, or if I had to give up a certain "need" to save a little extra, I just did it. When my wife and daughter came along, everything changed.

I couldn't deprive her of milk/formula because we had to save up for the car, or I couldn't go and work 2 extra jobs because then I would never see the mcnugget or the wife. This was very difficult for me to get used to. I believe that sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve your goals. There is a great line in the movie Transformers, yes I went to see it so let out all your little boy jokes now :), "Without sacrifice, there is no victory." If you want to lose weight, you sacrifice your sugar cravings or in my case the Chinese food fix at 11 at night; if you want to save money, you sacrifice the drinking, partying, eating out, etc; if you want better grades, you sacrifice time and study more. The sacrifice is not the problem when it comes to me giving up something, but balancing that and family time, family needs, and household needs is when it gets tricky.

Finding this balance is very important. Having all the security and financial stability in the world would not matter if I missed a birthday, or that first step, or if I had to leave her crying every night to go work the overnight shift after being home for only 2 hours. Having the nice house, car, and $100,000 in savings would not help my wife if she had to be home alone for 18 hours every day (I'm sure a few months of shopping with no budget would be fun for a few months, but that's it).

As soon as I got the car I was looking for a small part-time/weekend gig to pay for the insurance so I would not have to alter the budget. I had to stop and remind myself that I am not alone in my decisions anymore. We try to work together and prioritize everything. For me, personally, family time comes first. You can always make more money (I used to hate that saying), but you can never go back in time. Keep that in mind and it will be easier to find that life balance. I've cut down on a lot of things, I cut my own hair to save $15 every 2 weeks at the barber shop, I brown-bag lunch pretty much every day, I wear my sneakers and shoes until I can feel my foot hitting actual concrete the sole is so worn out :). I'm also much more focused at work, if I can keep getting promotions at work, I won't need to look for a 2nd job. Focus your energy on your main day/night job and become an asset to the company (if you run your own business, push yourself to be more efficient so your not working all day), you might have the energy for many jobs, but wouldn't you rather spend that energy with your family?"Work smarter, not harder", I didn't make this up but it is definitely true.

I also try to write my goals down as much as I possibly can. I don't do updates on the same sheet of paper, I always use a new one and then compare it to the old one to see what I have forgotten. If I have it obviously was not too important, so I leave it out. I rreeaalllyyy wanted an Infiniti G35, possibly the sexiest car you will ever see (besides a Porsche 911 Carrera of course), as my first car before the birth of my little piglet. After going through many revisions, I noticed that size and comfort became more attractive as car qualities, hence the Chrysler Concorde we purchased.

Finding the perfect balance will take some time, just keep working at it. Remember to always put your family first, you can't go back in time until they finally invent that damn time machine we see in all the movies (I would take it back to '98 and keep myself out of debt and track down the beautiful woman that I am with now so we can get started early (she would have been 12 so this plan might not be a good idea). Focus your energy on being more efficient and productive at work, with all the energy you spend on the other jobs, you can probably use that to make more money at 1 job and save yourself some train fare or gas. Set realistic and challenging goals and work hard to achieve them, include your family and set "Family" goals as well. Small sacrifices go a long way.

You can still save money, work, and lead a beautiful fulfilling life, you just have to work at it. Money is nice, memories are beautiful, life can be a wonderful experience..."without sacrifice, there can be no victory"

Thanks for reading

I Love You Baby


  1. Moneymonk said...

    I rreeaalllyyy wanted an Infiniti G35, possibly the sexiest car you will ever see

    I beg to differ, I like the M45 !!!!

    But I see your point, grow up and be more responsible, when kids come into play, Their needs are first.

    But once you get out of debt there is more wiggle room to do want YOU want  

  2. Anonymous said...

    Rad, you wrote "For me, personally, family time comes first.".

    Prioritizing your values is key to knowing how you want to spend your time and your money. You've illustrated this very well in your post. Great job.

    I'm publishing my next Baby Step tomorrow morning, and it happens to address this concept of values and spending.

    P.S. Family is my top priority, too.
    ~Millionaire Mommy Next Door  

  3. Rad said...

    Thanks for the comments guys:

    @Money: You definitely get more wiggle room once you get out of debt, but man is it tough getting there :) I like the luxury feel of the M45 but the sportiness of the G35 is what draws me to it (I test drove both because I'm a glutton for punishment). Putting your child's needs first should be the 1st step, sounds easy but it does take some adjustment, especially if your used to spending money on only bare essentials. Once you accept and balance your new life, you'll see how very mnuch worth it your family really is.

    @Millionaire: Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the compliment. I will definitely check out the Baby Step post later today. I liked what I read of the site already. Great job. Value prioritization is very important in raising the little piglets and munchkins the right way :)  

  4. Dimples said...

    Transformers was off da chain. Best movie this year. :-D  

  5. Sistah Ant said...

    great post. priorities and quality of life (family) are where it's at!  

  6. kailani said...

    I totally understand what you're saying. We don't have child care for our youngest daughter so I work 2 days a week and my husband works the other 5 plus a part-time job. Sometimes I feel like we don't spend enough quality time all together.

    Thank you for submitting this post to the Carnival of Family Life. It will be included in the July 30th edition.  

  7. 12 month loan said...

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  8. Payday Advance said...

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