Tag Archive | "pride"

Realize that sacrificing is often choosing a better decision over a good decision

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Realize that sacrificing is often choosing a better decision over a good decision


Cartoon Family

I wasn’t really sure what to call this post. I usually have a pretty clear idea from the get-go. But not this time.

My head is a jumble of thoughts and I hope to succinctly explain myself in this post.

One of the greatest challenges that we face as adults, and especially as parents, is learning to sacrifice our wants and desires for the sake of our family. I believe that the very act of having a child is one of the most selfless things that anyone can do.

However, it’s easy to make decisions subsequent to a child’s birth that are selfish in nature. Though, sometimes we don’t realize it because we tell ourselves that we are acting in our family’s best interest.

“If this works, we’ll make a ton of money and be able to get the kids anything.”

“But I enjoy it so much.”

The hardest decision I’ve ever made

As some of you know, I am going to MBA school this fall. I was very fortunate that two of the three schools I applied to accepted me. Both of them are excellent schools. Both of them offer a unique and valuable experience. But one of them would have satiated my pride. The other offered financial security.

I struggled day and night up until the deadline to make the decision. Ultimately, I had to realize that although both options were good options, the one offering security for my family was the better option.

And the amazing thing is that I haven’t really sacrificed. I’m going to an amazing school and will have my family by my side. Is there really anything else that matters?

So when is risk-taking the right decision?

I wish I knew the answer to this question. What I can tell you is when it’s not worth it.

  • If someone’s life is put in jeopardy
    I had the awesome opportunity to go skydiving before I was married. I loved it! As newlyweds, my wife and I discussed our position on skydiving and other such high adventure sports. For us, we felt that the risk of death was too high. Once the kids are out of the house, then we can take more risks. So no skydiving for 20 years. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t skydive or do extreme sports. You just need to find a line or balance.
  • If someone’s health is put in jeopardy
    I don’t think you can understand the value of health insurance until you have children. Dumb, unexpected things happen. Sometimes, a not so enjoyable job with good health insurance is worth the price.
  • If your family’s finances are in jeopardy
    I’m a risk taker. My wife and I have started several companies (and spent a lot of money doing it). But we always maintained a source of income. We never became a burden for someone else to carry because we wanted to try an idea out. Let me be very clear. I’m not saying to never step out on a ledge and start something great. You just need to find that line between risk taking and stupid.

Is your spouse onboard with it?

If you haven’t guessed already, this post is really for husbands. Many of us have the good fortune of having a wonderful wife that supports us. What that unfortunately means is that, at times, women go along because they are so willing to sacrifice security for us men chasing our dreams.

If you decide to put some aspect of your family at risk, make sure that you truly have her support. Just because she says, “Go for it,” doesn’t mean that she isn’t screaming inside, “What the hell are you thinking?!”

I’ll be honest, I get pretty angry when I see people making selfish decisions that put wives and children at risk. I’m tempted to start screaming. But I’ll refrain and just blog about it. Hopefully, I’ll change some attitudes.

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My car affects my self esteem, and other reasons I’m pathetic

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My car affects my self esteem, and other reasons I’m pathetic


I need therapy. Unfortunately, it’s not in my budget. So instead of sitting comfortably in a recliner pouring out my heart to a straight faced psychiatrist, I’m sitting on an exercise ball in an unfinished basement vigorously typing out my thoughts to you, the reader. Please be nice.

old-minivanReason #1 that I’m pathetic: My car

My wife and I are looking to sell my baby (Hyundai Santa Fe) and purchase a car outright with cash so that we remove all debt except for our mortgage (Dave Ramsey would be so proud of me). Though last week, I realized just how much my car affects my self esteem. I pulled into a parking stall at our local grocery store and noticed the older, worn car parked next to my white beauty. Suddenly, thoughts of driving an older mini-van with more miles, fewer features, and some strange color flashed before my horror filled eyes. Making those monthly payments no longer seemed so bad.

Reason #2 that I’m pathetic: My ties

I was once told by a psychic that I had been a female in a prior life (which is a whole other story for another day). Apparently the desire for nice clothing carried over into this life. I have a large collection of ties of various colors and styles. However, I have very strict guidelines for my ties:

  1. I do not wear prints or solid colors (Regis Philbin).
  2. I only wear 100% silk.
  3. I don’t like anything wider than 3.75 inches.
  4. I only shop for ties at certain stores. And I won’t buy a style that is common.
  5. Last, I know how to tie my tie using about five different knots, though I use a slight variation of the Prince Albert knot because I want my ties to appear different from other ties.

IKEA-bookshelvesReason #3 that I’m pathetic: My bookshelves

My wife and I decided some time ago that books and music would replace television in our home. We purchased a nice set of bookshelves from IKEA and put them in our living room which is adjacent to the foyer. We have filled the shelves with books, framed pictures, and a nice clock we received at our wedding. Occasionally when people visit, I honestly hope that they notice the absence of a TV and our bookshelves filled with classics as well as the artwork on the walls.

Why am I telling you all of this?

It’s all about Opportunity Cost or the cost of the next best thing for which you could have used your money.

With each material object above, I have two options: (1) purchase and satiate an emotional need or (2) not purchase and place the money in savings or pay off debt. If you choose Option #1, then you give up all of the future returns from investments or the interest saved by paying down debt. If you choose Option #2, then you receive an emotional spike but fore-go any future emotional satisfaction from investment returns.

The truth is that I find my self-esteem, satisfaction, or whatever you want to call it in part supported by both a solid investment strategy and certain material things. Though, I believe that through self-discipline we can reach a happy medium.

For example, my wife and I almost purchased a sewing machine on Black Friday. But we decided that we would postpone the purchase until we have no debt but our mortgage, which should only be a few months away. This way, we pay off debt (yeah!) and can still make the purchase we desire (double yeah!).

The key is to understand the opportunity cost of your decision and then make a plan that allows you to both accomplish your financial goals and live the life that you desire.

So I just listed my car on Craigslist. This ends my confession.

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