First Person: Having Nice Things Doesn't Mean I'm Wealthy

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My husband and I are what most people would consider a middle-class family. We aren't overly wealthy, but with a carefully planned budget we do live fairly comfortable. However, some people assume we are wealthy because we have nice things. Their assumptions irk me because I spend a great deal of time and effort to stay within our budget so we can have nicer things. Here are three reasons people assume we are wealthy, and why they are wrong.

We own a nice vehicle

When people see my husband's truck most of them think it's newer then it actually is. We bought the truck used in 2007 when it was 2-years-old. It is now 7-years-old, but still looks great. Over the years we've heard more than a few snide remarks about being able to afford the truck, all of which are uncalled for. We bought a newer truck so it would (in a perfect world) last us longer. We had no other automobile payments at the time, which made covering the new payments that much easier. Truth be told, our monthly payments are only slightly more than what some of my friends are paying for older, less reliable cars.

Purchasing a home

We recently purchased our first home, and I have heard a few comments that have ticked me off. I try to ignore them, but they get under my skin no matter what. I finally confronted one friend that couldn't keep her comments to herself. I explained that buying a house didn't mean we were wealthy. I told her it simply meant that we worked hard to earn, save, and budget our money while making sure our financial responsibilities were meant. Home ownership doesn't require great wealth, but does require some financial discipline.

Luxuries

I will admit that I'm addicted to electronic gadgets, and probably have more than I should; however, that doesn't give someone the right to assume anything about me. Just because my husband and I can usually indulge ourselves by purchasing of a few luxuries a year, doesn't mean we have tons of extra money sitting around. When we make big purchases they are always well thoughout. We painstakingly comb over our available funds and tweak our budget to make it work, and even then there are usually sacrifices made elsewhere.

I truly believe anyone can have nice things if they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to achieve them. My husband and I aren't wealthy. We use careful planning, hard work, and compromise to reach our goals.

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