Suburban Snapshots

Still Cheaper Than a Baby

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When you spend five years waiting for your quality of life to improve the way you hoped it would when you left the city, and when it seems to take forever for that to happen despite your best efforts, and when you're tired of needing handouts from generous and loving relatives and then finally, FINALLY you catch a break, well, what do you do?

You impulsively spend thousands of dollars. Duh.

October marked the first time since we moved out of Boston that both Steve and I are simultaneously employed full-time by people other than ourselves. We immediately started noticing the perks: Sitting to pay the bills ALL AT ONCE, in full. Confidently dropping off Anna's daycare check every Friday. Running my car almost completely out of gas and then simply pulling up to the pump and filling it with the 93 octane it requires (gah, Germans!) Going to the grocery store multiple times per week and ordering the occasional pizza without checking to see what might bounce as a result. Life was sweet.

We weren't used to it. Despite alternating pay weeks, I kept waiting to find our checking account at sixty cents (I think our record was actually seven cents). I could see Steve's entire body  clench if I walked in the door with a bag from Target, wise to their eighty-dollar cover charge.

But soon we started enjoying ourselves a little more, finding ourselves daydreaming about luxuries like a savings account and 401(k) contributions; turning the heat up to sixty-FIVE.

In the lean times, Steve definitely sacrificed more than I did. He's not one to spend money on himself and would only reluctantly accept the jeans I'd buy him on clearance or the Manchego that wasn't on sale. I'd get by on an occasional five-dollar latte just to remember what disposable income felt like.

So when he started bookmarking vintage motorcycles he'd find on Craigslist and researching them online, I got a little excited. I wanted something fun and spontaneous and kind of stupid for both of us, but mostly I wanted Steve to treat himself to something totally impractical. When we went to the dealership to "just look," the owner made us such a great deal that I may have body-checked Steve into the office to see about financing. He was approved.

Right now the motorcycle is sitting in heated storage at my parents' house, waiting for the thaw. Every now and then Steve and I look at each other and wonder what the hell we were thinking (it's just like that one time I got pregnant).

We're on a new budget to ensure we build some savings, and it's actually been nice to tighten our belts voluntarily for a change. The bike might not be the smartest investment we could have made, but you have to live a little, right?

blog comments powered by Disqus