I can have just about anything material that I want, y’know, and so can you. Luxury holidays in far-flung exotic places, a flashy car, designer clothes, expensive furniture… you name it, we can have it.
Let’s say I wanted to live in a bigger house. I could have it if I really wanted to. I could give up the security of living in a housing association, forget any ideas of paying off my credit cards at more than the minimum monthly payments, wave bye-bye to an emergency fund and privately rent a lovely big house that would be the envy of my friends. Or I could take on two or three jobs even though that would make me very ill, but it’d get me a mortgage the size to match the house. I could even go a step further and gather the money through fraudulent means but I’d be risking prison if I were caught.
As much as I’d like a bigger house, the fact is that financial security, a reasonable level of mental health and the ability to sleep well without worrying about the police knocking on my door are all far more important to me. Sure, I could have the house if I really wanted it, but the price would be way too high.
But that’s the thing with ‘wants’. We don’t always stop to think how much those things we want are actually going to cost us - the other things we also want and maybe even actually need, that we won’t be able to have because of that one particular thing, whether it’s an object, a lifestyle or even a friend.
We can have just about anything we want if we want it badly enough but there’s invariably a price to pay and while that price is sometimes acceptable, sometimes the price is WAY too high. I know that the lifestyle I’d been living caused not only my debt problems but my health problems to and, for me, that’s a price that just wasn’t worth it. Neither was it worth the pressure it was putting on me to “keep up”, let alone the damage it was doing to the planet.