June 29, 2008

Sacrifice or Choice?

Posted in Finances, Inspiration, life tagged , , at 2:14 pm by otherdeb

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been reading NoCreditNeeded‘s series on “33 Days and 33 Ways to Save Money and Reduce Debt”.

In one of the response posts to his post on Sacrifice, Single Ma at Fabulous Financials gives her take here

I was thinking about what she said, and to some point I disagree.

For example, she notes that: “When I was a young teenage mother and cash was tight, I had to make sacrifices to create a better life for my child. I didn’t have a choice. It was something I had to do. Some nights I ate cereal for dinner in order to afford diapers. Some days, I had to miss work resulting in less pay because I had to stay home with a sick child. Some months I didn’t pay the electric bill because I needed money for transportation to work/school. They were sacrifices. I didn’t have a choice.” Without casting aspersion on her actions, since there are far too many days I eat mac and cheese to afford paying bills, these are still conscious choices that she is making. Granted they are the choices that consensus reality tells us are the “right” things to do in that situation, but they are still choices and she still had the option of choosing not to do so, even if the results would not have been to her liking.

Further along she notes that: “My point is, the difference between a sacrifice and a choice is your ability to maintain no matter which path you take. Sacrifices are painful and necessary. Choices are willful and selective decisions.” Well, yes, choices are willful and selective decisions. But choosing to do something “painful and necessary” rather than to not do anything is still making a choice, no matter how you slice it.

For the record, though: Whether we do without as a conscious choice, or because we “can’t afford” to do otherwise, we choose all the time. Remember, even doing nothing is still a choice.

Do you make sacrifices or choices, and why? How does how you frame the action affect your reaction to having to do it?


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