Two Families with Vastly Different Buying Habits and Priorities

My neighbor right next to us bought his house at the same time we bought ours. Both were newly constructed in a suburban neighborhood plan, and we bought the one that was a few thousand less in cost. He actually had first chance at ours, but he and his wife wanted more of the bells and whistles in their home now. We opted for an unfinished basement and space above the garage. His house even came with appliances in the kitchen. We brought ours from the old place. He got fiber optic Internet and we got AT&T Internet with a home phone line and digital TV.

He rents a couple of storage spaces down the road for stuff. We saved and built a garden shed ourselves. He has to have a new car every one or two years and so does his wife. I’m still driving the car my parents gave me in college. He talks to me about how he is barely getting by and has little to pay into his retirement. We are on track to retire about five years earlier than we were planning to. Our kids wear off-brand clothes and we go to a discount shoe place. We don’t dine out four times a week, and we will brown bag our lunches. I guess it is a lifestyle choice based on the priorities you have. Ours is to get the kids into a good college and still be able to retire early so we can enjoy grandkid time while we are still young.

Everything we have works as good as what they have. Their kids’ designer clothing does not protect them any better than what we buy. His car gets him to work and back, and so does mine. His Internet service meets their needs and so does ours. And, by the way, we are heavy Internet users here at our house. Our refrigerator keeps our food cold the same as his fancy one does. Our house is even actually cleaner because it is less cluttered with junk we are not using or need. To each his own, but common sense and priorities do mean something.