Handling The Tradeoffs

Kathleen and her Norwegian boyfriend both live in London. They each travel to visit their families and attend events. How do they weigh this against getting through their debt snowballs?

QUESTION: Kathleen and her Norwegian boyfriend both live in London. They each travel to visit their families and attend events. How do they weigh this against getting through their debt snowballs?

ANSWER: Pretend you were unemployed and bankrupt. What would you do about all of this travel then? Missing some events is part of choosing to live in London. London is a wonderful place, probably one of the cooler towns in the world, but there's some tradeoff. The lifestyle that you and he have chosen forces you to make some difficult decisions. You have some upside to the life you chose; you have some downside to it. I'm going to suggest that you choose to do some of these things, and in order to do those with wisdom, you're going to have to choose to not do some of these things. I don't think you can be all things to all people, live in London, and date a Norwegian guy. It's not going to work unless you go ahead and double your income.

I'm not trying to be facetious, but the problem with this whole money thing is that the money is finite. There is a limited amount of it. You are always—regardless of your income, your status, or your living situation—forced to choose to not do something in order to do something better. You always are. You're going to make a difficult choice because we all make those. You're going to choose to be in debt, or you're going to choose to not do something. That's a hard lesson. No matter how much money I made, I've never been able to not have to say no to something. There's always something you can't do. There's no income level you reach where that stops. You're going to have to learn to say no to somebody.