Today I lounged on my new couch and watched my new television that the Best Buy installation crew just hung yesterday. But it's not exactly a formidable sign of my current financial status; I actually chose to splurge on the television when I found a no-fee apartment. The money I had saved to pay a broker went to a cute, little flat-screen LCD, which could be justified as a necessary purchase due to the very limited floor space.
I have a few more pieces of furniture to buy and plenty of decorating to finally begin. It has been a slow process because I've been spacing out large purchases based on the remainder of my relocation savings and the limitations set on my income by numerous New York City bills. It's hard to do everything at once and still contribute to my 401k, IRA and emergency savings account. There are lots of things I want, but I want to be smart. I don't want to be the man in the Lending Tree commercial: "How do I do it? I'm in debt up to my eyeballs!"
So I'm securing the things I need, and I'll get the things I want as I'm able to afford them. My preferred method of payment is by credit card because I want the rewards points, but since college, I've learned to watch my spending. I slip up some months when there are extra dates with friends or a pair of boots I absolutely have to have (I'm only human), but I try to keep the bill within what is fully payable each month.
As the granddaughter of a tax attorney, this way of thinking is ingrained - if not forced and/or genetic - through the generations. Though often viewed as cheap or stingy (as I frequently labeled my father when I was a child), I don't know that I'd now have it any other way. When it came down to it, his financial practices proved that his family would truly never do without what we needed even if we didn't always get what we wanted.
The current status leaves me in a half-furnished apartment with about 10 more small boxes left to unpack. It's a work in progress, but it already feels worth it.