I had a conversation with a family member tonight and I haven't been able to put it to rest in my mind. The conversation began with me mentioning that I told DH we would not be getting an air conditioner unit installed, until I could save up the cash for it.
When she (the family member) asked me why, I laid our debts out in front of her and explained that I felt overwhelmed and wanted to pay them off as quickly as possible. I simply did not want to add any more debts to our pile at this stage. She smiled at me and said 'yes, but this debt isn't a want anymore, it's a need'.
Usually, I don't think twice when told by most people what they qualify a need or want as.. but I did this time for one reason - This particular person that I was having a conversation with is super frugal and has been for decades. I've never known her to spend carelessly in any department and I believe she has a strong sense of need versus want. She is probably the most frugal person I will ever know. And it made me think. And I wondered.. "could I really just have become such a tightass that I can't even see what's necessary in life anymore?"
So I'm asking for opinions.. Tell me what you honestly think (I won't be offended).
Here are the details:
-The air conditioning unit will cost us 4,500.
-We live in an area that hits 100-113 farenheit on some summer days with very high humidity. Our house has poor (read: no) insulation and I have four little ones (including an infant) at home.
-Summer officially ends in 4 weeks, but as we don't have typical seasons, it may not mean very much in the end.
-I suffer from heat induced migraines but have just been 'putting up' and making do with keeping cold rags on my head, splashing water on my face regularly and literally sitting in front of the fan all day.
What are your thoughts? Would you have continued to wait it out if you were living in those conditions for 3 long months (and in that financial situation)? Did I really do my family a disservice here? I thought keeping my family free of debt was 'serving them well', but now I'm not so sure I made the right choice... All input is appreciated.
Edited by LoveOurBabies - 1/29/13 at 10:00pm