Monday, July 9, 2007

Pursuit of Happiness

I know the movie, “Pursuit of Happiness” has been out for quite some time but I just recently watched it this weekend. I think it’s a must see for all those saving money and living a frugal lifestyle. This is a very touching and powerful movie. After watching, my husband and I looked around and said, “We truly are ‘rich’ with our living situation.”

We live in a very small apartment. Mostly by choice but also because we live in California. California sure is expensive and the cost of living just keeps going up while our income does not. Our apartment has one bedroom, one bath, small living room, kitchen, and out of nowhere a large walk-in closet. There are three of us in our family, myself, my husband and my 7 year old son. We all share the bedroom. It’s a very cozy living space.

One of our main goals is to see how little we can live off of to get by comfortably. Once seeing the Pursuit of Happiness, we realized that we are living really comfortable. The father in the movie struggles every day to provide for his son. Each and every morning he wakes up, he is not certain of what he will do for money or where the two will sleep that night. At one point he only has $22 to his name and no hope of income in sight.

It just makes me think of how much more we could do without to live simpler and cheaper. I would like to know that no matter what, our family can survive on a very small income and still be happy. I see big things for us in the future but being young I’d like our family to learn this valuable lesson.

I have taken huge advantage of spending money frivolously. There was a point in time when the three of us had to live at my parent’s house because I lost my job. I took full advantage of not having any bills. I spent my money on anything and everything I wanted. I didn’t save much except for just enough to get into another apartment. I can just imagine if I was smarter I would have saved so much more money at that time.

Pursuit of Happiness is also about following your dreams and making them come true no matter how hard the circumstances may be. I would really like to create goals and dreams that my family can follow in the next couple of years. # 1 being to save for a house.

I think there are so many ways to cut living expenses and save more. I'm going to spend this month trying to do just that. How little can a family live on? Well, in the movie the father and son did get by on $22 by utilizing free resources such as shelters. We are so blessed that we are able to take care of our son and make him feel safe in a nice comfortable environment.


Millionaire Mommy Next Door said...

Misti, I saw this movie, too, and loved it. Definitely provided food for thought. I love the insights you shared. Life is so much more than money. It is so important to keep what is truly important, to YOU, first and foremost. Your family is fortunate in many ways, primarily because you know what really matters.
~Millionaire Mommy Next Door

Adventures In Money Making said...

I enjoyed the movie as well.

its really commendable that you chose to save money for whats really important in life.

what a stark contrast to this post by a pompous single girl mocking frugal people.

Moneymonk said...

"It just makes me think of how much more we could do without to live simpler and cheaper"

By living in America, you are almost made fun of when you live frugal.

If you have a loving family, money put aside and current on all your bills. Do not worry about upgrading your lifestyle.

Take your time !!!

Sean Thornton said...

I liked that movie. I watched another good one yesterday called 'Astronaut Farmer'. It is a little off the topic of budgets and finances. I thought I would pass along the recommendation, since it was a fun movie.

dong said...

It's a question of pushing us to realize the difference between what we need and what we want. In America it's mostly about what we want instead of need. I don't pass judgement on induling wants - I indulge myself quite a bit, but it's important to take stock and reflect.

calgirlfinance said...

I just saw the movie two weeks ago. It was great. My one question was - did he continue to pay for childcare? If he only had $20, he was able to scrape up the $150 or $200/month to have someone watch his son?