This year is all about saving money every day while trying to increase your income potential. If you did one thing each day that could save as little as $5 over the course of a year, you could have an extra $1800 in your pocket at the end of the year. Not all of these tips may apply to you, so to keep it fair, not all of them will apply to me.

Sometimes, you do the math every which way from Sunday, and you still can’t afford it. This year there is an important family trip for a 50th Wedding Anniversary, and I’ve looked through our budget, checked it twice, and there’s just no way. All they want is for the whole family to go on a cruise to Alaska. The problem is it’s $820 per person, and that’s if we don’t ever leave the ship. It’s also a seven day cruise, so we lose a week of work. In short, it’s going to cost us about $3000 for this one week. A decision has to be made because the $500 deposit is due in two weeks.

A family member called and said they knew it was short notice and we’re not financially solvent, so they’d help with the deposit. But what happens when we still can’t afford it when the final payment time comes around? This is one of those times where I wish we didn’t have debt. I wish we could afford it, but we can’t. Staying married for 50 years in this world is certainly worth celebrating, but there’s no way we can afford $3000 to do so. The money to pay for this cruise is the equivalent of one-two months income for us. It’s a down payment for an FHA loan on a lot of houses here. The math doesn’t work.

I am not ashamed, though. Our heart is in the right place. We want to go, but we cannot afford to. It’s rather simple. Hopefully, a miracle will happen in the next two weeks; if it doesn’t, I’m just hopeful that taking them out to dinner will be acceptable.

How much money do you think has been spent because people were too embarassed to say, “I can’t afford that? How much money do you think could have been saved if people weren’t trying to “keep up with the Joneses?”

I know this post doesn’t have a clear dollar amount of what you can save, but I’m hoping it will offer you solidarity. There are people out there (me) just like you who are saying, “I’m sorry, I would love to do everything in the world, with you and for you, but I just can’t afford that.” I’m sure I’ll be able to afford these things later in life, but we’re a young couple. We’ve been married for five years and have already dealt with long-term unemployment, health limitations, and debt. I will do everything I can, but I won’t do what I can’t, and I am not ashamed.

365 Days of Saving Money: $635 Annually (Running Total), Peace of Mind & Solidarity