At this very moment, we’re living in what feels like an entirely different world. This virus is certainly putting us in unique circumstances, and the one thing it’s forcing us all to do is rely more heavily on the essentials we find in our homes to get us through.
Now, some of us would disagree on what we consider “essential” — toilet paper is important y’all, but if push comes to shove, running out is certainly not the end of the world. But then there’s other items, like a TV, microwave, or credit card, that we simply can’t seem to live without nowadays — so would you believe me if I told you I don’t own any of them?
We didn’t exactly do it on purpose — well, maybe the credit card — but when I moved in with my husband after we were married five years ago, he didn’t own them. It was definitely an adjustment, to say the least.
Toaster Oven > Microwave
I remember walking into the kitchen the day after our wedding and asking my husband “Ummm… where’s the microwave?” Turns out the apartment we were renting didn’t provide one, and since he had purchased a toaster oven, there really wasn’t any counter space for a microwave.
It was a little strange at first — before moving in with him, I used the microwave every day, as I’m sure many of you do, too. Eventually, however, I realized it was totally possible to survive without one, and that I actually preferred it that way; cooking/reheating everything in the toaster oven made it all taste better — it just takes longer. I came to realize, though, that I was fine waiting a few more minutes for my food since it didn’t come out tasting like rubber.
Disclaimer: I’m definitely not over here thinking, “Oh, you have a microwave? Well, you obviously have no patience.” Trust me, I still wait at the toaster oven and beg and plead for it to hurry up because it’s taking forever. I even legitimately considered returning our new one because it doesn’t count down by seconds, just minutes. Patience is a virtue, but not one I often possess on an empty stomach.
My husband is what many would refer to as “tech-y,” so instead of buying a TV when he moved into our apartment, he rigged up some fancy set-up to make it so that we could watch whatever we want via projector/projector screen. We used it quite a bit while we lived there, but when we moved into our house — a fixer upper with wallpaper and orange carpet — you can imagine we didn’t have much time for binging Netflix, not to mention the time it would have taken to set everything back up.
So for a while, we just didn’t watch TV. Once winter hit and we had a little more time on our hands, my husband did end up putting it all together again. Eventually, though, we realized we were wasting waaaaay too much time. The time we spent watching TV could have easily gone into our seemingly never-ending list of house projects, and we were becoming increasingly sedentary.
So we took it back down and never looked back, for the most part. A few years ago, we invited some friends over for the Super Bowl and realized a day or two beforehand that we kind of needed a TV for that — true story. We did buy one for the occasion, but ended up returning it. We also were given a really nice TV out of the blue once, which came in handy when our second was born and I was mostly confined to the couch, but once I was back on my feet we put it into storage.
Honestly, we’re just weak. If we watch one show, we’re gonna watch another and another and another, and by the time we’re done we’ve either wasted valuable time, or it’s 1 a.m. and our sleep suffers. It takes a lot of self-control to keep from binge-watching, so we’ve chosen to eradicate the issue altogether by simply not owning a TV.
Of course, we still watch a show or movie once a week or so from my husband’s computer monitor (which is actually a TV, but he legitimately uses it as a monitor for work more than we use it for its intended purpose). But in the end, we’ve found that, for us, the time we spend watching TV just isn’t worth it in the end.
No Credit Card, No Debt
I consider ourselves very lucky for having been taught at a young age that possessing debt is not an asset. We both took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University before we became adults, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made as a couple. From the moment we started dating, we agreed debt was not at all attractive, and that we would never open a credit card.
So, believe it or not, we have no debt and have never been in debt (other than our mortgage). We have heard many times that not possessing debt makes buying a car or a house or things of that nature impossible, but that’s not true. It does take a few more hoops to jump through, but it is not at all difficult.
Not owning a credit card does take a lot of discipline, though — my husband attended Akron University, but only took classes as he could afford them, and after I graduated from high school, I attended LCCC on a two-year scholarship. I so badly wanted to go to Baldwin Wallace, but we flat out could not afford it. In retrospect, making those concessions was so worth not having thousands of dollars of student debt looming over our heads for years and years.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been moments where we have seriously considered opening up a credit card solely for the perks. Air miles, bonuses and kickbacks are all so so tempting for a cheapskate like me, but ultimately we’ve refused. Honestly, we know we don’t possess the willpower to not use a credit card as it was originally intended. Some people may, but we are certainly not one of those people.
Although we know our lives may be “easier” with these items, we will likely never go back, at least not any time soon. Maybe when we’re retired, we’ll return to the quickness of the microwave and the entertainment of the TV, but for now, we’re content and happy to use this increased time at home to get some much needed projects done and enjoy the extra snuggles with our girls — and it is oh so worth it.