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Being Different Requires Determination

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Different Requires DeterminationOften I’m asked why I didn’t take my husband’s name or why my daughter has my last name. It was the right thing for us but it isn’t right for everyone. I don’t particularly feel like I need to answer questions about the details but when you do things that are different than most people or common societal norms people will question it. And question it.

Same goes for personal finance. When you are doing things different from traditional expectations you will probably get a lot of questions. Some will be tame, more curious than anything. And others will be aggressive and may cause you to become defensive. But sometimes people will probe and ask questions that might make you wonder if you are making the right choice. Truly being different requires determination. You know if you are cutting back there are times when the pressures from family, friends and even inside yourself can get to you and make you question your whole plan. It happens to all of us.

How We Are Different Than Most:

On the money side we are committed to staying in our house and paying it off ASAP. Or “drop kicking the mortgage” as Scott would say. If we can get the mortgage paid off within a decade we will have financial freedom that much sooner. We live in a hot housing market and our house is worth way more than what we bought it for. Being at home with a walking (!) baby makes me realize how little room we have in some of the main living areas. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking at some bigger houses in the area. No one in my life would fault me for this. This is a starter home after all. But moving is not really in the cards and I want financial freedom more than I want more square footage. That doesn’t mean my bigger picture smarty pants decisions don’t require my determination to keep it up.

It’s Not Easy To Just Buy A New House:

That said, it isn’t super easy to change my decision.  I would have to go through a lot of effort to just sell my house and buy another one so there are points along the way where I could think “maybe I shouldn’t do that.” This is not the case if you are cutting back on spending money on lunches/coffee at work. If you work in an office where people grab lunch and takeout coffee often it can be hard to keep on track with your financial goals. When you constantly need to say “no” it can wear you down after a while.

If you are doing things differently than your circle you can feel frustrated with your decisions. You might think that it’s not worth it. You see the curated life on social media that you want too and feel supreme FOMO for what you are giving up. Feeling hesitation with your plan is okay. You are human and not a robot. Use that hesitation to force yourself to re-evaluate your position. Often you will clarify your position and give you an increased amount of determination to be on this different path. Many times it keeps you on track with your goals to do a gut check on your plan. I encourage it.

But remember that you will have to keep up your determination and if possible do whatever you can to make your daily decisions that help you work towards your goal harder to break or easier to accomplish.

Related: How We Took 6 Years Off Our Mortgage in 4 Steps

Make It Hard and Easy At The Same Time:

Automate what you can and don’t look at it. Make whatever you are doing to save money as fun as possible and/or streamline as much of the daily decision making so you aren’t worn out. Tell your friends and family about your goals and why they are important and ask for their support. If they are good friends they will have your back. If they aren’t, try to distance yourself because they will likely always sabotage you in some way shape or form.

Keep It Up, You’re Doing Great:

When you are doing things differently you will constantly experience questions about that difference. Know that you made the best plan that you could with the information that you had at the time and make sure you are doing what you want to best service your current and future self. Know that it is okay to feel doubt and hesitation about what you are doing and that just makes you human.

I would love to hear what you are doing that is “different” from normal societal standards and how you deal with the questions that could skew your determination on your plan.



  1. Ms ZiYou says:

    I absolutely love that you didn’t change your name, and your daughter has your name – do you want to be my new feminist hero?

    And I completely agree being different and going against what society tells us is normal is hard; you need grit and determination to get through it. But I also think after a while, you stop caring what people think, and that is the true nirvana like state. I’ve not got many F*cks left to give about certain things.

    • Couple of Sense says:

      I heart you!!! I admit I am a work in progress. I will be your feminist hero but you have to be mine.
      The older I get the less I care but I still do sometimes about certain things for sure. Which is why I’m not sad about getting older tbh.

  2. NZ Muse says:

    *high five*!!

    We are undecided about whose last name our kid will get. I actually really don’t like my name and don’t particularly wish to pass it down haha.

    I feel like being so close to having a kid, I’m feeling ALL THE DIFFERENCES, particularly as I have 3 coworkers all due within the same month as me! I’m not taking a year off (which is extremely unusual here). We’re buying basically everything 2nd hand (of the things we’re not being gifted). We definitely plan to be 50/50 coparents (as much as I envy those who can afford a year off, that doesn’t really set things up well for equality of responsibility from the start) and my husband is much more prepared/knowledgeable about babies than I am. And up until he became self employed last month (and got a work vehicle) we were still a one car household and planned to remain that way.

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