I loved this post from Andrea Dekker and thought it was so thought-provoking:
About 2 months ago, I shared a post about one of my pet peeves — when people complain about “not having enough time” for various activities.
The point of that post (which you can read in its entirety here) is that I almost never say “I don’t HAVE time for ______” because I know that if I really wanted or needed to, I could MAKE the time for that activity.
Instead I say, “I’m choosing not to MAKE the time for ___________ right now as I have other priorities.”
By simply changing the way I phrase things, I feel much more empowered, more in control of my time, and less defeated by everything I don’t get done each day. I know that I made the choice to do something else — whether it was tending to a sick child or taking advantage of really nice weather instead of doing my work or opting to make a big fancy meal instead of enjoying more free time — it was my choice.
Similarly, I almost never say, “We can’t afford that.”
This is not because we are “loaded” or have unlimited financial resources. It’s simply because I know that in almost every situation…”
Personally, I think that while there are legitimate things we cannot afford and in the early years of our marriage, there were many things we didn’t have room for in our budget, we’ve found that saying “We’re choosing to spend our money differently” helps us to remember that these are choices we are making based upon priorities we’ve pre-determined. And this causes you to approach your finances with a completely different mindset.
In addition, I agree with Andrea that it makes you feel empowered. Your money is not in control of you; you are in control of your money. You are choosing how to spend it. Even if you only have a little bit of money to spend, you still can choose to spend that little bit as wisely as possible.