Screw your false dichotomies – we don’t need ’em

It's not always an either or - the myth of false dichotomies

Ever heard someone spout something along these lines?

“I’d rather be broke and healthy than rich and sick”

“I’d rather be broke and happy than rich and alone”

I hate that. SO MUCH. I find those kinds of sayings pretty darn disingenuous.

Being broke doesn’t automatically preclude you from being unhealthy. Fruit and veges aren’t cheap. Healthcare and medicine cost money. Broke and sick is just as much a possibility as rich and healthy!

Being broke doesn’t guarantee you a great relationship. Money stress is a huge strain on any couple. If anything, financial security is a good thing for the overall health of any relationship!

Please, let’s stop pretending lack of money automatically makes you a better or happier person somehow.

Personal finance is full of these weird black/white dichotomies.

But it’s not always an either/or.

Devoted, loving, domestic partner who makes no money, vs a workaholic, emotionally unavailable baller.

Screw that. You deserve better.

A cute apartment in the central city vs a McMansion in the suburbs.

Or in my city and my price range: overpriced, cramped apartment vs leaky townhouse vs humble older do up house. Sure, there are modern suburban McMansions, but most of us aren’t buying those – we’re buying the small 1960s-70s do-up houses that we can actually afford.

A job you love paying poverty wages vs a job you hate paying six figures.

Sure. There’s a reason many jobs pay the big bucks. But not all low-paying jobs are awesome. There are also shitty jobs that pay poorly and great jobs that pay well. Highly paid jobs are typically stressful, but you know what? In many cases, so are low paying jobs. And they usually also have less flexibility and autonomy. It’s hard to love a dream job forever if it means you can’t live the life you want to live overall.

A $1k beater vs a brand new car you’ll be paying off forever.

I’m biased here – buying cheap cars we could afford in cash never worked out well for us. Borrowing for a car was the best car decision I’ve ever made. We’ll stick to used cars around the $10k range, thanks. Obviously, be smart about getting a car loan if you go that route.

You don’t have to settle for one or the other. Remember that.

4 thoughts on “Screw your false dichotomies – we don’t need ’em

  • Reply Revanche April 23, 2016 at 05:30

    Middle-road walker, right here! Most of the time.

  • Reply Jamie April 24, 2016 at 10:42

    Choose wisely between the two.

  • Reply Prudence Debtfree April 27, 2016 at 14:41

    This post is so brief, but it cuts through to such an important point. We do become accustomed to writing in terms or either/or in the pf bloggosphere, but there are actually many options. I find myself all over the map : )

  • Reply Harmony@CreatingMyKaleidoscope May 2, 2016 at 03:42

    I follow a lot of financial independence, early retirement blogs, but find myself creating a new middle ground. It doesn’t have to be full-time work until you have enough to retire. My plan is to pay off our debt (including mortgages on our house and the rental property) and then just doing some part-time work to cover living expenses. Sometimes the best choices are the ones you create yourself.

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