mo' money, mo' happy

Setting ourselves up and establishing our household has proven especially difficult, given the double-whammies of both of us being on one income, and the somewhat 'challening' economic times. Getting ahead has been a struggle, and one that I think we're starting to lose, given a few well-placed multiple-hundred-dollar expenses and a couple more looming on the horizon.

The good news is, we have enough. The better news is, most days we are content with enough. There are times, though, when it's all I can do not to go on a 'spending spree' - which constitutes purchasing anything more than about 4 bucks.

I read recently (in an uncited article from MSN Health) that there IS a threshold at which point having more money actually does make a difference in your level of happiness. The article put the threshold right around $40k a year. With me working for a nonprofit and my husband in grad school with part-time internships, we land under, but close to, the line.

Sometimes I am convinced that we really would be better off if we had a little more money. We could get out and SEE this wonderful city where we live; right now, ANY charge at the door is prohibitive.

That means no awesome museum tours, no Third Thursdays, no Fidos after Five, no Maymont, no canal cruises. No sweet concerts at the National or Innsbrook. No hitting the great shops in the fan and Carytown. There is so much cool stuff going on, and we can't see it

It also means we can't sink our teeth in any of the great local cuisine, because we just plain can't afford to dine out. And that right there is a cryin' shame. Because Richmond's got a lot of good eats.  I don't even want to think about this one, because it makes me sad.  We'll leave it at this:  in the year that I've lived here, we've eaten at these local restaurants:  Sticky Rice, Kuba-Kuba, Mama Cucina's, Hill Cafe, La Casita, Coppola's, Dot's Back Inn, and Robin's Inn.  We've also had ice cream at Bev's and pizza at Zorba's (on Northside) and Mary Angela's.  A number of these ventures were complimentary, a couple others at lunch.  I have a feeling that a lot of you folks visit more places in the course of 3 weeks.  

Sometimes I get profoundly sad about all the things we're missing.  And I really do think that if we could eek our income just a little higher, it would make a real difference.

Richmonders - we're new in town.  What am I missing, that wouldn't cost?  Is there a place to find restaurant deals?  Dog-friendly is also a perk.

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