I started thinking about that after watching a report about how the elderly are handling things nowadays. It's always brought up that retirees are living on a fixed income but really, outside of salespeople whose commission can vary wildly from month to month, who isn't? Pumpkin and I work 40 hour weeks. My paycheck doesn't change. Neither does hers. That's a fixed income, right? So where's the profile on me? The advantage to having a fixed income is (unless you're a moron) you know what you can and can't afford. Pumpkin and I have tossed out cruises to the Bahamas and trips to Australia off the vacation possibilities list. Our trips this year look like they'll be to Wisconsin for family visits. My new Wisconsin motto is "Where the accommodations are always free, and there's always coffee a brewin". Not very catchy, but the point is that living with a fixed income should be easier than living with a variable one. Kind of like how having a fixed-rate mortgage gives peace of mind that a variable rate can never hope to provide.
It seems simple to realize what you can and can't afford to do, but even the simplest of concepts seem to escape more people. A red light means stop, a lighted elevator button doesn't need to be pushed a second time, and you never, ever need to buy a boat. Yet, as you read this, someone just ran the light and caused an accident, someone is feverishly pushing that button thinking it quickens the speed of deceleration, and some poor sap is turning to his wife and going "Aw, let's just do it. Live a little!". In the meantime, I'm going out to dinner with some friends on Sunday night, and to me that means we'll have the rest of our weekend meals at home to save money. Fine by me.
That's another advantaged of a fixed income. The ability to plan ahead.