I know a lot of young families have money struggles.
Although I think it's possible to avoid if you have the proper guidance and plan carefully; I also think it's an important season of life to experience.
|Tommy & I back in 2010|
When Tommy and I were first married, we were broke.
Seriously, we had a total of 4 forks in our kitchen which we had bought from the Dollar Store when we ran out of the disposable set my mom had given us - that's all we could afford to buy. Those first 12-15 months of marriage were the absolute hardest financially. Our number one goal was just to pay every bill and stay out of debt. And we did. We weren't even close to perfect with our money (and we still aren't) but we made sacrifices and God provided for us.
After a year and a half we finally felt like we not only had our feet on the ground, but we had decent traction and could start to "live a little". So we began to build our savings to buy a home.
|Our front entryway|
Two and a half months ago, our dream finally came true.
We bought our first house, with no other debt whatsoever and our emergency fund still in the bank! Our hard work and sacrifice had paid off. We finally felt like everything was coming together. We had a home (our fourth in 2.5 years) to settle our family in, begin to fulfill our homesteading dreams on, and it was perfect.
Two days after we closed on our house, Tommy lost his job.
Although we've been blessed that multiple times in the past few years, Tommy could leave his job for a better opportunity God provided us, this is the first time ever that we had lost one.
As much as I try to be optimistic and have patience, the truth is I'm human. We've been okay the past two months, we have our savings. But lately I'm impatient, frustrated, and annoyed.
I know it could be a hundred times worse than it is. But it's really hard to feel like everything we've been dreaming about doing and waiting to accomplish is on hold. Again.
It's really hard to feel guilty about spending money on anything that's not a need.
I can't justify spending $6 on new batting so I can start another sewing project. It's not a need.
I can't justify buying more FCLO, even though it was 40% off and I believe it's the reason I haven't even had a cold yet this winter, It's not a need.
I can't even justify getting Will's 1st birthday pictures taken... not even at Walmart or JCPenney. It's not a need.
I can't justify spending unnecessarily because I don't know how long it will be before we have income.
Normally, I'm all about being frugal and not spending large amounts of money - but it's different when you are watching this huge (to us) amount of savings you worked so hard to build just melt away. And it's different than when we used our down payment savings - now we're not even able to do enjoyable things or have something tangible to show for it; we're just trying to stay warm and eat.
Even though saying "No" has been a struggle, I am so thankful for what the Lord has opened our eyes to during this situation.
- We learned that a career field we thought Tommy was passionate about pursuing is not where he should be and not where God wants him
- We learned how to be a one car family and we kind of enjoy it actually
- We learned how to make Christmas simple and special without money - and why it's important
- We've learned that the upgrades we had planned on making to our home, aren't as important as other ones we could spend money on when we have it (um, hello new windows. I'm freezing here!)
- We've learned the weaknesses in our marriage from being together 24/7 for 2.5 months straight and can address them
- We've learned that Satan will use your moments of weakness and desperation to try and pull you away from God and the faith in His plan
- We've learned that Tommy is a hundred times better at getting the laundry done than I am. Honestly, when he is working again I am worried nothing will ever be clean - I am the worst!
Right now, we can only pray for a new job (in Michigan none-the-less) and continue to take care of our needs.
I don't know what God's plan is. I don't know how long it will take. But I whole heartedly trust He has a reason and if we continue to trust in Him, He will take care of His children.