So. The stuff I wrote cryptically about here and here is now coming to a head. I can't really blog about this stuff because it is work-related. This is incredibly hard for me because writing helps me worth through these kinds of things, and I really would love to just spill every bean all over the internet. But blogging about work is a no-no for me, sorry (especially since I am still planning to reveal(!) our faces on this blog soon).
But what I will say is that the husband (who I just made the executive decision to call "Pink Hubby,") and I are getting used to the idea that for an indeterminate amount of time, we may be operating on an income that is about 50% of what we've become accustomed to.
First of all: it's Ok. We have been preparing ourselves for this for months. We haven't been very good with the financial prep (weddings and new houses will do that to you), but we have, at least, become mentally and emotionally prepared for this blow. The outlook was pretty good until just a day or so ago, but new factors have surfaced that are not favorable to us. How is that ever remotely OK? Well, we're feeling more relieved and disappointed than panicked. That kind of stress and uncertainty, spread out over a whole summer when you're supposed to be excited about your new house and upcoming wedding, are really hard to deal with.
Now, where's the bright side?
- No more stress of not-knowing-wtf-is-going to happen.
- We do still have some income, and it's enough to keep us afloat.
- This has helped us to recognize what's really important to pay for, and what we can live without.
- Less money also equates to more free time. We can use this free time to focus more on school and to spend more time together.
What else? Aside from our normal bills, mortgage and car loans, we don't have any other monthly payments. We are paid in full on our wedding, our rings, our furniture, television, and other "frivolities" that we've bought semi-recently. No credit card debt either. It is a really good feeling to look around our house and have nothing to "blame" for our financial situation. "Bought and paid for" is a really good way to live your life, people. Yeah, it'd be good if we didn't have two one-year-old vehicles that we're paying for on installment. Then we'd be sitting pretty. But eh, what can you do? We're not perfect.
And what if it all works out hunky-dory and this has all been a big scare? That'd be great! But it's a scare we needed. We needed someone to slap us a couple of times and say "Hey! times aren't always great! Don't spend so irresponsibly!" Like I said earlier, we're not in a bunch of stuff-debt. But we also don't have a ton of savings. We make money, and we spend money. Eat out a lot, go to lots of movies, buy each other extravagant presents. If there's one thing this "scare" (which at this point is still a scare, but is hurling ever-so-quickly toward a reality) has taught me: it's Think Harder Before You Spend. Do I really need another pair of shoes? Yes, sometimes I do. Haha. But other times, I could take that "shoe money" and stick it in our savings account. Or pay down the car loan with it. Or something a little more responsible than unnecessary creature-comforts.
We're fortunate enough (or at least we have been until now) to both have good-paying jobs that keep us feeling 'privileged'. We should be using our excess money to pad the future for us and our (someday) children. We should be snowballing debts and following a budget, even though we often didn't really NEED to follow a budget (until now). These are things that, when we dig ourselves out of our current crisis, I fully intend to focus on.
Perhaps this situation has been a wake up call for us. And that's the bright side.
(Now, can we please have our larger, steady income back?)