I’m sitting here reflecting on how, right at this very moment, I would be coming out of major surgery to remove my lady bits. But instead, I am home and able to celebrate the 16th birthday of my daughter.
About three weeks ago, dear husband and I decided that there was no way we could financially survive me not singing or teaching for two whole months. I thought long and hard about it all…weighed the pros and cons…finally deciding that in order for us to be able to eat and have a roof over our heads for the next year, I had to take one for the team. That makes it sound like I am the bread-winner; I most certainly am not. I’m more like the crumb-loser. But it occurred to me that it’s time that we needed to get real about what is really happening to us financially.
We are in big trouble. There. I just said it out loud. Most people don’t want to hear that. Many are in trouble too and don’t want to share that. Some simply just don’t want to know the real story. “GAH AHHHH!!!!DON”T TELL MEEEEEEE!”
My dear husband has been gently encouraging me to watch motivational videos by different financial analysts, ranging from get-rich gurus to more emotionally connected professionals like Suze Orman.
A really strange think happened to me when I started to watch them: I would choke up and bawl. I felt some strange emotions and I did’t understand why i was getting so upset. It was blocking me from really listening to what some of these people are trying to help me understand. Suze Orman really got me. She’s good. She basically pointed out that we are are a bunch of people walking around, not being real and not talking about our debt. And that’s why we all have it.
We are not a family that has ever had money. Never since we have been married….we have struggled to stay afloat for 18 years. EIGHTEEN YEARS. Yikes. We are people that barely meet the needs of our children, much less anyone’s wants. But they do get to do their sports and play their instruments and we struggle because we try to make that happen. We get ourselves into trouble “trying to make it work.” We don’t spend money to impress. We don’t care what our neighbors are doing or the other kids at school or even our friends. But wait. That’s a lie. We are trying to impress someone. Our children. We want to give them what they need and want to show them how much we love them and it’s killing us.
What is my greatest financial fear?
I have a couple: Losing our house. It’s very real right now. Therefore, not being able to provide a roof over our children’s heads. Another one? Feeding them. Getting number three her braces. Keeping number 2 in therapy. Making sure they can all go to college.
So, we set our goals. My first goal is to try to prevent all the scary things I just listed from happening. Have money on hand for emergencies. Start saving for things that we need to improve our house like floors and paint. Build a back paver. Remodel a bathroom.
Big goals? Vacation. We have never brought the kids on a vacation. No Disney, No Cabo, no skiing. Any trip we have taken, it’s been to Florida and it was gifted for holidays and birthdays by my parents. How grateful we are and how embarrassed we are. That’s honesty for you.
The saddest thing is we work hard. Dear husband has a great job. I teach around 25 lessons a week in three evenings and sing at night 2-4 nights of the rest of the week. I also have a part time day job at a friend’s store. Darling husband comes home from a long day and he feeds and takes care of our three kids while I work.
And it’s still not enough.
We don’t “go shopping” or “go out on dates”. We don’t have “credit cards”. We don’t have “cable” or “go do family outings”. Most of our money is spent on our mortgage, bills, food, school and paying the high interest on the loans we need to take out to make it another month. We are in a huge hole and we will not be OK until we can crawl out.
How are we fixing it? By being honest. Here it is. We are so broke, that I can’t get the operation I need. But, when one door closes, another one opens. Or in this case, when one ovary is not removed, we can make a mortgage payment.
We are working with a great budget program and have been analyzing our spending for the last three months. We are figuring out where we can save and make cuts. We are setting goals and will try to turn around the way we look at our money. The little we have. And we try like hell to make it grow.
As far as my Fallopian Tubes…oh well, stay comfy in there, you goofballs; we get to keep partying together until next January. Let’s make 2018 the best year ever. Midol, anyone?