As I discussed earlier this year, we are experiencing a time of financial change. Of course, the universe always seems to sense such things and likes to test our resolve – or is that just me?
Last year at this time, my husband had run a business since late March. This year, he did not get going full force until late May thanks to winter lasting way too long and a very rainy spring season. I mean, our kids had a snow day on April 19th, and schools don’t close here for less than several inches. And a week ago the meteorologist said we had rain something like 22 out of 31 days in May.
Needless to say, his income has not been anywhere near what we expected and things have been tight for us.
So, what can you do when it feels like there is barely any money coming in and you are not sure when you will be able to expect some?
Stay Positive. While it is not always easy to do, it is important to stay positive. Assuming you are doing everything you can, there is not much more you can do but wait it out. Stressing over it is not going to make much of a difference (again, assuming you have already been as proactive as possible). Even though it can be hard, I have put a smile on my face and done free stuff with my kids like playing games, cuddling up and watching a move (thank you rainy days), art projects, play dates with friends, stopping by a park and baking some treats from our pantry goods.
Creative Meals. Rather than resort to sad meals like PB&J or eating beans out of a can, I have dug a bit to be creative in our meals. I try to re-work leftovers and put them with fruits and veggies to round out another like-new meal. I have dug up some things from the back of the freezer and cleaned things out a bit. We had frozen hamburger patties, so I made buns to go with them, rather than buying them (from ingredients already on hand). Making brownies or cookies has been free or inexpensive (well stocked pantry) and these treats go a long way to making things feel normal for everyone.
Get Resourceful. When our extended family suggested going out for Father’s Day, we hosted brunch at our house instead. It did not even cost us $20 and it was a lovely day that my husband and father-in-law thanked me for repeatedly. I relied on pantry/freezer items and filled in with groceries where needed and when others asked what they could bring, I suggested things I did not have on hand already (fresh fruit, cheesy potatoes). I decorated with fresh cuttings from our landscaping and a nicely set table. We made cards for Dad and Grandpa ourselves.
Be sure to check out Financial Change: Getting Through the Tight Times (Part 2) for more tricks we have used to make it through this tight financial time.