photo credit: Jodi Womack
It’s been a tough year for us.
No pay raise for the fourth year in a row. A leaking basement. Two major car repairs. One broken water valve. Several flu bugs that knocked us out for days. An eye injury. A foot injury. Not to mention that gas, food and clothing prices took a big jump.
It has been a challenge to keep a positive attitude. I remember one particularly bad month, in which we paid more than $4,000 out of our savings to cover a multitude of bills. I was crushed that all of our scrimping and saving resulted in us paying for bills over which we had no control, and frustrated that we wouldn’t be able to use that money for fun things we wanted.
But a dear friend reminded me of my blessings. She reminded me how dire our situation would have been if we didn’t have that money in savings. My mother reminded me that my husband has a great job that is relatively secure. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table.
I was reminded that the hard times are exactly why we work so hard to save money. Our frugal lifestyle ended up acting as a shield against the high prices, the unexpected house and car repairs. I know that we will be able to rebuild our savings with time. Because as low as our savings account dips, we cannot lose the money-saving skills we’ve learned on our journey.
Another friend of mine started 5 Things on Facebook. Each week, she encourages people to share 5 things they are grateful for. It has been inspiring to read of others’ blessings and it has encouraged me to keep things in perspective when life gets tough.
Whenever I get discouraged, I now try to come up with 5 things I’m grateful for. I have often said that when it comes to saving money, the little things you do add up. Remembering the little things that make life good (like hot showers and warm slippers), add up, too.
So when you are feeling down on your luck, take a few minutes and list 5 things. It won’t solve your problems, but it does take the sting out of them.
I appreciated your post a lot. This has been the worst year of our lives and while it seems things are better now, I am still struggling with thankfulness. I do understand that despite the year, we are so much more fortunate than many – especially those around the world. In part, I just feel tired – too tired to muster up the energy to be thankful. But your post was helpful to me. Sometimes it’s just taking the next step that helps us to move in the right direction. 5 things is pretty simple, right? Thank you.
Christina Brown says
Dear, Sheila – I’m sorry to hear you have struggled so much this year and I’m happy that my post was able to help a little. Some days, it is really, really hard to find the 5 things…. but there is always something you can think of if you try. I hope that 2012 is a much better year for you and your family!