When it comes to managing your money, I’ve learned that the lesson about starting over is the hardest one to learn.
It’s the one where you have to swallow your pride, bite the bullet, admit a mistake, or accept that life handed you a bowl of lemons and you have to deal with it.
My husband and I carved out time, reluctantly, for Money Meeting #6 with the purpose of talking of starting over.
We’ve spent the better part of the past year scrimping and saving to replenish our savings from when we had to do a big (expensive) garage foundation repair. And we had finally achieved our goal.
And then the transmission went out on my husband’s vehicle. Two weeks and $4,100 later (the transmission failing had caused other mechanical problems as well), we were right back to where we started.
We were discouraged at first, then grateful that we had been working to replenish our savings or things would have been much worse for us. But we have to start again.
I’m leaning on the words of my fellow writer Michelle, who so eloquently shared how she is surviving tight financial times. We cannot be derailed from our debt-free journey simply because we are tired. We must soldier on and keep saving even when times are tough.
My husband and I took a hard look at the budget and discussed what things we could cut back on for awhile.
We’ll work harder on couponing and we’ll eat out much less often than we have been. We’ve re-prioritized projects and trimmed their scope. We had considered doing a major landscaping project in front of our house this summer. Instead, we redid the edging with materials we already had and called it good for now. Plans for a longer family trip were replaced by a much shorter vacation a couple of hours away. A simple technology purchase (with gift card money we had) extended the life of one of my husband’s most beloved gadgets instead of replacing it.
We’re also exploring areas we may be able to bring in some additional income. We both do quite a bit of writing and there are freelance opportunities available to us. We didin’t have a garage sale this year, but we have lots of things we could sell (on eBay and Amazon and locally via Facebook).
Starting over isn’t easy, but we’ve done it often enough that we know we can do it. You just have to keep your chin up, appreciate all you do have, and keep moving forward.