The past year has been a challenge for us financially.
At every turn, it feels as if every time we take a couple of steps forward, something happens that sets us back a bit. We’ve had home repairs, car repairs, doctor visits, occupational therapy appointments, and have I mentioned how grocery prices keep going up?
My husband is a community college instructor and during the summer he teaches a couple of courses online. The money he earns over the summer is on top of his regular salary, so for a few glorious months we feel like we’re doing pretty well. We’ve learned how to deal with a fluctuating income, and have tried to use this time of year to replenish our savings. And we were doing fine.
And then we had a car vs. garage incident, meaning we need a new garage door. And then there was the case of the incredible growing boys. And gas prices went back up. And groceries went up. And suddenly the savings we had built over the summer was almost gone.
Back in the early days of this site, I wrote a rather Pollyanna-type post about Why a Recession is Good For Us. Now I’m just tired of it. This recession has gotten old.
Aaron over at Three Thrifty Guys shared a similar sentiment in his post Are You Just Getting By? + Living Wage Calculator. He lamented that despite what the numbers read, it felt like he was just barely making it. I can relate to that. I’m grateful we don’t have any car loans or credit card debt, but we have a massive mortgage and a list of expenses that eats up more and more of our flat-lined income.
There’s more we could trim from our budget. And I’m sure, if we tried, we could find a few new sources of income. But I’m tired.
So today, I am reminding myself, that while we made two steps forward, and took one step back, that still means we’re one step ahead of where we were.
We know what needs to happen to continue moving forward toward our goals. We just need to do it.
It reminds me of a verse from the song Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by The Avett Brothers:
When nothing is owed, deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it.
So I’m headed outside to soak up some free sunshine and remind myself of all the good that surrounds me. I’m going to revisit my goals and put some action steps into place.
I hope that no matter how discouraged you are when it comes to finances these days, you are able to find something to be thankful for, and use it to find the inspiration to continue to move forward – even if it means two steps forward, one step back.