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Posts Tagged ‘budgeting’

Most people keep their financial stress somewhat hidden. We allow others to see a through a small window, but we control how far that window is open and when we shut it. The problem with this is we then have no accountability. There is a reason we call it “spiraling down” and “climbing up” when referring to hardships, especially financial hardships. Spiraling down is easy and happens before we know it; yet climbing back up is difficult, confusing, and takes much discipline. Hopefully we learn lessons along the way.

I think I can confidently say that I was raised by two people who knew exactly how to manage their money. Sure, we weren’t rich. But the very fact that we struggled and still survived taught me both humility and responsibility. Both my parents had different methods on handling their money, and both of them taught me key lessons on the subject matter. Now in my life I’m thankful for this very solid background. However, my personal financial journey has been an interesting one. It’s embarrassing. And it’s taken years and years of realizations and brokenness to get to where I am today. I think it started when I moved in to my first apartment. I wasn’t quite financially independent but there was still a certain freedom in the air. I always prided myself on being so good at saving. I worked in customer service and I had about 18 hour weeks at very minimal pay, yet I managed to save up quite a bit of money. Up until this very point in my life I always saw this as an accomplishment. I saw it as proof that I knew what I was doing. I didn’t have any credit cards, I bought groceries at aldi which racked up to about 50 dollars a month (I also ate a large meal at work every day for free), And I had money left to pay all my bills and get all my gas and everything you become so proud of doing in the beginning. Yet my pride was actually a veil covering my eyes, it was a set of blinders that kept me living in a fantasy world. During this time in which I was financially blind, I got married and we got a couple credit cards and we got really really excited about being grown ups. And that was all it took. Micah had a pretty good job when we got married so I had the means to be disciplined in paying off my credit cards and at first I was able to keep up with them. We’d buy some expensive things and in about a few months our card would be paid off. But this was the very first time that both of us were 100% financially independent and for some reason we got an apartment that cost $1200 a month alone on rent. Everything happened so fast. Before I knew it we were looking at houses. I give us credit on making one smart move, we moved out of that money pit into a dumpy apartment $400 dollars cheaper. We saved enough money for a down payment. But our pride was only growing. It was a tough year, we were still only one year married and despite how well we knew each other this definition of “Mr. & Mrs.” somehow created a gap between us. We came to be on different pages in life. I remember praying that God would bring us closer to Him and to each other. I didn’t know then what kind of journey we would have to go on in order for that to happen…..

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