I did a guest blog for the Association of Financial Counseling, Planning, and Education this week and it’s live! I’d love it if you’d go take a look and share your thoughts! http://www.afcpe.org/blog/
Have you ever had one of those weeks where SO MUCH has gone SO RIGHT? I mean, hour after hour, day after day life was just coming up ROSES?!?! That was this week for me.
Have you ever had one of those weeks where SO MUCH has gone SO…well, not so right? Again, I mean hour after hour, day after day, life just seemed to be the FERTILIZER for the aforementioned roses? That, too, was this week for me.
Truly, it’s all about perspective. I know some people who would focus on the negative and anything positive would’ve just been chalked up to “Well, now I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop…” or “Things can’t go this well for much longer, something bad is going to happen soon.” And I gotta tell you, this week was SO PERFECTLY balanced of AWESOMENESS and sub-awesomeness I wasn’t sure some days what was up and what was down. But, again–perspective.
AWESOMENESS: Skinny jeans ALL.WEEK.LONG; I got FREE workout tanks; I had AWESOME Spin and other classes at the gym; I ate a brownie for breakfast today; I ran over 4 miles and didn’t break myself; I was able to get some studying done before the semester officially started; I got an e-mail back from a research/professional contact that I’d been waiting on; a job offer to provide financial literacy education; excellent participation in class from my students this week; excellent reviews from my students this week; I got the preliminary “Okay” on a subject I want to submit for an ethics fellowship application; a suggestion that I prepare some research I’m working on now to submit a paper to the AFCPE conference; told that someone wants to work FOR me; new followers on FB; new followers on Twitter; I made the #FridayFive on the America Saves blog; the invitation to submit an interest in guest blogging for America Saves…truly, I could even continue.
Sub-awesomeness: The person who told our property manager that he would sign RIGHT THEN if we would take $775/month decided not to rent the house; my husband and I had a rather significant disagreement about money and fun; I had to order ANOTHER textbook because what I thought was confirmation of a book was just a comment of “yes, we’re only using a book” (so $101 wasted on a book and now $170 spent on the right book), a pipe burst in the wall of our house in Texas (the same one we’re trying to rent out) and we have to cough up $1430 to pay the deductible, which pretty much wipes our savings.
The Sub-awesomeness almost…almost…took the joy out of my entire week.
What’s funny…not ha ha funny, well kind of ha ha funny in a warped way…is that all the sub-awesomeness had to do with money.
Here’s the balance, the perspective, the reason that the AWESOMENESS outranks what could’ve been serious ugliness:
1. My husband and I cleared the air (again)–FYI, even professionals have differences of opinions with their spouses as to how to use money, what’s best, what’s most fun, and who should make what decision. We don’t disagree often, but when we do it can be a real humdinger.
2. The property manager told me today that there is someone else interested in our house–so much so that she is asking for room dimensions and won’t move to town until the 20th…after the house repairs are done.
3. The house repairs are completely covered by insurance except our deductible (to be expected).
4. We had money in savings to cover (granted, it doesn’t get to be used for what we were hoping to use it for, but at least it was there and liquid and we don’t have to put anything on the credit card).
5. Payday is next week so we get to immediately begin rebuilding savings. (Well, kind of. The dog has to have her annual check-up and my husband wants to take a quick family trip out of town…but we’ll still be able to put a few bucks aside…I think…).
What I’m saying is…LIFE HAPPENS. When it rains, sometimes it drizzles, sometimes it POURS. It’s all about perspective.
It’s only money.
WHAT? IS SHE SERIOUS?
I tell my students–men who are transitioning from incarceration into a work release program–I tell my students in every.single.class that while it’s not always easy, there’s ALWAYS a way to find savings…in this case to RE-build our savings, but even if you’re starting for the very first time.
I NEVER say it’s going to be comfortable. I never say there won’t be sacrifice, but it can be done.
Do we HAVE to take the short trip out of town? No. Will we? It depends on how much we have left over after the bills are paid, the dog is to the vet, and at least $100 is put back into savings. Do we have to eat out if we take the trip? Nope. We’ve got our cooler…so, we may be able to have our cake and eat it too.
I could cut cable. The new semester is here, Kaden has started basketball, we’re SWAMPED with things to do…that’d save us $50 easy…I’ll have to broach that as an option.
The heat is already down, but I could go one more degree without anyone noticing…and I could limit showers to 5 minutes and Slaeda could take a shower instead of a bath.
I don’t coupon NEARLY like I should. I could stop going to the store (except for milk for the next couple of weeks) and just use what we have at home. It’s not as if the pantry and freezer aren’t sufficiently stocked. I may not want the danged brussel sprouts, but I can eat them. Slade may have to go without soda for a few weeks–that’s quick money to put into savings–but he has a coffee pot and plenty of coffee, so no harm, no foul.
I could have let a few–yes just a few in number, but big in terms of financial and emotional impact–less than awesome things really affect my perspective on this week. But, I’ve worked too hard to fix the mistakes I’ve made in the past (i.e. using my almost maxed out credit card to be my emergency fund, not having ANY savings to speak of, paying my rent via a cash advance off of a credit card, putting groceries on a credit card, shopping when I’m stressed or sad)…I’ve worked too hard to get out of those situations and stay out to let a few hits get me down.
Listen. If money woes have you in their grasp, take a step back. Separate your emotion from your money–much easier said than done, believe me, I know. Look at ONLY the numbers. Where can you cut? Don’t sacrifice any needs (roof over the head, food on the table, utilities paid, clothes on your back, transportation), but cut back where you can and buckle down for a few weeks or months until you get back to where you want/need to be.
When it rains, sometimes it pours…but look for that rainbow too!