money melancholy: finding hope in the tunnel

We have been run. over. with financial crap lately.  I guess I should be a little less hyperbolic lest I jinx us…

Seriously, though, our money situation is not the awesomest.  We got dealt some bad cards recently.  It could be way worse, of course, but this is a serious setback for us.

David’s income is irregular – he’s paid a lower salary and then earns bonuses based on meeting/exceeding his targets each quarter.  As he is our only source of income right now, this makes budgeting super important but also very tricky and difficult for me to wrap my brain around.

Now, things are going to be even tighter.  I’m sorry for being vague.  Essentially, we got the short end of the stick in a child support case.  I don’t want to go into too much detail because I don’t want this to turn into a rant and because I’m trying REALLY hard to stay positive.

Having to really, really fine tune our budget and re-train how our brains think about money and spending will be SO good for David and me in the long run.  Right now, though, it’s pretty scary and will cause me to panic if I give it too much time to roam around my brain.

We can do hard things, though, right?  (God bless you, Glennon Doyle, for that mantra.)  I keep repeating that to myself.  We will figure this out.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  My husband and I are solid.  Our kids are healthy.  We can make it work.

So.  Here’s what I’ve been doing to help my brain manage all of this:

  • I’m working my way through Crystal Paine’s The Money Saving Mom’s Budget and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.  I have found some really great advice on managing our lives in general, as well as awesome tips and strategies for budgeting and saving money.  Ms. Paine is good at breaking all of it down into manageable tasks, which helps make it all less overwhelming.  I know many moms (including myself, of course) feel pressured to do it all and to do it all well without breaking a sweat or asking for help.  That’s just not possible.  These books have truly helped me remember to work towards each goal step by baby step.  Then, even when things don’t work out as planned, at least I know I’m still moving forward and I don’t have to feel guilty or like a failure for not being perfect or solving all the problems overnight.
  • My daily devotional is on my to-do list.  When God is in my brain, it’s a whole lot nicer up there than when I’m trying to control it.  I LOVE Jesus Calling.  It’s quick, and it seems to speak straight to my heart.  No matter how many times I read it, it always says just what I need to hear when I need to hear it.
  • We’re trying with all our might to choose love over fear.  I would love, in this trial, in this tunnel, to find the hope and the joy.  I want to look back on this time and know we thrived.  I don’t want my babies to spend these years in a house filled with fear and anger and negativity.  So, we’re all going to take deep breaths and focus on the love.

We’re going to give this mess to God so He can make it beautiful.  We know He will because He always does.

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