Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In the Meantime

Well today was almost a tragic day.

Of course, anything that goes wrong promises tragedy when I'm involved. Especially when it comes to money or cars or things like that. I won't go into all the details because it's pretty much the same old story - no money, need money, don't have enough money, etc. I think if you've ever read my blog you understand this factor. LOL!

Well so the reason that I bring it up without explaining is to comment on how far Brent and I have come on the money front. We are out approx $400... but it's okay. Yup, you heard me -- we're not borrowing money, I'm not taking money people offer, we aren't talking about our issue to people beyond this little blog and its 7 followers and occasional glances from Facebook. My electricity will stay on, the water will stay on, and I have plenty of food and even gas money.

It astonishes me that even a few months ago I would have been devastated at the prospect of what we currently are looking at. Maybe it's Brent's attitude - it is, after all - only money. I like to think that I've grown a bit as well - because today my tragic moments lasted for about 10 minutes. I got upset, explain to Brent what happened, cried, wiped away my tears and sat down and budgeted. And, since we've been preparing ourselves for unexpected issues and things, we have money for the next two weeks, and we'll still pay all our bills this month.

I remember moving out of my parents house when I was 18. Brent and I got an apartment together in Chattanooga. We paid $300 a month in rent, approx $40 a month in electric, and our water was covered. We shared a car, I took the bus alot. Brent and I both had full time jobs, making decent money for 18 year olds. We paid $300 a month on the car.... that was it. All the other money we had was food or whatever we needed or wanted. Within a few short months, we had not only depleted our savings (about $2000) but were also quickly creating credit card debt. Now in some defense, most of the savings went to deposits and down payments to living on our own. But, the debt? That I can't explain or defend, it was just stupid.

What I want to know is what in the world I did with all that money!!! No kids, no diapers, and a 2 lb dog that required a $30 dog food purchase once a month or so. Now we have a mortgage ($615), debt to repay for another year ($365 - yeah we did a number on our credit), Car insurance ($80), Cell phones ($100), Electric ($100), Water ($40) and the list goes on for the monthly bills! Not to mention the 2 kids with one on the way supplies --- food, diapers, formula, clothes, toys, etc. etc. etc.

I used to think that Brent and I were so poor and badly off. I used to think we didn't make enough money and the government should just give us food stamps or something to help us. What I didn't realize was that we were living in luxury - and really, we still are. We're out $400 and is that a problem? Nope, just a slight frustration. Really? it's just money. We're up to date on our house payment. Even if we couldn't get caught up on the other necessary things this month, worst to worst we could skip the house payment, or just pay part and catch it next month! We are 22 and own our own property and house, 2 cars and feed 2 children and an 120lb dog. We're not doing so bad! I don't have a second job. Neither does Brent. I don't have out a second mortgage on my house. By February or so, we'll be out of extra non-house debt (thanks to the gov't and their big whopping tax returns on families with kids.) Next summer we hope to premier our movie and make a few extra thousand dollars - which is very realistic with our budget on the movie (since we only spent $3000 it won't be hard to make our cost back selling tickets at $20 a piece. That's only 300 tickets if we just make 50% on each sale.... we can -- and will-- do better than that!

I really think I've decided what my problem is. I compare myself with people I respect for financial stability. My friends that are in their 30's and can lend money or cover cost on something whenever they feel like it. My husbands grandparents that have perfect credit (literally). My grandparents who have retired and don't have to work at all. What I don't see is the following: The years that my 30 year old friends spent saving and being over drafted and working two jobs and not being married/having kids. The times that my friends don't talk about - when money is tight. The years my hubby's grandfather spent working a full time job at night and serving for the air force during the day. The years he didn't spend any time with his wife but when he slept and she was at home, not working her job. The years my grandparents put into saving and penny pinching and not buying expensive things so that they could retire well.

From now on, I've decided to remind myself that I am simply in those middle years and no one is going to be financially stable 4 years after they move out on their own without being independantly wealthy (which I am not!). I've decided that Brent and I made choices for our future knowing it would be hard in the meantime - and we're simply in the meantime right now; like the choice to buy a house when we were 19. Who does that? NO ONE! The benefit? By the time we are 50 we won't have a house payment. The choice to have children off the bat - and not by mistake. The benefit? Enjoying our children while we have the energy, and being around for their kids and grandkids too. The choice to spend $2500 on an industrial video camera. The benefit? The ability to make film with very little expense and potentially make back a lot of money. The choice to pay off our cars with tax returns. The benefit? No $300 a month car payment. Our choices have been responsible! Its simply that I forget we're "in the meantime" right now and not to all the benefits yet.

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