I Have to Remind Myself

Money is tight this month.

1. We're making repairs to Dot's sewer line and cleaning up the mess it caused under our house.
2. Cora's tuition for the spring was due.
3. Jake's student loans went into repayment.

I never wanted money to be the issue. It was a big issue for most of my growing up life, and I didn't want it to be something I worried about.

Jake's job makes ends meet (barely), but it's lacking things like retirement and health benefits. Because of the (barely), it's hard to put extra away. It also has the craziest pay periods I've ever heard of. The official school year starts mid-August, but he doesn't get paid until the end of September. His last paycheck for the fall semester is in December, and then he doesn't get paid until the end of February. His last paycheck for Spring semester is the end of May. That's right - June, July, August, and basically all of September are paycheck-less.

He works gigs throughout the summer, but it isn't steady income, so every thing we save throughout the school year goes to make it through summer. Basically, it's hard to see this job with any sort of long-term sustainability.

We don't live beyond our means. We've only ever used our credit card to rent a car. Actually, that's why we initially got a credit card. We also got a Best Buy card when we bought our house so we could spread the cost of our appliances out interest free. (If you qualify for a BB card, you get 18 months of no interest on anything you buy - so if you ever need a new appliance stat, keep them in mind.) That's it. We don't have smart phones, data plans, or unlimited texting, our car is six years old, our computer is four years old, we haven't had cable/satellite in almost seven years, etc. I think about these things a lot as a sort of reassurance that we try our best to keep our spending in check.

It would be so "easy" to double our income if I worked. And this is where the two-part reminder comes in for me.
1. Being able to stay at home with my girls is a luxury, blessing, something I'm so glad I'm able to do. I don't think it would have been a possibility if we would have had Cora at a different time and become dependent on two incomes.
2. Choosing to stay at home is a sacrifice.
When I think of these two reasons together, they help ease the burden of finances, knowing that this is our choice and that we had a choice.

I mean, I don't need to be like some of the stay-at-home moms around my age with kids around my kids' ages who drive 80,000 vehicles and live in million dollar homes [this isn't a judgment on them, more power to them for being able to]. I just want my little Dot Spot and Staci Car, and a little cushion so sewers and tires don't break the bank. It's hard to know what you love to do, but try to figure out a way to "make it" comfortably on the income society has deemed that job to be worth.

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