Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Grit & Grace. the story just changed

For years I have talked about simplicity, frugality and the importance of budgeting.  It seems all that is about to be tested.  My husband was laid-off from his job this week.  The economy finally caught up to his employer, and cuts had to be made.  Unfortunately we were in the first group of cuts.

My initial response was shock, anger, frustration.  Then I began to think about all the things we can be grateful for in this situation.
  • this was not a diagnosis of illness, or a death - we are all well - no one is in hospital
  • we do not have any credit card debt, or car debt, or college debt. just a mortgage.
  • all our bills are current
  • we have built a buffer in the savings account
  • we have already be practicing living one month behind our paychecks, thanks to YNAB
  • I still have a part-time job.  It's only 60 hours a month, but enough to cover the house payment.
  • our kids are old enough to understand the situation and be patient
Things could be worse.  I am grateful they are not. 

Although we are not sure where life will lead us over the coming weeks (or months), we do know that we rely deeply on our faith in God and our love for each other.

It looks like we are going to need to be even more frugal than usual.  Time to pull out all the time-tested techniques we've learned through previous hard times.  I don't know if I'll write about this much.  It's tempting to make it a central theme of the blog.  Do people still look for frugal advice these days?  Was that just a reactionary fad from prior decades?  Not for us.  It's been a lifestyle.  We are not just frugal until we get a new job.  We'll stay #frugaltillwhenever.

At this point, the job loss still feels like fiction.  The next pay day would be Monday - and since we've been routinely sending salary one month ahead, this missed check actually affects November, not October.  And, since we have built a buffer to guard us against the unthinkable [read:job loss] - we have the small luxury of not feeling desperate. Yet. Okay, honestly this is a huge luxury.  And now I'm wondering who would even want to read our story - because it's just not desperate enough.  Ha!  This is just day 3 without the job.  We've bought a few groceries.  We had to replace the alternator on our Kia this morning.  The first of next months utility bills have arrived. Every swipe of the debit card, every serving of food now takes on greater significance.  

You can believe that we are going to be tracking the spending oh-so-much-more-closely that in recent months.  Things don't feel exactly dark, but they do feel still - like the quiet fall night I'm enjoying, with the windows open.

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