Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Buck Up, Family!

I saw this article online this morning on the homepage. It caught my attention because it was something that Hubby and I were just talking about last night. Having grown up in the 80s and early 90s, I remember seeing my parents struggle from time to time. We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment (about the size of Hubby and I's condo now) until I was in 7th grade. It's interesting to see what a recession can do to the way you grow up and how you take care of your money, not matter how much or how little of it you have...

This year has been a rough one for my whole family. Hubby and I's rough spot started last year when his company cut his comfy salary the month we found out I was pregnant with WEB. We made the decision to get pregnant based on his salary, knowing it was enough for him to take on our bills alone while I took care of our baby for the first year or more of his life. That perfect little plan all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top flew right out the window and went crashing to the ground in the blink of an eye! Then I think his boss walked by and stomped on it, too! His salary was cut again in January of this year. Then he was laid off on St. Patrick's Day, just two weeks before WEB was born. As if that wasn't enough to deal with, my baby sister (she's 17 but I still think she's 12) underwent lung surgery, our family dog passed away, and my grandma passed away two weeks after WEB was born, just to name a few things. Knowing our financial situation, after my maternity leave was up and I used up all my vacation/sick time, I was ready to go back to work. Well, guess what! I had no work to go back to! My boss was barely able to keep her company afloat, let alone have another person back on the payroll...It makes it hard to pay bills when your clients don't want to pay their bills or buy anything.

Yet somehow, Hubby and I are treading with our heads just above water. We're managing to pay our mortgage, cell phones, DVR, cars, etc. No, we don't go out like we used to, but that would've changed regardless because we have a baby now. I try to only buy what is on my list when I go to Target. I cut coupons like a mad woman and save at least $50 on my grocery trips, and a good chunk when I go to Target too. It's hard work, but it has to be done.

And even though it's been a tough year for us, we still are managing to give back knowing that there are many many many people that have it way worse than we do. Hubby's work is sponsoring some unfortunate kids. They pooled some money together and I am going to bargain shop my butt off to get them the most bang for their buck. These kids won't have a Christmas without these donations. How heartbreaking is that? My son will be 9 months old and I managed to loot him up pretty good, even on a budget. I picked up a few toys at a consignment sale a few months back and I just keep my eye on those Sunday ads waiting for the stuff I want to buy to go on sale.

I have been whining about 2009 being a crappy year, and that the only good thing that came out of it was my handsome little boy. After reflecting on it with Hubby, it's just going to be one of those years that make us stronger. We are working harder to stretch our dollar the best we can, eating more family dinners at home, and getting more creative with our family activities. We are simple creatures and don't need to spend a lot to have a good time. Don't get me wrong, I am still hoping, praying, begging that 2010 will be a little more fruitful! It would be nice if our property value started to get closer to our purchase price. It would be really nice for Hubby to get a raise (Oh yeah, he got a job. They actually called him to interview as we were loading WEB into the car to take him home from the hospital...haha!). Until then, I will continue to be Hubby's cheerleader as he continues to be my Superman and hopefully fill our house with a little more optimism. I suggest you do the same! We can all stay afloat if we look on the bright side, no matter how teeny tiny it may be. At least it's something to work towards!

1 comment:

  1. Well said Heather... We hope everything gets brighter next year. We are all blessed and it will work out with having such a great bond with our families and dear friends. We will all keep each other above water until we look back at these years and laugh while sipping champagne in our 6K square foot homes on a hill overlooking Orange County with our servants :)
    Love you guys...


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