We’re having a crunch month. It seems like during every calendar year there is one time when the vacuum cleaner has been attached to our accounts and we suddenly find ourselves going from “feeling comfortable” to “How much do they give for blood these days?” That’s about how things are for our family right now.
- Semi-annual and annual bills just got paid.
- All the regular bills paid, but were higher than budgeted.
- Bought a car. (paid cash, huge win!)
- Silly kids are growing and needed clothes!
- Travel expenses, haven’t been reimbursed yet.
Even as a family who lives rather simply we come on tough financial times from time-to-time. In this case, we got through it because we had budgeted for it to happen and had the cash on hand to make it through. We’ve had times in the past where we didn’t plan so well and literally had to depend on the kindness of our church to eat. You live a little and you get a little wiser, I guess.
In some ways I wish we felt this crunch more often. These times in the calendar are refreshing! I rest in our routine. I rest in our budget. I rest in simple things. I rest knowing that when we make things even simpler it is better for our family. I rest knowing that we’re not touching our long-term savings to ride out a short-term crisis. I like wincing when we give to our church. I like scrutinizing what we spend. Actually, I kind of like even noticing what is being spent because all-too-often I get into habits where I don’t see how much we are spending.
Of course, I’m really thankful because I know three things are true. First, I know that things will go back up from here. We have an annual low point, this is it, and we can budget ourselves out of it again. Second, I know who provides for me. God sustains us no matter what. Kristen and I will never forget the mystery bags of vegetables we received in Oroville. God is our provider. Third, while we have less cash than we’d like we also have less debt than we had a year ago.