I have to admit I get frustrated too sometimes

Last night was a perfect example. We’re working the budget and we’re paying the debt and we’re “on the plan”, so to speak. But we still haven’t nailed down all the “incidentals” that creep in; can’t even really call them DJ moments because some part of me tells me I should have been able to see it coming, and allowed for it. We still fight about money sometimes ,and how best to spend what we have coming in. We’re so tight on the budget right now that even some of the sinking funds seem an extravagance, although we have them set up for a few absolute gotta-do’s. So when things do come onto the radar that the budget doesn’t allow for, I know I can’t just go charge it and make it better and then pay “later”. And in that moment, I hate it.

My only consolation is that we’re digging out, and that feels better every single month that goes by. I’m coming up on the 2nd yearly anniversary of not having used my credit card, and that feels awesome. So I suck it up another few days before more money comes in, ration that money out ever so carefully again, and try to do a little better job at budgeting. Sometimes when it gets really bad I go look at our snowball payments. They are getting incrementally smaller but they are getting smaller. And the various folks who have posted about finally being debt free, well, those keep me really motivated. Some part of my brain still can’t quite conceive that I’ll ever really be there. So the recent discussion about what we’ll buy with that first bit of extra money, seemed a very abstract “never really gonna happen” conversation for me. But I just keep telling myself it really will happen. And even though I get down sometimes about how we should have been so much further ahead by now than we are, hey, at least it didn’t take another 10 years before we got started. Instead of hoping all my debts are paid off by my 50th birthday, I could have lived in denial for another 10 years and been hoping to be out of debt by the time I was 60. When I start thinking in those terms, I’m just glad I got started when I did.

So hang in there Eldred. This time last year you were convinced you’d never be employed again. Six months ago, give or take, you reached a point where you couldn’t make the payment on your house. And now here you are, employed again and making the payments on the house again and feeling frustrated but you’re a heckuva lot better off than you were at either of those recent times. Maybe give yourself a day to think of all the things you’re pleased about and grateful for and happy for? That resets my inner frustration level too. If nothing else, trust that you’re amongst folks who understand and who admire you for how far you’ve come. Even if some times you can’t see it.

Any chance any of those Pollyanna pills still available? We’re actually having a rather miserable day here, weather-wise, and I was having lots of “can’t see the progress” feelings myself as recently as last night. Still feel some of those echoes this morning.

Very good points DJ!

Right now I’m feeling very powerful, even though we are temporarily very broke. We’ve had many extra expenditures this pay period that according to the budget should have put us nearly $1,900 in the hole this pay period, but by cutting here and there. Doing without, telling ourselves no and thankfully selling several items we are going to make it and still keep our snowball rolling. I am feeling so much pride in accomplishing this, far more pride than I ever even considered having when I would slap out a credit card.

But, wait

you’re not digging yourself further into a hole, and you’ve learned to live within your wage earnings. My kids hear from me all the time, “It’s not in the budget right now.” I set up a weekly budget for our family every Friday, and I don’t have much wiggle room right now. I don’t feel poorer because of it, I actually feel empowered. We’re still putting away money for all the necessary investments (retirement, education, savings, sinking funds), but most weeks, there’s not a lot extra left. I don’t feel as if we can’t afford things; we’re simply living within our earnings each week as meager as they may be at times. I think it’s just the way you choose to look at things.

Make do

I know what you mean. It took us so long to do the pantry because of having to “make do”. Back before.. I would have purchased can rotators from http://www.thrivelife.com/all-products/shelving.html witout even batting an eye as I handed over my charge card. After all simple payments right?
Instead we spent hours looking at what we wanted, digging for scraps of wood to make them from, changed our plans many, many times and slowly got it built because it had to be done outside and the weather didn’t co-operate. But you know what, we are very pleased with the result of our family project. It is a custom fit for our pantry.
I really NEED my garden this year too, but I find it hard to force myself to get out there and weed like I should—still having periodic coughing fits. I’d much rather sit in the shade and watch Brat gosling play than weed. I’d rather fill my can rotators with foods I can purchase, than work at growing at it—right now. But this fall when all those shiny jars of home canned foods glimmer back at me from the basement shelves the pride wiil set in and I will feel good at what I have provided for my family. Just like you will.

Blogging helps me stay focused, hopefully it helps others too.

For the both of you

I completely understand your depression, but I also know that both of you (Eldred and Lea) are really far better off than you were previously.
Neither of you no longer have to flinch when the phone rings and check the caller ID to see if you want to answer it or not. That is far better than you were when you were in debt. Both of you know how to budget now—even though the budget is very tight.
You are both fighters.
And most importantly you are both inspiration for the rest of us who are still struggling to get debt free. We need you and you are always there for us. In turn we are here for you.
As Abraham Lincoln said “this too shall pass”
Now take your Pollyanna pills and hang in there.

We experienced the very same thing when the business had to relocate

only we are older then you are…. This was surely not where we had planned to be in our 50’s… rather discouraging…. at least the house and car are paid for….really trying to garden and homestead a bit more so I won’t starve to death since our retirement includes what is left at SS and the dismal amount in savings

Reading that story about habits of the poor got me thinking about something

I got used to saying “I can’t afford it” before when I had a low salary, but still put a lot of stuff on credit. Then when I got a higher salary, I was focused on paying off debt for the most part.
Now I have no consumer debt, but I’m also back to a lower salary. So in a sense, I’m right back(financially) where I was about 10 years ago. Not sure that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling…

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