Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Financial Struggles

It's 7:40 am and I am getting ready for Bootcamp. I have absolutely no motivation to go. I hate when I feel like this. I just can't get motivated to do anything lately.

I think my life has just been so crazy with everything that is going on with my blog, my daughter starting school and then of course the never ending sickness in my home. Did I mention that we have a head cold in the house now. Both of the girls have it and Maddie has an ear infection. The poor kid is on antibiotics again. She's going to be eating a lot of yogurt the next two weeks. It's a good thing she likes it because the doctor said two a day for two weeks. I hope she doesn't get sick of it.

Last night I couldn't sleep so I sat here on my computer at 12:30am eating a cup of full fat chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I know a cup isn't that bad but I just wish I would have been able to sleep and then it would have never happened. I think it is just stress. Do any of you have problems sleeping when you are stressed? Any suggestions on how to get to sleep without binging?

Right now our financial situation is not great. Then again it really hasn't been since I stopped working when MJ was born. I'm not complaining. God has gotten us through so far and I need to trust in him that he will continue to do so. Sometimes it just gets stressful when you feel like you can't pay your bills.

I don't ussually share my financial situation on my blog. I guess it's because I am embarrassed of it but I feel like God is leading me to share this today. I am hoping that it will help some of you realize that you are not the only one dealing with financial issues. So here goes!

Before I had both of my children I was working full time and making very good money. I have a Bachelor's Degree in business and really enjoy being in the work force. While I was pregnant I got very ill with Hyperemisis and couldn't work. I ended up going back to work when Maddie was 18 months old. I had the same sickness with MJ and I have been off of work since I became pregnant with her three years ago.

While I wasn't working my husband and I were still living as if we had two salaries. We put everything on credit cards. Looking back I'm not sure why we did it but we did.

When MJ was a year old we realized what we had been doing and knew we had to take some action to stop using the credit cards and pay off our debt. Debt is a horrible thing and I am now learning what I wish I would have known 8 years ago. This is when we decided that we need to live off of what money we have and not use credit cards. Not using credit cards is one of the best decisions we have ever made.

Now we are living on a very tight budget while we quickly pay off all of our debt. In a few years we will be completely debt free and it all of this struggling will be completely worth it.

Right now my husband is sitting at the computer stressed about paying this month's bills. It is so hard for him, being an accountant and not being able to pay the bills. I feel awful for him because I know how stressful it is for him having to handle all of our finances. I just reminded him that God has gotten us this far and we need to trust and pray that he will continue to do so.

We really do have an awesome God! We have been on a very strict budget for approximately 10 months and we have been able to pay off enough debt to bring us 14 months closer to paying off our debt. It sounds sad but to us it is a big accomplishment and we are very excited. Not only that but God has also provided for us which has allowed me to be a Stay-At-Home Mom for the past two years. God is so good and I am so thankful that I have been able to be home with my girls for the past 2 years.

I don't know what our future holds. I may end up going back to work, I may be a stay-at-home Mom or even better a work-from-home Mom. What I do know is that we have given complete control of our lives to God. Our lives may not seem perfect but God's will is perfect and he will get us through the hard times. He has in the past so many times that I can't even name them all. God has a purpose for our lives and it is amazing to watch how everything he has planned comes about. It is like puzzle pieces falling into place. He is awesome and I love to see his amazing works.

Our financial situation may be a little stressful to us right now but I know that God will provide. If you have financial issues I encourage you to put them in God's hands. Pray to God and ask for his guidance and trust him to guide you through these hard times.

Now you know the whole reason why "Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget", is a Budget weight loss blog. It wasn't really an option. It was what we needed to do at the time. I have learned so much the past year and a half writing this blog. Even if someday I don't have to worry about money I will still continue to live my life on a budget. I don't need the worldly possessions that I used to think were so important. Our extra money can be used to bless others. Maybe even families that are in the same situation that we are in right now. God is so good and because of him I know that everything is going to be okay.


Pamela said...

I am so in the same position and feel your pain. We, too, were living the high life, but when I signed up for my church's Financial Peace University course (Dave Ramsey), it's like a lightbulb went off. I have been so careful about spending money and it's tough because my husband is gone right now so I'm doing all the finances, but I'm taking it one day at a time. A lot of your tips are really helpful - buying fruits and veggies when they are on sale, going to farmer's markets, etc. I have been able to squeeze a little out of our budget this month to bless someone else and it feels so good! I can't wait until the day when we can do that much more often. "If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." is one of Dave's mottos and it is so true. Forget about trying to keep up with the Joneses or have the latest and greatest new toy, live frugally now and you can really live later on - debt-free, giving back to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on you and your family. It's not easy right now, but it's what needs to be done. Thank you, Jessica, for sharing so honestly and forthrightly.

Bethany said...

Don't feel like you are the only ones! We aren't in the exact same situation, but we do have the same goals. My husband does seasonal work (small business owner)and it's so hard to budget because we don't know what kind of money there will be from month to month. God always provides for every need.
We read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover this spring and it was so inspirational to us! I also was going to give his quote "live like no one else so that you can LIVE like no one else"
Keep working at it - it will be worth it! :)

Tricia said...

Jessica: I can totally relate to your post. My husband works in public education and I did as well--before our son, Connor, was born 5 years ago. I went back to work after he was born, but he had health issues and I ended up leaving my job and staying home with him full time. Though we have never lived extravagantly (and even though I found a part-time job teaching online college classes), we simply haven't had enough money to live on for the past five years and so, we've used credit cards to make up the difference. Now, it feels like we are drowning. We are doing everything we can to save money and cut out unnecessary expenses, but... It can be so scary! My son will go to kindergarten a year from now and I truly hope to find, if not a full time job, at least a second part-time job. I'm praying that something will be out there for me when the time is right. In the mean-time, I'm trying to stay positive, trying to lose weight (thank you for all of your great tips!), and trying to stay away from foods that make me binge when I'm stressed (though I was not very successful with that today). I appreciate your honesty and I wish the best for you and your family! Tricia

Twix said...

Fifteen years later and we still find ourselves battling the debt monster. The good thing is it's not as bad as when we first started. Bad thing is it tends to be medical. We're a single income family as well. I've only worked sporadically. The last being about 5 years ago. It's tight, totally understand. And your right! God does provide! He's AWESOME!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I so appreciate your honesty. It is difficult to balance a budget each month and pay down debt. We're all working on it one way or another! I find consignment sales great for making a little money and getting great clothes/toys for my kids. I also took a coupon class from a local church which really cut our food bill. I learned to shop the sale and build a stock pile to "shop" from in our basement. This has saved us so much money. Also we share trash pick up with our neighbor...instead of having trash picked up at each of our homes, we share two cans. Call your city and see how much it would be to have 2 cans at one house. Then just share the cans! She has one and so do I. When it's trash pick up, we put both cans together outside my drive way and save $94 a year by doing this...simple and easy! Just have to wheel the trash can 8 feet for a quick, easy savings. Small things add up...keep looking and have fun with it. Babysitting/cooping is another great way to save money and then use a coupon for a date night! I really enjoy your blog..keep up all the great work and inspiration!

Moi said...

Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes you feel better just saying them.

As a single mom I struggle with money all the time. I have had to forgo things because I couldn't justify putting them on my credit card. Or because I would rather have my child have something than me.

They should really teach budgetting in school, early. Society today is rediculous on what we spend. Its always good to see people working their way out of the trouble rather than just hoping it will get better.

As for your question, you need to be able to clear your mind to sleep. Try reading your bible and finding inspriation from God to calm you.

Christina said...

I tagged you. Come by my blog to find out details.

Unknown said...

I too appreciate your honesty Jess and I think you are AWESOME! As you know we just had a beautiful baby girl and this past year is the first I have not worked in my life. It is a major struggle for me. We are also trying to become debt free and have been struggling. It seems like we take 2 steps forward and then 10 back. I keep praying and I know that God will continue to provide all that we need. He has blessed me with an amazing husband and daughter in the past year and I know that he will continue to provide but things do get tough at times! Love ya Jess and I know God will continue to provide you with all that you need!

Definitely Deals said...

Thanks for the post. I think we have all been in your shoes.

Things that have helped me in the past and will be helping more and more in the future as my job changes are the following:

Swagbucks. I started in Jan. and am currently at 150.00 in gift cards. This is Christmas stash.
YOu get rewarded for just searching on the web.
Here is the link you can use to sign up.

Coupons: HUGE.. I follow and she has online and grocery links that save me a ton of money.

Share garbage pick up with a neighbor can be a savings too.

I am also looking into MagicJack now too...which will take a chunk out of my phone bill. I have heard good things about it.

I also shop thrift stores for kids cloths. I get so many namebrand items for next to nothing.

Those are just a few things.
Good luck

Jessica @ Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget said...

Thank you for being so sweet! All of your tips are so helpful. I appreciate all of you taking the time to tell me your story. So many of us have found ourselves in debt for some reason or another and now need to dig ourselves out. With God's help we can do it. I am just trusting in him and I know he will provide.
Thanks for all of the support and I really hope that we can continue to share what is working for us.

Manda Mae said...

God is great! He has seen you through to this point and He will continue to do so.

I was raised on the philosophy that is you want it you get it and you worry about it later. My husband was as well. Needless to say, when we got married and then got pregnant (I already had 2 kids from my previous marriage) things only got worse. He had learned about Dave Ramsey and had been trying to follow his ways but I was against it. I wanted to do things my way. I wanted a NEW van, not a used one. I wanted a brand NEW house. My husband wanted me to have what I wanted and I got it. Then the reality set in. We couldn't afford it all. We started living Dave's ways exactly 1 year ago. In the spring we took FPU at church. We are still working to pay off our debt and it is going very slowly. The great thing is, we have gone an entire year without charging a single thing! Debt sure does go away easier when you quit adding to it! I work part time as a nurse in order to have a flexible schedule and spend plenty of time with all 3 children. Starting next week my daughter is going to K3 and I am picking up more hours. We are gong to do this!
You can do this!
I have started a weight loss blog of my own after reading yours. It is helping tremendously.
Some tips:
COUPONS COUPONS COUPONS! I average about $50-$60 a week in groceries to feed a family of 5 which includes a teenage boy! I use to plan my shopping trips. It works great for groceries as well as drug store items. You can really make a killing at these places.
Consignment shops are a great place to get rid of your items and pick up the ones you need. Most things are gently used. Our schools do uniforms so no one knows whether items are "new" or not since they wear the same type of clothes each year.

I buy produce that is on sale or in season. The staples are almost always on sale, ie, bananas, lettuce, apples. Other items are a luxury when they are on sale.

We don't have a home phone. We only use cell phones. This way we can always be reached and only have 1 phone bill.

I hope some of this helps. Also, I am inspired by the trash sharing, I never thought of that! Great idea!! We will definitely be checking this out!

Check out my blog sometime, it would be an honor!

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