I have a couple confessions to make, But first, a couple links.
This week, my two kids and I made an appearance in This Is Beautiful You on Single Dad Laughing. Also, it will be a lot easier to understand my post if you first read his about Perfection (Don’t worry. I’ll wait while you read it). Moving on.
I struggle with money management. A lot. And it’s only made more complicated by a streak of miser. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I used to practically have a panic attack when writing the rent check. It was just so big. And other bills were not immune. $30 for the phone? It was better, but still sweat-inducing. Which makes my money management struggle an odd one. Basically, I’m so bothered by paying anything over $20, I tend to block out that bills are due. I’ve tried multiple systems of organization to attempt to get past this. I’m hoping the most recent system will work, since it kinda has to.
In the last 6 years that I’ve been married, we have definitely gotten into a terrible financial situation. And not because we’ve been stupid (though we probably own far too many video games, but we could always afford them at the time). Things were fine, and then my husband got hurt and we lost a few paychecks when he couldn’t work. And when he hasn’t been hurt in the last few years, there’s always other medical things. Having kids costs money, and while we have insurance, it’s not that awesome. We ended up owing several thousand dollars after my daughter was born. The few bills that we’ve already gotten for Nathan put us over a thousand already. And then there’s my gall bladder. That one was completely unexpected and the cost to us adds up to another thousand. And all this on a budget that’s so tight, I have trouble finding an extra five bucks.
How does this relate to Perfection? I try to pretend there’s no problem. Sometimes I even manage to convince myself. We don’t have credit cards, so I can’t spend more than we make in a month, but there are months when bills have only been partially paid (or not at all). And we owe money to various members of my family. We need new tires and the car is way behind on recommended maintenance (and we notice it in the way it runs), but we’re more likely to buy something frivolous than that. Because I just don’t acknowledge the problem. Or I acknowledge it too much. I’m always either ignoring that there’s an issue, or I’m freaking out about every dollar we spend. There’s no in between. And it’s really getting to the point where I don’t have the energy to freak out, so I need to find the place where I’m getting things paid without it.
Ironically, as I’m working on getting us to a place where we’re not one lost paycheck away from getting our electricity turned off, the pastor preached about tithing. Which has always been a struggle for me. When any check over $20 causes panic, imagine how well I deal with writing a check for 10% of our gross. And it’s not even that I don’t want the church to have it. I thank God every day for the roof over our heads. I know I wouldn’t have anything at all if he didn’t want me to have it. It’s just the check (I don’t know if cash would be better). It’s just the act of writing an amount that looks so big to me. I’ve had to learn to write the check beforehand, so that I can at least put it in the plate with the right spirit.