I want to record this experience in our family journal - although it may be oversharing with the general public. Heavenly Father has decided to teach us a lesson :-) One in frugality. And probably gratitude.
There are several things that have happened in the last 6 months that have brought both good news and bad news.
I was not hired back at Advantage Plus Service Group during tax season. Bad news: Loss of almost $10k this year. Good news: I'm staying at home with my baby girl during her last year of school before she goes full day every day.
Darik had elective surgery in December to help alleviate his breathing problems. Good News: We have health insurance so we don't have to pay the whole $10k bill. Bad News: We had not budgeted for surgery! And it happened to end up costing a little more than estimated.
In January we decided to pay for all the supplements and cleanses that were recommended for both Darik and I. In addition to all the supplements/oils/cleanses we also changed our grocery shopping from my coupon shopping/pantry storage to all raw and organic products.
COST: APPROX $500+
We went on our very first family vacation in 10 years: Disneyland. Good News: We had saved money for Disneyland and had it paid for before we left. Bad News: What we hadn't planned on was the speeding ticket on the way home. Good News: We are lucky we were only 19 over the speed limit instead of 20. Bad News: We were a mile away from the Cali/Nevada border where the ticket would have been less.
We planned a Valentines getaway to coincide with Darik's trip to SoCal in February. Good News: We had the $200 plane ticket paid for before we left. Bad News: Apparently ISU no longer allows wives to tag along the business trips without thorough scrutiny. After we came home we found out we had to foot 50% of the hotel bill as well as all of my own food.
We run off I84 going 80 MPH in Oregon. Good News: We don't flip, roll, or die. Bad News: Hello car repair bill.
As the above items keep piling up we determine that regardless of whether we get a job offer or not we need to sell the house. Good News: We can essentially cut our house payment in half by moving. Bad News: House must be fixed up.
Determine to rent or sell - one way we lose about $400 a month; the other way we come up with money just to get out of it.
COST: APPROX $20k
TOTAL UNEXPECTED COSTS: ABOUT $35k
So what does all this mean? Heavenly Father has thought it fit to teach us now, at the tender age of 30 - to live WAY below our means. As opposed to breaking even every year (not counting our 401k, that's been adding up at 10% savings every year, thank goodness) we need a huge emergency savings account. We just need to live broke so we won't be broke! I would much rather learn this lesson now than in 20 years when it's too late to make a course adjustment and be ready for missions/retirement.
The funny thing to me about every one of the situations above is that I could choose to commiserate and be depressed about everything, but in every single situation there is a reason to be grateful it wasn't worse. I'm grateful I'm staying home with Ellie. I'm grateful we have insurance. I'm grateful our ticket wasn't more money. I'm grateful I got to go on two amazing vacations as a family. I'm grateful my whole family is in one piece after running off the road. Especially Ellie. I'm grateful to be moving on to a simpler, smaller lifestyle. So Blessed.