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Gratitude for many blessings

April 5th, 2012 at 10:23 am

One of my Facebook friends from college writes this as her status update occasionally. At our 15-year reunion, we were chatting and she mentioned that this is her mantra when things are difficult; it helps her feel grateful for the things that are still right in her world even when some things are going wrong.

So where I used to think she was writing it because she was happy, now when I see it I realize she's struggling with something, and I hope for things to go better. Smile

I thought I was doing quite well being back at work, but today I realize I'm really struggling. With a number of financial issues dovetailing together at the same time, and the natural emotional issues of new-motherhood, and the exhaustion, it's a bit much. I'm feeling a bit fragile.

Last night I hit a breaking point when I realized that AS had put a $255 check from our parking-spot renter (for 3 months' rent) in my lunch bag. I hadn't really realized it was there, and it must have fallen out somewhere. After an unsuccessful search today we realized we need her to write a new check, and deduct the amount that it will cost her to stop the other check.

The sick feeling of losing another check, so soon after a couple weeks ago, combined with yet another stupid expense, kind of tipped me over the edge into a pessimistic, frightened, emotional place.

I detailed a lot of big, yet amount-unknown expenses coming up and how our big checking and savings account balances suddenly seem like they might not be enough. Today I learned we will also need to order extra copies of the kids' birth certificates for the adoption process; a small but unwelcome additional expense.

But, I have to remind myself that we also have some gift cards (including an Amex and a MasterCard, and some Amazon and Target credits), as well as credit card rewards (totaling $700) that should come in the next month or two. I also have a bit of money left in my flex spending account: about $150.

We have other recourse should we need to scrape together more money out of the budget. We could skip a housecleaning and save $120. We could skip a month of charitable giving and save $150. We could not take out spending money for a week and save $240. We could take out a student loan instead of cashflowing tuition. I could put off the dental surgery until our finances are more stable. We could even transfer money from our UK EF savings account. Not ideal options, but possibilities that are there if things turn out to be on the expensive side.

When I have more time and feel more lucid, I'll try to estimate all our upcoming expenses and all the available assets, and see how things come out.

Anyway, not everything has been bad on the financial front: We've been wondering whether we'll need to reduce our parking-spot renter's rent and share the spot with our new double stroller, or even stop renting altogether and take the spot back. Then we found a place in the other building's garage where people park bikes and things, and figured out we could put it there for free. NT also realized it will fold up, so we could actually get it into the elevator and into our condo if needed. But we put up a notice to see if anyone in our garage would rent us a piece of their spot, since that would be a much easier option.

NT got a call a couple days ago from someone who said she'd let us park our stroller in part of her spot for no charge! She's putting her condo on the market, so this situation probably won't last for long, but it's great to have it even for a short time.

When I initially calculated the cost of getting the big stroller relative to our other options (such as getting a car), I figured in a loss of $1020 of rental income per year. Now that that won't happen, and we got our stroller for $100 less than I estimated, our first year cost should be $1600 instead of $2715! And, if we can keep finding free ways to stow the stroller, subsequent years will be no cost instead of the anticipated $1020.

So, that's really good news. And I have many other things to be grateful for as well, namely the support of my spouses. They realize, I think, that I'm pretty overwhelmed, so they're taking over some red-tape-y things of the kind that I typically handle. AS is handling contacting our renter about stopping her check. NT is gathering the necessary documents for our adoption proceedings.

And SL is a lovely healthy little baby, and next week I get to spend a lot more time bonding with her than I got this week. That will do a lot of good for me, I think.

2 Responses to “Gratitude for many blessings”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    I know how you feel. I kind of think it's best to go into survivial mode financially once the baby arrives, until all of the unknown and one-time big expenses blow over. Forget the big-picture debt goals and just cut everything frivolous and pay what comes in.

    We did that after each of the kids, and were also dealing with big expenses, such as $5,000 hospital bills for the birth, etc. Seemed like there was a new and unexpected bill coming in every day. It was hard, but we just hunkered down, paid only what was necessary until eventually we emerged.

  2. laura Says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. Certainly helps to remind me of what I do have when things aren't exactly going the way I think they should or want them too.

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