Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Way We Were

Before we had children, my spouse and I both worked. We brought home excellent money, but always found a way to blow it. Gadgets, clothes, eating out...never saving a dime. We did have mutual funds we contributed to, so I suppose you could count that as savings, but as for a regular savings account where money could be easily available, we never bothered.

However, we never lacked for anything. Our rent was modest, our car was paid for, and the only bills we had were our utilities. I think back on those days and wish that we had been wiser about saving for a rainy day because those rainy days are here. When you are in the prime of your careers and able to spend frivolously, you don't ever think those rainy days will come. Like tunnelvision, all we saw was both of us continuing on in our jobs, gradually making a little more and more as the years went by.

We never counted on both of us being diabetic, requiring expensive prescription drugs each month, or having a child that needed therapeutic services for a neurological disorder. We never counted on one of us having to leave our job because of extreme anxiety, post-partum depression and conflicts with a supervisor. In hindsight, leaving that job was probably a huge mistake, but a relief in more ways than one. It didn't, however, help our finances one bit. All of these unexpected life turns came crashing down over 2 years ago and we have still not fully recovered financially.

We take full responsibility for our stupidity in not saving. Unfortunately, some lessons can only be learned the hard way, and we live with these consequences on a daily basis. We blame nobody but ourselves and have made do with what we still have. Compared to so many, we are fortunate. It could be so much worse.

We are in the process of devising a plan to dig ourselves out of financial ruin. We don't expect it to work overnight, we know full time work must be secured to replace the part time job one of us is working, and we've got to scale back on things that we know we can scale back on. It won't be easy or fun, but it must be done. Failure is simply no longer an option anymore.

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