It wasn’t long ago that I was talking with enthusiasm about growth and learning. Well, I’m getting the chance! It’s getting gritty in capital letters! Frankly, I’m not exactly loving it.
But if I don’t write about it here, I won’t be honest. So I’ll let you in on some things that have been happening recently with me and money.
But first, some background. I am one of those people who managed to avoid managing the family money for years. Obviously, we had to manage our money somewhere along the line, somehow. But Ron was doing it before we got married and he wanted to keep doing it after. I was happy for him to do it. Numbers have never been my thing. I can write checks. I can keep within a certain framework if I need to. I just need to know what my limits are and I can live within them.
As time went on, however and we actually had a little in the way of disposable assets, I wanted to have some say over preferences. I did. But I also realized, the more I learned about money and its management, that I had no idea about the big picture…both of our financial situation overall or of what can be done with money. It just seemed like this wasteland that I knew very little about.
In many ways, it seemed very abstract…even though money is quite concrete! I have come to the conclusion that credit cards have made it seem abstract…at least to me! All three of my daughters have a much better understanding of money and finances than I do…by far. They understand that it is much more three-dimensional than I did and can be managed much more flexibly than I realized.
I’m glad their dad did such a good job helping them understand much about managing money. We worked together on it, but I would have had much less stress overall if I would have understood more about the total picture and about budgeting specifically!As long as I was able to use the money for what I wanted to, I was happy. Click To Tweet
As long as I was able to use the money for what I wanted to, I was happy. Fortunately, I was reasonable. Sometimes, I wanted something that seemed a little too luxurious, but often, Ron would say, when I was dreaming aloud, “We can afford that.”
I would be shocked! “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I have a category for it here.” And sure enough, he would have some obscure category sitting there with money stored away. Our accountant daughter definitely got those genes from him!
About a year ago, all that changed! Ron had a stroke in just the wrong spot.
Fast forward to last year about this time. Ron had a stroke in just the wrong spot! Yes, he looks fine. He can walk and has no paralysis. But he can’t focus on his numbers long enough to manage the money. It wasn’t long before I knew this skill wouldn’t be coming back for a good long while…if ever. I needed a lot of help if I was ever going to manage our money.
Our accountant daughter came for a long weekend to help me set up a way to do it. It was a wild few days! During that time, between her job and my son-in-law’s jobs, they had an immense number of emergency calls! It was trying on everyone. But she got a plan set up for me to pay bills and track what needed to be tracked.
As time went on and I looked at our savings, I felt there had to be another account with most of the money from the sale of our house. Ron couldn’t remember any other account. I couldn’t either.
As time went on, I was able to put less and less into savings to fill our categories and my savings was getting depleted. I was starting to get worried but I was busy and horribly distracted. I paid the bills, but I was late getting all the categories filled up and accounted for. One day, when I was catching up, I realized my savings was down to a couple of hundred dollars and I owed more on my credit card than I could pay off.
I panicked. What was I going to do? What would become of us? Had I lost all our money in one year so carelessly? I was losing sleep at night trying to think of how I would tell my daughters what a mess I had made. I also started praying…for GOD to help me find a way out of this mess I had made.
It was March and I hadn’t done anything on my taxes and didn’t know where to start. I called one daughter to ask about that and she told me what to do and said I could go to a place and if I didn’t have all the information, they would tell me and I could bring it back later.
So I made the appointment and we got that done. All went well. Except that I still hadn’t found my extra bank account…nor could Ron remember it.
A random conversation led to our discovery of the elusive bank account.
This past week, Ron and I were having a conversation about something random and it reminded us of a bank we used to have. He told me that it changed its name…and told me what it is now. Than I asked him if we have any money in that bank. He said he thought we did. Later that day, I looked in the file for the bank info and went online to check the account. There was the bank with our money! Sitting there happy as could be!
I wanted to run outside and scream to world, “I found my bank account!”I wanted to run outside and scream to world, I found my bank account! Click To Tweet
I wanted to jump up and scream and yell! I couldn’t believe it. Actually, there was more money there than even Ron thought we had! But I couldn’t go outside yelling and screaming because it was late at night.
When I went to bed that night, I felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders. We have enough money coming in to live on but this gives us a cushion to go on a vacation or buy something essential if we need it. I had visions of gloom ahead, but now we have a cushion. It was such a relief!
I am thankful for GOD’s rescue as well as His encouragement of me in this situation.
I am so thankful to GOD for rescuing us. In the process, I am learning some things I need to do to break some bad habits and prevent worse problems in the future. But I’ve more than used up my words for today. In case you are like I was, I have some help for you for starters. It won’t be overwhelming.
If you are alone, ask a friend to help who is knowledgeable…or someone in your church who is trustworthy. Even if you know what to do, you may need someone to be a sounding board or an accountability partner to keep you on track.