It seems like this day would never come, but the husband and I are finally back on our feet financially. It took about 9 months of late bills and scraped together funds for things as basic as groceries and gas. I brought all my poor girl skillz to the front lines to get us up out of the job change crater and back on track.
One of the things that really helped us pull ourselves up over the edge of the abyss back onto the surface was the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher “Scholarship.” This is a program that I do not agree with, but benefit from, so I’m always conflicted when the money comes through, but this year I couldn’t afford conflict – I accepted the large amount of money with thankful, open arms.
So now there seems to be more money than I’ve ever had in reserve, plus we’ve been able to pay off three (3!!!) more credit cards, one of which is now acting as a bill auto-pay/points earning/one bill to pay each month location. Having money in savings that can actually stay in savings for the first time in my adult life is so comforting. Slowly reducing the monthly credit card bills is making the budget look more and more manageable. And overall this all affords me a level of flexibility that maxed out/zero-level budgeting just never does.
The summer still looms large, and we have to put our new stability to the test to make our end of year paychecks last through the summer until we start getting paid again in August. We only have one travel plan, which is to take a weekend in St. Augustine to absorb the history for our anniversary, and the rest of the summer is just enjoying our backyard pool and being very frugal.
One of the situations that poor people find themselves in sometimes is the necessity of learning how to manage actual money. Like, when you have money left over after you take care of your needs AND some of your wants, what do you do? Our society doesn’t like to talk about or teach about personal finance, so when you’re 35 years old and facing actual, possible financial stability, where do you learn from? (hint: it’s the internet) I’m planning on learning quickly just in case I actually have to have those skills eventually, you know, by the time I’m 40.
I have knocked on everything wooden in hopes that something doesn’t come flying out of the ether to knock us back in the mud again. Please let us stay healthy, let the pets stay healthy, keep the cars running, let us keep our jobs, please no hurricane this year – just give me a fucking break. Just one year where I can just live. JUST LET ME LIVE.