Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's only money

"It's only money" is a phrase that's been said a lot around my house lately.

It was already an expensive month--our lawn mower broke, and the small engine repair shop quoted us a price that was more than buying a new one. So we got an electric one, and then we had to get an extension cord to go with that. My therapist's billing office finally figured out that I do have a copay, so I owed it for all five previous visits at once. With the warm weather (finally!) came increased power bills for air conditioning.

And then the end of the month came. In 10 days, I had eight family members visit in three separate groups, lost power for three days, got two inches of water in the basement, threw out the entire contents of our fridge and freezer, spent a few nights at my in-laws, filled up the car with gas twice as frequently as usual, watched as our lovely finished basement had the carpet and drywall ripped out, ate out more meals than I care to think about, and spent three days in the hospital as my daughter underwent surgery. Also, our retirement accounts lost $2,500 across all of them.

I am really glad June is over.

I hate getting to the point where I start saying, "It's only money". It means I've given up on being frugal, at least for right now. I was dealing with so much that I just couldn't bear to pinch pennies as well, and it turned into "oh, sure, let's go out for dinner, and we might as well order dessert while we're there." It means a giant mess to clean up when things start getting back to normal, as we try to find receipts and reconstruct our spending to get our spreadsheet up to date. It's just...stress that I could have controlled on top of stress that I couldn't control.

Anyway, the damage is done. And I guess in the end, it is only money. The important thing is that we weren't harmed in the bad storms that knocked out our power, and Baby M made it through her surgery with flying colors. Our basement needs some work but Peanut managed to save all of our furniture and belongings from down there, along with the deep freezer full of breast milk, which he cooled by running it off of a car battery every few hours. Baby M now has a permanent feeding tube which means she can get strong and gain weight without traumatic feeding experiences. We have family close to home and from far away who pitched in to help us when we needed it.

I've been feeling bummed about our financial situation lately. It just seems like so much month and so little money, and I can't go back to work like I'd planned, not for several years. I liked my job and I liked having two incomes, and now not only are our plans for paying off student loans and the mortgage ahead of schedule way, way out of our reach, but a month like this one takes a nasty chunk out of our savings - something we can't work on building back up for a long time. This whole being-an-adult thing, man. It's not for the faint of heart.


  1. Sigh, that really is an awful lot to be dealing with. But gosh, you guys did so wonderfully in getting yourselves on one salary and being frugal for so long that I think you set yourselves up for being able to weather this whole experience without dropping waist deep into debt. Granted, paying off student loans and mortgaent as:
    ges early would be great but having the peace of mind that you generally have now has help. Even if you ARE stuck sorting out the mess of rough months later :P

  2. What's money, if not to help in situations like this? I'm glad you had some savings to weather this.

    Hang in there. And don't give up. I'm glad your baby's surgery went fine.


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