We’ve had a rough week. The title of this blog is “Stop Worrying About Money”, but the fact of the matter is, I haven’t quite learned how to do that. Adam and I balance each other out quite well, but sometimes that means on days when he’s learning to look at the big picture, I’m still in the corner concentrating on how we’re still pulling from our savings monthly.
My insecurity lever was triggered this week and it led to arguing between us, which is something we do so rarely that we haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. I worried we weren’t on the same page and even though he does so much for us at home and in saving us money (have you read how this man coupons?), I thought he wasn’t trying hard enough to bring IN money and told him so.
I struggle with anxiety and that’s reared its ugly head pretty strongly the past couple of weeks. My dad started radiation for a particularly nasty skin cancer on his face this week. Adam’s mom has been having some health issues. I’m learning new things at work. We’ve both been sick. My car is out of commission and I felt tied down with just one car — I was feeling the lack of freedom. We feared Adam’s car was going to need an expensive repair for a bit. I’m extremely nervous about Adam not having health insurance. Neither of us has a 401k and these are prime compounding interest years for us.
I felt overwhelmed and one of my favorite coping mechanisms (spending a small amount of money in some way – whether it’s going out to eat, buying new pens, or going to Target and raiding the $1 spot area) was off the table and I blamed Adam. It’s his fault we’re not bringing in any more money. It’s his fault we have a shortfall each month, we had to forgo all eating out and I didn’t get any “free money.” And, while I was at it, it’s his fault my jeans have holes in them and why I don’t have the perfect pair of black shoes that will work in the winter with both a skirt and dress pants.
Some of this thinking was absolutely ridiculous, but some of it needed to be addressed. I needed to confess some things to him. He needed to tell me how it was making him feel for me to hold this against him. We needed to let all of this out. I felt silly, I felt like a jerk, I felt like a nagging wife, but I needed to know he was feeling the same importance that I was of needing more money into the household. I need a new (to us) car. We both have a lot of student debt (and I’m adding more!) and, as Adam himself said, “We’re going without a few things right now that we need.” (We are in a privileged position to be able to say this — we are by no means going without our “four walls” – food, shelter, utilities, clothing.)
So what am I doing to get through this? Counting my many blessings, as the hymn goes, for sure. Here’s what the hymn doesn’t add at the end, though: that only works for so long. I’m trying to let go of blame and trying to focus on how I can do my part in helping more. I’m working on healthy answers to my anxiety. I’m learning to give my body what it needs in terms of nourishment and self-care. I’m looking for ways to bring in extra money (like the plasma donation center – every little bit helps). I’m learning contentment and reading about simple living and minimalism. (It’s no secret that I am a wannabe minimalist — I just find it hard to not crave buying STUFF every now and again.)
Most of all, I am loving my husband. Remembering that we are on the same page, on the same team, and every other partnership cliche that exists. He is the one whom my soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:4) and I’m reminding myself that material worries are just that – material. I’m working on all of of those things. (Well, that and watching a lot of Doctor Who — Adam had never seen it and I’ve loved it for years, so he’s been playing catch-up!)
We’re newlyweds, we’re in debt and we’re living on more than we make. Our desire with this blog is to show you how to stop worrying about money, yes, but it’s also a journey and record of how we’re learning to do that ourselves. We’re not perfect, we’re not there yet, but we’re trying.
We’re glad you’re along for the ride.