It happens: You try to remain cheerful about things going on, and you may even convince yourself, but then it catches up to you.
We just bought a house, so money is tight as it is. There are some things that most people probably wouldn’t have to pay for that we may–I won’t get into the details of that–but we’re looking at something like a grand. And then it occurs to us that the van might not even make the trip to the new place; it needs to be taken in. Who knows how much that will be? Oh, and did I mention that Piper became very sick, had to be hospitalized, and after all was said and done, that cost about $800?
Any money that we wanted to put into making the house nicer–to make it ours–is quickly dwindling away.
And as we all know, if there’s one thing I’m always worried about, it’s money. We’re a family of three living off my very modest income. It’s strange. I make so much more than I ever have in my entire life, but it seems like I have less money to show for it. Honestly, it’s because I have so many more bills than I used to. There’s just not much left after bills are paid. It’s difficult to have all this stewing in your head and feeling like you have to keep a lid on it.
Obviously, I don’t completely. On here, I pretty much never hold back, but in real life, I’ve been trying to curb how much I complain about money. I’m not doing a very good job, but in my defense, it’s pretty much all I think about. And for me, when I discuss it with other people, it’s just venting. In my family, money and bills are the things we complain about. It’s almost like a bonding thing. But I don’t think that’s how it is for other people.
I still remember the Monday after I found out I was pregnant with Vincent, we had been told overtime was being taken away. Keep in mind that up to that point, I was doing a ton of overtime because I needed to pay stuff (I know Jim broke the fridge in our apartment and I had to buy his college books, amongst other things), and I was working a ton to try to pay for everything, then I found out I was pregnant and unable to do overtime. I freaked out. How on earth was I going to afford a baby? Or move out of our one-bedroom apartment? I couldn’t even afford maternity clothes.
I fretted; my co-workers sympathized. I didn’t think much of my complaining. Isn’t that what friends do? Complain to each other, listen, sympathize? Then, one day, they gathered around me to give me a gift card of $100 so I could buy maternity clothes because they knew I was in a difficult spot. I was speechless. It was so generous of them. At the same time, I worried that maybe they felt compelled to do so because I was so open about my anxiety regarding our financial situation, especially given that I was also pregnant. I was just venting, though; I certainly didn’t intend for anyone to give me anything.
Something similar happened a few months ago, before my dad passed away. I made the mistake of openly worrying about money to Jim’s mom. Suddenly,she gave us a check out of the blue. I made Jim tear it up. I didn’t want her to feel like she needed to give us money; I was just sharing what’s on my mind (ALWAYS FREAKIN’ MONEY, ARGH)–I wasn’t trying to get anything from her.
Then my dad died. We didn’t have the money to go up north. We ended up having to borrow money from her anyway. It was not an easy thing on my pride, but what was I going to do? Miss saying goodbye to my dad just because I didn’t want to borrow money?
We paid it back within the month–my gain sharing came in not long afterward–but still. It stung.
Okay, so I need to quit fretting about money. In good news, our new house is coming along decently. We decided that while we will do renovations over time (when we have money, if ever), the 70’s smelly shag carpet HAD to go. I can handle a house with outdated stuff in it or stuff that just isn’t my style–hell, I’ve been renting so long, it’s pretty much all I know–but the smell of the carpet in the hallway and bedrooms made me want to gag. (The living room carpet is actually nice, so we’re keeping it for now.) So Jim and I have been ripping it out and praying for decent floor underneath.
Score! Beautiful wood floors. Oak, by the looks of it. And I bet if we refinish it, it will look amazing. One small problem: carpet glue.
I think with a lot of backbreaking sweat, elbow grease, and a good block of time, Jim and I could probably clear out the junk stuck to the floors in our bedroom. But Vincent’s room…that stuff is like tar. It just won’t come up. Goo Gone and Murphy Oil Soap, neither seem to be working very well. We’re scratching our heads and debating whether or not using a sander will actually work on it or just gum the sander up. We’re wondering if we’re ever going to get it completely taken off.
So we’ve come up with plan B: If we can’t get it off, then we’ll buy the wood flooring. You know, from Home Depot or something.
I’ll probably have to borrow money from my retirement for that.
It always comes back to money, doesn’t it?