Monday, May 23, 2011

Are we @$%& ups?

In a lovely little movie called Away We Go, Verona asked Bert the question that has been burning on my mind lately. She asks her boyfriend, "Are we fuck up's?" They debate the issue for a minute, and she reaches a conclusion. "I think we might be fuck up's."

Up until a few months ago, Beau (my husband) and I really seemed to have out shit together. We had plenty of money to pay all our bills and have enough left over to have fun with, and pay for all the stuff we needed for our new baby. We had a cute (albeit rented) house in a neighborhood I had always wanted to live in. We thought we were doing well. Sort of.

In the back of my mind, I always worried. In retrospect, I know that it was because we were really just faking it. We seemed to have plenty of money for everything, but it was only because we were ignoring certain debts. We also had no savings. We were those people you hear about who were one disaster away from...well...disaster.

Disaster happened when my Grandma was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away less than a month later. There really aren't words to express how devastating that was for me. She lived with us, and she was my very best friend. Aside from suffering from that crippling grief, the financial ramifications were huge for us. The life insurance she left was enough to pay for her cremation (which was what she wanted) and a small memorial gathering at our home. After that, we were left with just enough to relocate. We couldn't afford the rent for the house we were living in on our own.

The place we found just barely worked for our budget. It left no wiggle room. Somewhere along the way, we must have over-wiggled and we ended up way behind in our bills. WAY. We were super freaked out by this, but we thought we could probably catch up, as long as Beau kept working as much overtime as possible. I started to feel it all being pulled out from under us, but there was still a glimmer of hope. Even so, I started making contingency plans in my head for what we would do if something really unthinkable happened, like one of us losing our job.

Then, Beau lost his job.

After talking and crying for a bit, we knew what we had to do. We had to put my contingency plan into action, give it up, cut our losses and move in with his parents.

I have never in my life felt like a bigger loser than I did at that moment. I had become someone I swore I would never be. I was that person with a baby who was wholly unprepared, financially, for a family. That was when that scene from Away We Go entered my brain. Are we fuck up's? I THINK WE MAY BE FUCK UP'S. WE ARE FUCK UP'S.

We spent the next couple days feeling like shit, borrowing money to keep the things we really did need, and preparing to move AGAIN. Then, a thought occurred to me. A big one.

I thought, maybe we are fuck up's, but we don't have to continue to be. Maybe, by moving in with the in-laws, we are being given an opportunity. If we had kept doing what we were doing; if Beau didn't lose his job, we might have eventually caught up with our immediate bills and been "ok", but that is all we could have ever been. OK. And who wants to be just OK? I don't, but I never thought we could have it any other way. I started to think maybe, if they were willing to keep us that long, we could use this time with them to do more than just pay for this immediate debacle. We could REALLY fix our finances, pay off our student loans, old credit cards, old debt. Fix our credit. Build a savings. Then, finally, when we are ready to move on, buy a house. We could not just get out of THIS mess, but ensure that we don't get into a mess like this ever again.

The more I thought about that plan, the more I thought we had no choice but to do just that. If not for ourselves, for our daughter. I don't want her to have to miss opportunities because we were selfish and proud. Because, honestly guys, that's what it comes down to. This hurts our pride. Our egos. We played "Grown Up" and we lost. But it's not a game anymore. It can't be when our daughter's future is at stake. We simply have to suck it up, move on, and fix it for her.

So, that's the very serious story about where we are and what has been happening. So, why this blog?

Well, I need an outlet, for one thing. I have always loved to write and that has suffered the last few years, and bitching and moaning about your situation online is just so in. Also, there are things about this little set up we have going that have entertainment value, people. We live in a trailer park (hence the title). My in-laws are very interesting people, and we couldn't possibly be living with two more different people than ourselves. Surely that will lead to some HIGH-larious material. Plus, I have a cute kid that I fully intend to show off here as much as possible. See? **Ignore my massive, sunburned cleavage.**

Also, maybe as we take this journey that I have maturely titled "Getting Our Shit Together. No Really. Part Deux", we will stumble across stuff that might be useful for other people in a similar situation. Hahaha. Sorry. The idea of me sharing financial tips and tricks is laughable. Like, really ridiculous. But hey, MAYBE, in a while, maybe a year, I'll actually have some advice. Some SAVVY. Some know-how. Move over Suze. Dave Ramsey. I'm a comin'.

So, there it is. My story. My new blog. And I know what some of you are thinking. "Yeah, right. Jess SAYS she is going to blog again, but all she does is promise and then crush our spirits!" By some of you, I mean one of you. But still. I promise, folks, I am in for this one. For real. Long haul. You with me?

Anyone have any suggestions for books I could read about money and stuff? I obviously need advice. Share in the comments!


Elena said...

I dnt know of any books you can read however I just want to say I think you're awesome for sharing your story! I also think you're brilliant for using this time wisely and getting your finances in order. I wish you the best of luck and will be following your blog.

Querida said...

I recommend "All Your Worth." (If you look it up on Amazon, it should be the first one.)I haven't finished reading it, or even begun in earnest, but it comes highly recommended, and I aspire to its core principle: learn to live on half of what you make.

Also, I love the prettiness of this blog. And I'm putting you into my Google feeds so I can always read your fresh perspective on stuff.

Love and hugs. No Really. Part 4EVAH!

Sharoon Sunny said...

I came by your blog through Carrie. It is amazing to see you can have a perspective that is so brilliant and honest at such a trying time.
Thanks for sharing your life. I look forward to reading your posts.

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