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Friday, October 15, 2010

We're Not Ahead...But We're Not Behind...


 We're on a new financial path...yet again...and it's not of our own doing...again...

My husband came home yesterday clearly discouraged.  I could tell earlier in the day by the tone of his voice that he was discouraged about something, but I couldn't tell what and the day didn't lend itself for having that conversation right then.  We talked when he returned home from work last night and I quickly realized why he felt so down.  It was difficult not to go right down with him, but I also felt the Lord's peace somehow about the whole thing. 

I'm sure many of you, like us, are facing changes in your financial status once January 2011 arrives.  The new health care is hitting people hard, especially families.  Last night, my husband shared with me that our family insurance plan is going up by $100 per month.  Yes, that's a lot in our household.  The news hit him (and me) like a ton of bricks.  Adding to our frustration, and admittedly, a bit of anger at first, he found out from his co-workers who have the single person plan that their increase is a mere $5.00 per month.  Now, don't get me wrong, he doesn't wish for them to have a bigger increase or anything, but it's clear that the new health plan is targeting families.  It's one more indicator that the family unit is under attack in our world and our country. 

See, the hardest thing about it is that we had finally reached a point where we were going to be able to put $100 into savings toward a new-to-us vehicle which we know is going to be needed in the next few years most likely.  Now, with a bit of juggling and some changes (no details needed), we will be able to make the extra payment toward health care, but we won't have anything left over to put into savings.  **sigh**

It seems like every time we just begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that light gets extinguished again.  It's not like we are asking for a lot - we don't mean to take vacations that cost thousands of dollars or buy a larger house or spend lots of money on clothing, games, or other material things (not that those things are bad, just stick with me).  All we wanted was to put aside some money each month toward an expense we know we are going to incur sometime soon.  We have cut every expense we know how, but now are trying to find yet another way to do so.  Seems simple enough, doesn't it?

My husband is an excellent provider!  I don't want any misunderstandings here...I respect and love my husband and appreciate all that he does for us and how hard he works for us!  

It's just amazing to me that with this economy, he is working full time and I am working two part-time jobs from home and we feel as though we struggle sometimes financially.  I can't imagine those families who are without income at all...so I need to get the right perspective and realize how blessed we are, even when we feel discouraged.

We shop thrift stores for our clothes, we use coupons and plan menus around the weekly sales, we don't go on big vacations, we make 95% of our meals at home, and we are frugal in so many ways.  Not sure where else to cut expenses, but I am sure the Lord will show us how we can do that as we go along.

The conclusion is this:  while we aren't ahead financially, we aren't behind either.  It's kind of a "wash".  We still have jobs.  We have a cozy home and a roof over our heads.  There is plenty of food in our refrigerator and our pantry.  We have clothes in our closets and dressers.  We are not wanting for anything we actually need.  We are blessed!

We know that the Lord will provide.  We know He is caring for us during this difficult time of change and upheaval in our country.  He is still in control!  I thank the Lord for that!

I don't believe it is any coincidence that today is my first day of Bible reading - reading through the Bible chronologically I mean.  I will try to keep you updated of the Scripture references so if you're interested in reading through with me, you'll have them.  However, I know I am a flawed individual and will likely miss a few days here and there, so if you're interested in the schedule to read your Bible in one year, go to BibleYear.com and you can print out the schedule there.

Scriptures for today:  Genesis 1-3.

All my best to you today! 

5 comments:

caupp6 said...

Oh Susan, I am with you. We found out Wednesday that ours is going up $125. I was angry! I couldn't believe it as I went through the paperwork. How could this be happening. I will pray for you two as you make these changes. Finances can be tough on a marriage.

My personal feeling is this is one of satan' many tactics. A lot of people are willing to do without in this day to make their finances work; buying used cars, giong to goodwill, giving up cable, cutting back cellphones. But he knows people need health insurance, so lets raise the prices cause families to struggle and tear some marriages apart. It makes me angry!

Emily said...

Hey Susan! I'm so sorry. My husband and I have had many of the same struggles. I totally understand where you are coming from. IT IS FRUSTRATING! I'm encouraged by you to keep the right perspective.

Would you mind emailing me? I'm curious about your work at home jobs. My email is emily@themaxwells.net Thanks! Keep your chin up!

Karen said...

Susan, I read your post this morning before leaving for my moms group, so I didn't have a chance to leave a comment. But, I wanted to come back and say that I can totally relate!

My husband works for a relatively small-midsize family business. In an effort to keep health insurance for it's employees and for the company itself they've changed insurance companies each year for the past 4 years. It's kinda crazy. Once we get used to one policy/insurance company a new one is in effect.

And, the cost goes up every year in addition to the deductible. And, covered items are fewer and fewer.

I will say that this year we are using a Health Savings Account as our insurance. I was skeptical at first because I wasn't sure what to expect. It has actually worked really well. The money that comes out each week of my husband's paycheck goes into the HSA. While our deductible is really high, it doesn't feel like we're paying out of pocket because we pay out of the HSA...it's money we wouldn't have seen anyway.

Anyway, I know that feeling of taking one step forward only to step backward again. That elusive light at the end of the tunnel never seems to get closer.

Unfortunately so many people are in the same position these days. And, it doesn't seem like hard work pays off anymore. It used to be that if someone had a good work ethic they could be assured of meeting their needs. It's just not that way anymore.

But, we have seen God's hand in our own lives. We know his provision is always there. And, I rest easy in that. I pray that you would continue to feel God's peace and that you would be blessed abundantly.

Susan said...

Hi Lisa and Emily,
It's always a pleasure to see you here! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your words of encouragement with me.

Lisa, I understand your anger completely. I will probably feel angry at some point, but for now, I feel ok...ask me again in January. :)

Emily, yes, it is frustrating, but it's going to work out somehow. :)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Blessings...we are in a hole...but God is faithful. We don't have insurance so I don't know what the new plan will cost families...for us to have insurance, being self-employed, well lets just say it would be more than a house payment.

Blessings as God provides for your family and as you see life through His economy! Enjoy the security you have and know that He will meet your needs when the time comes.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today and following, I hope this old gray hair woman can encourage you along your journey.