Currently at the Badger's job he has abundant opportunities to work extra shifts and make extra money. We're really excited about this because we've got a few bills to pay off that would take years otherwise. We feel really strongly that we need to get out of debt and so we are working hard at it.
When that extra money comes in, though, it's tough to stay disciplined. Suddenly, there's all kinds of things we really ought to have and hey, we have the money to buy them! Wheee!!
For so many years we've lived with just enough money to cover our bases. That can be tough. But I actually think it's harder to have a little extra money. You get in the habit of buying things and before you know it you've overspent. Or both spouses think "we have an extra hundred bucks" so they both go and spend it without consulting each other and suddenly $200 is gone. The Badger and I have had to learn new communication skills. We've definitely grown more unified as we've met this challenge together.
We've also been working on determining what our needs truly are. We've found that most of the things we feel like we need right now we can live without, at least until Big Bill #1 is paid off. Both the Badger and I have returned major purchases to the store in the last several weeks after realizing that we really didn't need them after all, even though they would have been extremely useful to have.
One example is that I've been biking a lot and I would love to have a bike trailer to pull the girls behind me as I bike. It would be a really good thing to have, useful and fun. The girls would love it. Our family would grow closer as we went on bike rides all together. And we would use it often. It is a very justifiable purchase and I nearly bought one this month. But I didn't.
We've realized that there are so many things we already have that are fun and useful that we hardly ever use. So we are making an effort as a family to enjoy what we already have. The Badger has a few books he's bought that he hasn't read yet. We haven't even yet opened the outdoor sport set we bought for Christmas. And I have a ton of fabric sitting around gathering dust earmarked for this or that sewing project that I haven't got around to yet.
The other day I opened my fabric drawer and saw all these scraps in all these bright colors, so I decided to make a scrap quilt. Nothing fancy, just a fun late-evening project made entirely of stuff I already had. Stuff that was just rotting away in my fabric stash and now is part of a useful small quilt that someone can snuggle up in.
And there's lots more where that came from.
I really do have everything I need to not only meet all the needs of my family but keep us all entertained, busy, and productive for quite some time. It's amazing how the many thoughts I'd been having about all the stuff I wanted to get have been replaced by a deep feeling of gratitude for what I already have.