Patience through financial struggles


#1

Money has been extremely tight for about 2 1/2 years. While I was pregnant in late 2003 & early 2004 we made a lot of big purchases (so we could have all our ducks in a row) if you know what I mean?

We bought our first home
We bought a Used car
We racked up some credit card debt while I was on a 3 month maternity leave.

I imagine this is pretty typical for most young couples, however the debt & monthly expenses has been a nightmare/struggle causing lots of friction in our marriage.

My husband & I bring home about the same amount of money. I have to work to help pay down this debt & to help support the family. Trust me in the beginning I put up quite a fit about having to work & it resulted in a lot of resentment towards my husband. Ive accepted my “working mom” role but there are days I still hate it!

We dont live extravagantly & dont have extra’s. Just trying to pay the mortgage/utilities/car payment/childcare/groceries is tough.

There are days I want to find a quick FIX to this financial mess. I always want a quick fix & its never the answer…

I just want to know how to be patient & trust in the Lord to get us through this really hard time, Ive prayed but my answer hasnt come yet : (

In some of my previous posts I mentioned returning to college to finish a degree & I think a lot of that stems from the fact that I feel I need to make more money so our family finances will improve? I dont want to return to college & I know deep down its not the answer, but I feel helpless just sitting by week after week barely getting by…


#2

I’m a newlywed in the same tight financial place it sounds that you are in, so I hear you! I don’t have much advice for getting through the boring sameness of being on a tight budget all the time. But I did want to share an online calculator that helps determine whether a second income is necessary. Very often, a second income brings in so little money when daycare and all the costs associated with working are factored in that it is not worthwhile. Perhaps you’ve already done all these calculations, but in case you have not . . .

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/calcs/n_spwk/main.asp

#3

We’ve had our share of tight times. Since my husband works in manufacturing–I anticipate we will have tight times again.

I trully believe that material deprivation is good for your soul. I love the book *Happy We Poor * by Fr. Dubay

It is so stressful and hard on the marriage when bills are due with no money to pay them. I hate when you are scared to pick up the phone because it might be a rude bill collector. When you have to tell your kids “no” to activities and lessons from which they would benefit. When the Church calls for a pledge for the capital campaign, and you have to repeatedly confess that there is nothing you can give. Humiliation on top of stress and deprivation.

There are days that I look around my worn down little house and think, “I can’t believe that I’m thirty-six and still living in a dump.”

However, I trust that this where God wants me. I do believe that my personality is one that would be corrupted by affluence. I do also think that my children are better off without the material possessions, extra lessons, and indulgences that I would be tempted to provide them if our income afforded it.

Still it is difficult when there are no reserves.

Here is a prayer to Our Lady of Providence

Remember, O most faithful Lady of Providence, that you have been given to us by your Son to be our mother. We entrust to you our labors: bless them. We commend to you our needs: supply them. Show for us the same concern you manifested at Cana, for we trust that whatever you ask of your Son will be done. Pray for us on our pilgrimage that we may share the faith and hope that marked your life. Full of confidence in your power before God, we place ourselves, our loved ones, and all our petitions in your providential care. Amen.


#4

I understand a bit of what you are going through. When my hubby and I were newlyweds we bought our first home and all of the things that go with it (on credit, of course:rolleyes: ). Those first few years were ROUGH! We did what we could to get by. If it hadn’t have been for my parents buying us groceries we would have lost the house for sure!

**But the difference in our situation is that I was unable to work. I was only working part time when hubby met me…just enough to pay for my used car. So when we found ourselves struggling, we didn’t have any other income to fall back on. **


Those days were so tough on me emotionally. I felt like I was a huge burden to my husband. I would have gladly went out and worked two or three jobs just to help out if I was able. But I wasn’t, so we had to deal with reality. And it really helped that my hubby is very supportive and never made me feel useless!


I learned more than my fair share of patience in that time. It was either that, or lose my mind, lol. But it seems like as soon as I learned that there were no “quick fixes” and that we just to had to deal with one day at a time that things got easier.


** Now, did they really, or was it just my perspective?**


** It was my perspective. That is what you need to work on. Life is always going to be stressful and there are always going to be struggles. We need to learn how to deal with them and make peace with them. You surely have heard of the Serenity prayer? Say it often, and believe it!**


We are still surviving on only my hubby’s modest income and we are expecting our first child. I can tell you right now that if I were healthy enough to work, I would be very tempted. But both my hubby and i agree that our baby would need me more as a mommy than as a paycheck. So we would make it work.


I don’t know if I can offer you any useful advice. One thought did occur to me though…when you bought your home, did you stay within your husband’s income or did you make it so you NEED to work just to keep up with the mortgage? It is always advisable for new couples who know they want to have one parent stay home with the kids put aside the one income as savings and just live off of the other. This does two things: shows you that it is possible, and gives you a nice nest egg to sit on.


I am losing my train of thought and feel as though I am rambling, lol, so I will spare you any more of my babbling.


Malia


#5

Just wanted to offer you some encouragement and support. Look at this web sight www.daveramsey.com there is some very common sense methods to pay down debt and build wealth. I know it works because my wife and sat in your shoes not too long ago. I also host a 13 week course from this company and have helped 15 couples and 3 singles get info to help themselves. There is no magic pill and no quick fix. This information is simply concepts your grandparents followed to give money some common sense.

You can find a class at the websight by typing in your zip code or go to the public library and check out the books. Or find his radio program on the AM side in your area. Either way if you really want to be in a different place give this a shot. PM me if you need anything. I am willing to help. I hate to make a gratuitous plug for the products but this system works.

Thanks Eric


#6

[quote=katesmom]Money has been extremely tight for about 2 1/2 years.
[/quote]

Many people are in the same boat no doubt. I’m sure you manage your money well. Be patient and don’t lose sleep.


#7

Thank you to everyone for posting. Thanks for the Dave Ramsey link. I actually do listen to him everyday on my drive home from work on an AM station. He is wonderful & has great advice.

I know we will get through this & I know financial struggles come & go. I think the thing I hate the most is how much my husband & I fight about money! That stinks. We need to find a better coping strategy than just yelling/blaming,etc…

I will work on accepting this season of my life.

I like what you said JMJ Theresa: "However, I trust that this where God wants me. I do believe that my personality is one that would be corrupted by affluence. I do also think that my children are better off without the material possessions, extra lessons, and indulgences that I would be tempted to provide them if our income afforded"


#8

I know that what helps my husband and I during this season is that being cash-poor is a reminder of our shared ideals and love for each other. I save us so much money by not working outside the home (cooking everything from scratch, no gasoline, only one car needed, no clothes purchases, etc.) compared to what I could earn that we are both committed to this scenario right now. Also, we love how peaceful the home is in the evenings because we are not both stressed out coming from work to a dirty house and no dinner on the table. I’m not stressed out because I get to stay home and my husband is not stressed out because he comes home to a peaceful sanctuary. This peacefulness cuts down on our bickering about money (not that we never differ on what we think limited money should go toward!).

My husband is better about this than me: he says that every time he is deprived of something he wants to buy, he feels a happy moment because he remembers that we’re poor together. (I don’t have quite so many happy moments!)

Also, my husband said something last night that made me think of this thread. At our weekly financial meeting, I was bringing up yet again that I want to use a coupon to get the carpets cleaned for about $100. The people who owned this home prior must have been raised by wolves because every time they dropped, say, an entire cup of coffee on the white carpets, they just left it there without any attempt to clean it up. The carpets throughout the whole house are covered in a multitude of embarrassing stains. My husband looked at the numbers and said he did not think we could afford the $100 till August. I’m disappointed and grumpy, but my husband said we should take pride in our carpet stains because they are a reminder of our commitment to getting out of debt and not buying what we can’t pay for with cash. Sigh . . . He just has to be all mature about it!


#9

After 10 years, my wife and I finally worked off the debt we had accumulated in the first year of marriage.
It was great, and for a solid month we had the available cash to do pretty much anything we wanted.

Then I lost my job.:banghead:
Fortunately, the only debt we had was a mortgage. My wife and I can scrape by with her income and a lot of charity from others.

In our situation, the solution was simply years and years of patience and scraping by. But every situation is different, so I would dare not give you the same advice.

All I can do is offer my prayers.
You have them.


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.