Monday, August 2, 2010

Give and Get

For a long time I kept it a secret the difficult times that Mr. Daddy and I have been through. Financially, we have struggled since we moved back to this area nearly five years ago. Having two kids in daycare was tough too. The year that we had them both in daycare full time? That year we shelled out $12,000 in daycare fees. You might wonder why I even worked, but it was always my job that had the insurance. And having had to buy private insurance for a year while we were self-employed made me realize what an awesome thing employer subsidized healthcare is. Things have gotten easier as the kids have gotten older. We went from two kids in daycare to just one and starting this Friday both our children will be in public school and all we'll have to pay for is after school care.

I came clean a couple of months back about our struggles and it was a huge relief. I always felt like I was holding something back from you guys and now there are so many more things I can blog about now that you know most of the details. Also, since then I've been reading so many blogs by people who have either been laid off or whose loved ones have been laid off. It's made me realize that we are not alone.

Since that post of mine, Mr. Daddy and I have really been working to pay off our debt. We've paid off three cards and just started working on the 4th this month. If I had actually written a physical check for the nearly $1000 I just sent Bank of America, I would have written SUCK IT in the memo field. I was saying it in my mind, though.

There's an old hymn that instructs us to "Count your blessings, name them one by one" and so I'm going to take a moment to write about a few things I'm thankful for:

1. I'm thankful that Mr. Daddy and I have been able to make such progress on our paying off our debts.

2. I'm thankful that we had enough extra money for me to buy a plane ticket so I could go and see AndreAnna this September (Woot!) Also joining us? Annabelle Speaks, Pseudostoops, Campenette, Belle Plaine, and McMama. If I left anybody out, I apologize. I've never met any of these women in real life, but I've gotten to know them all via their blogs and Twitter over the past couple of weeks. And AndreAnna is one of my most consistent commenters (and one of my favorite bloggers), so I'm super thrilled to finally get to the hang with her.

3. Mr. Daddy is able to fulfill a dream of his: to register for the introductory blacksmithing class at the John C. Campbell Folk School this November.

4. We were able to buy the kids' back to school clothes without worrying where the money was going to come from.

I know all this is money related and I don't want it to seem like we're Mr. and Mrs. Gotrocks all of a sudden, or seem like I'm bragging, but I just cannot tell you what an absolute relief it is to be able to do these things. For so many months, nay years, we had our noses to the grindstone without room for any extras. There were literally times when we were down to $5 or less before payday. So to finally be able to breathe and have a little fun, well that feels pretty darn good.

Throughout our financial troubles, Mr. Daddy and I have tried to continue our charitable giving. We give weekly to our church. Our Sunday school class provided food for needy kids to take home on the weekends. Mr. Daddy sends money occasionally to Make A Wish and I send money pretty regularly to the USO. I believe in paying it forward. So, in honor of the many, many blessings we have received, I want to make a gift. In your name.

Leave a comment with the name of your favorite charity by 11:59 p.m. on August 4th. I will use a random number generator to select one of the comments and then I will make a $50 donation in your name to the charity of your choice.

The way I see it, this way everybody wins.


1blueshi1 said...

hello sweetheart! thank you for the beautiful comments. sometimes I can't believe all the good things that are happening to me. and I am soSoSO happy that things are getting better for you & your family. because not having enough money just makes everything that much harder. I know money can't buy everything, but a new pair of shoes can really perk a girl right up, y'know?!?
it's been so long since I have given to charity that I really don't have a favorite, but I was intrigued by what I've heard about the work that Clinton's foundation is doing in Africa as far as supporting women in sustainable local businesses. anything that empowers women is good as far as I'm concerned!

AndreAnna said...

You give me hope that good karma does exist.

Can't wait to squeeze some outta ya.

Just in Case said...

Congrats on your progress. I TOTALLY know the feeling. We are mid way into our Dave Ramsey dump the debt plan.........and there are days when I get excited and another card is paid off, or something got bought in cash........and days when I think it will never end! However, I feel much less stressed. We, too, have kept on giving through these times and I think it makes a huge difference. We keep our giving local - just so the kids can see where the money/stuff goes. Our church has a food pantry and I try to take a donation once a month so the kids can carry it in and see. This month the ministry village is outfitting all the foster kids in our county with back to school supplies so the kids and I shopped together and donated.

for a different kind of girl said...

How wonderful for and OF you! I know how hard it can be to reign in a financial situation. We went through Dave Ramsey's program last winter, and while we don't necessarily have a debt to bring down, we do have to be cognizant of where and how we spend our money. One of our big goals now is trying to build our savings back up. We often do live paycheck to paycheck, and trying to always pay ourselves a little bit first can be hard, but we're working on it. I have a friend whose young son was recently diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, so we're also trying to set some money aside when we can to donate to that cause.

maggiegracecreates said...

Been there done that. Dug out of the negative sucking hole of debt. Now we are where the light of day glimmers through.

I am so happy for you and your family. I know it feels good to have a little left at the end of the pay period.

Having two girls with cars and associated insurance and one in college and one about to go, things are tight again, but I know that we tighten our belt and this will work out.

Go girl - tell mr daddy that I want hooks for my front porch when he learns what he's doing.

Love love.

Burgh Baby said...

We were SO headed in the right direction until my car broke down again. UGH. UGH. UGH. UGH. UGH. There is no feeling worse than having to use a credit card that was recently paid off. :-(

I say Toys for Tots because you know how I like to make sure kids have a great Christmas, even when times are tough.

Leslie said...

Madame Queen, I celebrate with you and Mr. Daddy. Being financially secure reduces stress in so many ways.

I nominate the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor and memory of all of the women in our lives who have beat or succumbed to breast cancer. My hope is that it won't be something our daughters have to worry about.

Dawn said...

Great post! It feels good to have a plan and stick to it.

Our favorite charity is where an individual can choose what project to support.

Katie said...

What a lovely and humbling post. You know what a wonderful, giving, beautiful person you are, right? :)I've been through the debt-dump, but long before we heard of Dave Ramsey. You are going to feel AMAZING when you're done. (And no one thinks you're the Gotrocks - it's just nice to have a little breathing room and that's how it came across.)

Btw your financial revolution and gettin' fit, you are going to feel like a million bucks!

Mir said...

You rock. Don't enter me in the contest but I just wanted to say I think it's really, really cool. All of it. :)

Rougeneck said...

You, my dear, are an inspiration...and kudos for being so honest. Honety in this space can be tough - but I find it to be utterly rewarding.

Lauren said...

So glad things are better!! And I'm super jealous of the plane ticket :)

St. Jude's Children's Hospital would be my charity of choice :)