Life can be funny sometimes.
You go about your days as usual. You read your Bible every morning and give quick half-hearted prayers of thanks before moving on to the next thing on your to-do list. You even find yourself complaining about little things, like how you really want a new couch soon, or how your husband is working late. Again. And you really wanted to have a night out to yourself.
And then life hits you like a truck when your husband suddenly shows up before lunchtime without a job.
Unfortunately, we’re reliving this scenario again. In 2016 we faced the same situation and John was without a job for 4 months. We’re living out the unknown again, walking in blind faith that God will get us through this as He has many other times.
Before I go anywhere else with this, I want to let you know that we’re okay. We’ve been following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and thanks to his suggestions, we’ve built up an emergency fund that will last us awhile. We’re not hurting for money, but we are taking precautions and using what we have very carefully. We’ll receive unemployment but choose not to receive any other kind of financial assistance.
So, where do we go from here? We have a few things that we want to keep in the front of our minds during this time, to help us focus on what’s important.
Praying is the first thing we do daily. First of all, we just thank God for constantly providing for us. We’ve never had to go without, and we’ve always gotten exactly what we need at just the right time. There’s no way we could do this by ourselves; it’s only by the grace of God that we’ve gotten through 5 job losses.
Stop unnecessary spending
I had gotten pretty comfortable with buying lots of little things here and there. Nothing huge; just things like going out for sodas/ICEEs, getting treats at Kings Island, and random visits to Dollar Tree. Now I’ve stopped the thought of having disposable income and we’re being a lot more careful.
At the moment, we’re still keeping random things like Netflix and my gym membership. If for whatever reason John hasn’t found a new job in several months and the money’s starting to dwindle, we’ll obviously cut out all the luxury memberships.
Cut our grocery budget
Here’s one of the big ones, especially since it affects our every day life. Once again, I’ve chosen to lower our grocery budget from $75 a week to $30 a week. We probably don’t have to; but in order to make our money last as long as possible, I feel we need to cut back a little on the “luxury” groceries. No more stockpiling, no extra snack purchases, and less meat, in addition to maintaining as healthy a lifestyle as possible. I’m going into more detail next week on how I plan to feed us for $30 a week, so look forward to Monday to see my new frugal shopping and menu.
Supplement our income
While we have a good emergency fund, it’s still nice to know we can do a couple extra things on the side to make a little money.
First of all, I’m making a partial income from this blog. It’s definitely not enough to support the family, but it’s something that we can tap into if absolutely needed. The way I keep my content free for you is through ads, so thank you for supporting me by visiting my blog every day! I also earn money through affiliates; so if you click one of my links to purchase something or sign up somewhere, I may earn a small commission.
Grocery-wise, I’m really stepping up my game with Swagbucks. I run the Swagbucks TV app on an old phone, and I’ve committed to doing at least one survey a day; and my goal is to earn $50 a month in gift cards instead of my usual $25. I redeem my Swagbucks for Sam’s Club gift cards, which is a total help if I need large purchases like maple syrup, honey, string cheese, shredded cheese, or paper goods (But hopefully we’re good on those for a few months).
In the end, it’s all about trusting God and what He has in store for us next. Walking blindly in faith has become part of our life; and while it never gets easier, our confidence in God is never shaken. We’re going to be okay, and I’ll be sure to give updates as much as I can!