Musing: to be absorbed in thought (that's the definition on my computer; i have a Mac; it helps me be smart)
I included the definition because that's what good bloggers do. Right?
So, what was I absorbed in thought about? Oh yeah, I was thinking about a recent dialogue I had on email. Then, I thought about another dialogue via email. Seems I've had lots of little dialogues by email lately.
The first one was with my kids' school. I wanted to find out from someone in authority how they thought we, as parents, were expected to handle all the plethora of requests we get for financial contributions. Recently it's been a school field trip, teacher appreciation items, a Thanksgiving lunch, a canned food drive, and money for supplies for a reward day. Honestly, that's after several other things...and we're only on week 12 of school. And, I have three kids at the school. I just wanted to let them know I was feeling squeezed.
I was re-reading the dialogue and saw that my first email ended with me saying "I'm guessing I'm not alone in this struggle, though I have to say it took me pushing my pride aside to even email you this note. Therefore, I imagine not many other parents are willing to just say "this is not working for us"." (extra emphasis added)
That single statement got me musing. We are so afraid to talk about money. We are so hush-hush about it. We're afraid other people will see how we spend our money, will know how much we make (or don't make), will scrutinize our decisions with our money, will ask for money, .... It's crazy! We know we will be judged.
Yet, Jesus understood this so much. He talked more about money than he did about heaven and hell! So, money must be pretty important.
Money represents so much. For me, it has a way of unearthing the ugly things in my heart.
For the sake of being real, let me explain something and then share something.
First, explain...I wrote at the beginning of the year about moving to a cash envelope system. You can read that post here. We have kept up with it fairly well. We lasted through May, then went off cash for our trip to the east coast in June. I didn't get us back on track with cash until August. That's also when we started getting our paychecks directly deposited. So, I've had a hard time getting a system in place to be "on" with it again, but I've been trying. Can I say here that having a baby throws a whole new dimension into my life? What ever was I thinking when I thought one more would just join the rest in our routine? Not so! The boy needs to nap all the time and I can't get nearly as much done anymore! Okay, so back to money. We have been sluggish with discipline lately.
Second, share...we have $24 cash to last us until Tuesday (next payday). Now, when I say that, please don't think I mean we have no money in our account and just $24 cash. What I mean is that between all my envelopes of "spending" money, we have $24 left. I didn't use cash at the grocery store this week (two stores in two trips) and spent more than I probably would have had I used cash. In addition, I was a little loose with my card because I didn't have cash and bought a pair of shoes for myself and one for Jett, along with some clearance costumes and candy. I "needed" the shoes (in other words, I don't have any brown shoes I can wear with khakis, so I could "justify" "needing" the shoes) and then got amazing deals on the costumes and candy (like less than $10 total). BUT...if I had opened an envelope of cash and saw a limited amount of funds, I don't know that I would have bought those items. Maybe, but I'm not sure. BUT, I did. It's done. So, now we have $24.
What's my point? Just to tell you. Whoever is reading. We struggle with money. We struggle with decisions. We make dumb choices and regret it. We want things we can't afford. Sometimes we buy them and then have to forgo other things to cover our tracks. One good thing, we are committed to no debt. So, I always pay off our card balances. It's not an option and hasn't been for years. So, we don't lack complete discipline. But, we still struggle.
We were going to go out for lunch today because Joel gets a free meal (Veteran's Day! hooray for amazing men and women who serve our country). But, with just $24 cash in hand, we aren't. We decided to change our plans.
As my email said (excerpt above), I'm guessing I'm not alone in this struggle, though I have to say it took me pushing my pride aside to even
[I just saw this cute comic on XKCD about money and savings.]