I am a serial budgeter. I make budget after budget, spreadsheets, lists, plans…you name it, I’ve done it.
Well…everything that is, except actually stick to said budget, spreadsheet, etc…
That part does not come easily. Intellectually, I get budgets. I like numbers. I can plan out money to the penny. And I have really good intentions. Then Friday night comes…hubby wants to do something…the girls want to do something. Then I get to be the bad guy and say no.
Except I very rarely have. I would give in and then try to move money around…the whole robbing Peter to pay Paul thing. Unfortunately, Peter eventually has to be paid.
With the patient and loving help of a dear friend this week, I budgeted for the rest of the year. Dave Ramsey style. Account for every dollar, including spending money, etc. Showed the numbers to hubby (not a numbers guy). He’s on board. I feel this relief that we can do this. We are going to do this.
It’s not an option anymore. We have made a lot of bad financial decisions. There have been many months, sometimes longer, in the middle of our struggle, when hubby didn’t work. While that definitely has impacted where we are now, if I’m honest, it’s not the main cause.
Because, when we were in the darkest part of his addiction, I did whatever I could to keep the girls out of the house on the weekends. Usually that meant going shopping, to the movies, etc… None of which was free. We would leave as soon as I could get all the girls ready…and try to stay gone until I thought he would be passed out.
Sometimes I was right. But more often than not, he would wake up when we got home. And the high I was on from my shopping addiction would disappear as his angry words shot through my heart. Anger for us staying gone all day or for how much I spent. Often irrational anger, thoughts I could never understand, but that hurt none the less.
That hurt, of course, led to more shopping. I needed something. Something to make me feel good. I felt so alone, so abandoned. After really bad nights, I would shop online. After spending more than I should have during the day, I soothed my hurt with more shopping.
So I take the blame for the financial mess we’re in. I don’t put it off on anyone else. I own it. So now I have to fix it.
I have to say no this summer. I have to be the bad guy. No water park passes. No movies. Limited sleepovers because our grocery budget is so small I honestly don’t know how we’re going to make it work.
But I also get to say yes this summer. Yes to going to the park…movie night at home, snuggled up on the couch…camping trips (with the hubby and girls, not me!!!)…and a trip home. To Ohio. To spend a week with aunts, uncles, cousins…and a trip to the zoo and water park there. And church camps that I would sell a kidney to make sure the girls didn’t miss out on.
The most important yes this summer will be to camping, or to day trips to hubby’s favorite (free) swimming hole. I will say yes. Without worrying if he will be able to stay sober the whole time. Without worrying that the anger that consumed him for years would surface. Without worrying about my girls’ hearts.
Because their hearts will be filled. Filled with excitement and anticipation. And then, memories of wonderful times that were free. And priceless.