Life is just what happens

by michelle on May 17, 2010 · 3 comments

Life is just what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans

John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy”

A few months ago, I discussed our plans for me to save my income and then once the baby arrives, I would be staying at home for a little while for a few reasons.  The main reason being that we don’t want to pay for childcare right now, considering it would eat up most of any income I would bring home.  The other reasons are personal – it’s something we wanted to make happen for ourselves for a long time.  And it’s why we put off having kids for a few years.

As fate would have it, our meticulously laid plans would be thwarted.  In early April, my husband lost his job.  It’s a convoluted and shitty situation, and while it sucked a lot, we looked at it from the beginning as a blessing.  He hated where that job had taken him.  He no longer enjoyed his work, and the work environment was detrimental.  In short, the job was killing him.  The good news was that we had months of bills saved up.  And that we had just cut out all of the unnecessary expenses out of our budget.  And that it was the push that he needed to go find some thing else.  Life had just forced his hand a little this time.

But everything that we had worked so hard for years to achieve was suddenly up in the air.  I was coming to terms with not being able to stay at home, and resigning myself to not taking an extended hiatus from the working world (which I have not done since I was 15), and watching our hard-earned savings dwindle grocery trip by grocery trip.  🙁  Pregnant women have to eat!  Haha.

So, we planned out starting a family for years.  At least 4 years, really.  That’s about how long we’ve been married.  We planned out our savings goals, and worked hard to achieve them.  We sacrificed and we budgeted and we didn’t buy new clothes or new furniture or take big vacations.  We did those things because we wanted to do them.  It wasn’t as if we felt like martyrs – we were working hard toward an end goal. And while we planned a huge chunk of savings for emergencies and these sorts of things, we never expected that to happen when I was 20 weeks pregnant.

The point of all this is to say that even though a huge kink was thrown into our plans, and there was a huge amount of uncertainty in our lives, we knew that we had every single bill paid for at least 6 months coming. Yeah, it sucked to think about having to use all of that, but we had it.  And it kept me from losing my cool on numerous occasions.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay for cable, or that you shouldn’t spend money on things that you want/need/love by any means.  What I am saying, begging, imploring is for you to seriously consider what you have to fall back on just in case something unthinkable happens and you’re 20 weeks pregnant, your primary source of income is gone, and you have no insurance.

The good news, 6 weeks later, is that my husband has found a job and will be starting work on June 1.  He’ll be working on a project he is interested in, with a group that sounds reputable and established, and he’s getting a nice pay raise out of the deal, too.

So yes, in our case, things worked out WAY better than we could have imagined. And we’re thankful.  And there are some things that are still up in the air of course.

But it became apparent very quickly just how rewarding it had been to pack away a substantial amount of savings.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth May 17, 2010 at 1:38 am

I am breathing the hugest sigh of relief for you, and I am so thankful that this is panning out.

There’s nothing like being prepared for the worst. We have been saving like crazy, but we’re going to make a separate account now that covers our insurance deductible twice over…just in case. This baby is due in January, but who knows what can happen between now and then?

Alex May 17, 2010 at 1:54 am

I was just working out the details of my budget for the next 4 months when your post popped up. 🙂
So glad everything worked out how it did. 🙂 You guys definitely earned some good karma over the past few years.
Love you muchly.

Doniree May 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I had no idea Chris lost his job – I’m so sorry! But you two have serious heads on your shoulders that allowed you to keep rolling with it instead of panicking, and honestly – I needed this little kick in the pants right now. I had a really solid savings before I moved, but my “emergency fund” became my “relocation budget” and now it’s pretty dwindled, but I’m happy to be in a place where I *can* cut corners and save where necessary. Thanks for the kick, and congrats on new beginnings for you both 🙂

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