My husband and I have always been *pretty good* about managing our money. Granted, there are decisions I can look back on now and wish we'd made differently, but we've always had a savings account in place, and aside from the rare occasion we drew from it to help cover an unexpected expense, it was always growing little by little.
By the time I got pregnant, we were married, living in a small but nice apartment, had found our church and were tithing 10% of our income, he was working his current job bringing in about $3500-$4000 each month, and I had graduated college and started my career bringing home $2000-$2500 each month. Both of our cars were paid off, as well as my student loans. We were in a very good financial position in terms of being ready for a baby.
We had been debating buying a house, and once I was pregnant, we knew our apartment would be too small for our family. We found and fell in love with our house, and were moved in by the time I was 7 months along.
Then things took a turn.
In the last year and a half, we've had to buy another vehicle (mine died), buy a new rim and four new tires for his SUV, and have had other unplanned expenses; I was unable to breastfeed as planned because of previously-undetected medical issues, had to do a major repair on our home, etc. Before buying our home, I left my job to be a SAHM until our son starts school, and we bought our home knowing that we would need to live frugally in order to make it. Looking back, we didn't leave enough room for error.
Our mortgage is $1500/mo, which includes paying about $60 extra each month toward principal. Our son, as it turns out, was very sensitive in what type of formula he could take, which meant added expense, and my husband received a "promotion" that actually has become a pay cut because he is unable to work overtime in this position (but it does afford more opportunity for advancement). I recently started a part-time job to help make up the difference, but it hasn't been enough. This week, our savings officially reached $58.
Fast forward to present. We both got paid yesterday (him $1400, me $200), and our mortgage will be due the first, which meant I would need to pay the mortgage late and use these funds to pay all of our bills (utilities, homeowner's insurance, car insurance, phone bill,credit card that we had to use recently) and provide everything else we need for the next month. I babysat yesterday for a bit and used that $20 in cash to run to the store today and grab some small items. On the way home, my low fuel light came on, and I finally gave in and started to cry. I pulled to the side of the road and just let it out.
I realized that although we'd been doing charity work and helping others, I hadn't been truly humble in that I had an attitude that WE were doing well, WE were keeping ourselves in a good situation, etc. Then I prayed. I said "God, I realize why you've brought us to this place of uncertainty and what we are to gain from it. I am so incredibly grateful for this lesson, and that we've been able to learn this lesson while still having a comfortable home. I know YOU will provide for us, and have been all along. The things we have been 'going without' are so trivial in comparison to what you've given us, and I pray you will continue to keep us able to afford the home we are in."
I drove the rest of the way home, grabbed the mail out of the box, and started weeding through it (dreading finding any bills). There was an item from the bank we have our mortgage through, and my heart absolutely sank, thinking that it was some kind of bad news...
It was a money order for $2,045.23 as a refund for overpayment into our escrow (our property taxes were overestimated, and this much is left over)! I just broke down and said a prayer of thanks. I wanted to share this story with anyone who is struggling in hopes of showing people that prayer is a powerful thing.
Keep your chin up, be humble, and give it to God. He'll take care of you!
1 Peter 5.6-7:
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.
Be strong and bold, have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
Please know that you are not going to shake my faith. I am open to respectful discussion, but bashing will just go unanswered.
by Anonymous - Original PosterNovember 29, 2012 at 3:48 PMMy thoughts exactly :)
Your response blessed me and warmed my heart. I know you and I believe differently but you were so kind to the OP unlike others who only post to be negative and hateful. Thank you!
As I'm not a follower of the Christian faith I still find your "miracle" very inspirational sweety! Regardless of what some of the women have rudely said,this is what a true Christian does,tells their story of hope and quietly move on. May the Gods shine upon you and your family in your time of need and rejoice!! (As you have complete faith in your God,I personally believe in many,please don't take my prayer for you as disrespect for your faith).
by Anonymous - Original PosterNovember 29, 2012 at 3:54 PMSo awesome! God is great :)
And I'm so glad that you've been blessed since tithing; it can definitely be scary! There have been a few times when I've had to force myself to drop that check into the basket, but we've been so blessed since dedicating ourselves to it. Just goes to show that every time you become more obedient to God, he blesses you a bit more :)
This happened to us too. I had NO idea we were getting an escrow refund check until it came in the mail--for exactly how much I needed to pay my college tuition.
I wasn't really clear there. I apologize.
I know what bills are coming and when, but in a time of uncertainty, bills are painful to look at, and honestly I was just not feeling up to organizing bills immediately after a meltdown!
I actually called the bank that we have our mortgage through and had our loan officer walk me through the escrow statement that accompanied the check. She confirmed that it was not an error on our part, and that taxes had been calculated incorrectly on the closing paperwork when we bought our house. Our tax bill goes to the bank to be paid out of our escrow.
There was no way for us to have known that we'd be receiving money until it happened, because they sent the money order as soon as they did the review/analysis of our escrow account.
I handle our finances, but the bank handles our taxes and escrow.
I find it disturbing that you don't know what bills are coming when and you didn't know you would get that money back. Who takes care of your finances?
by mommyg97November 29, 2012 at 3:57 PMLove this!
by AnonymousNovember 29, 2012 at 3:58 PMMy dh also took a pay cut for his promotion so I know exactly what you are going through. I'm so glad you got the money you needed, be smart with it!
by Anonymous - Original PosterNovember 29, 2012 at 3:58 PMI think it's a defense mechanism... They don't want to believe, so they have to see me as "stupid," or at the very least misguided. My story doesn't fit with their belief system, so it must be untrue or explainable in some other way. But with any luck, this testimony will have brought at least one non-believer to a place where they open their heart :)
It would truly be sad for anyone to bash you for your strong belief and faith in God. You have reminded me that I also need to be more humble. Sometimes when life get to hard, it is easy to forget. Thank you and God bless.
by ginger813November 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM
that's really awesome, btw, OP. I've been doing a lot of praying for my financial situation for the last few years. Things are slowly improving, but not as fast as I would like it to, lol. Maybe you could put your awesome praying skills to work and send a little prayer for me? lol
Exactly! I got it when we needed it, and not until I DESERVED it!
it probably would have been, but maybe it wouldn't have come until much, much later. She got it when she needed it most!
Because that check wouldnt have been there otherwise....