I have been unemployed for five years. Five long years with no paycheck. Can you imagine? I used to have a decent job, was compensated for work, earned a fair(ish) wage, got to feel pride in a job well done.
Now, though? Nope. No paycheck, and I get to work around the clock for zero dollars. It’s totally by choice too, so I don’t want you all to get the wrong idea. I chose to leave my job, chose to forgo monetary compensation, chose to lose my benefits, so I could stay home and raise my kids.
I loved my job as an emergency and critical care veterinary technician. The work I did was important, it made a difference. I saved lives, eased suffering, comforted grieving families. But I’m glad I quit. I understand how lucky am to be home, and what a privilege it is to be home by choice. Not everyone can, and I don’t take it lightly. I’m very grateful.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. It definitely took some adjusting, some sacrifices, going from two incomes to one while adding the additional expense of kids. It’s taken five years for us to get to the point where we are even a little bit comfortable, and have extra cash each month.
It’s no joke, the budgeting and the planning and the figuring. It can drive you bananas, if you let it.
I don’t have any advice on saving money, though. I don’t have a quirky and witty listicle that explains “17 Ways to Hack Your Budget.” I don’t know how to coupon and score seven deodorants and fifteen air fresheners.
I suck at DIY. I don’t use envelopes as my budgeting tool.