Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Financial Pity Party

I have been very open in my past posts regarding our finances, and how we are working very hard to get out of debt. You can see my last financial update HERE, where I was celebrating our accomplishments. Well, this road to financial freedom, i.e. a life with no debt at all, is not always full of sunshine and daisies. In fact, this week has been especially tough. So in that spirit, let me share with you some of the “downs” I am currently experiencing.

It all started with Christmas. We buy gifts for all of our family (which includes 5 parents, 7 siblings, 5 in-laws, and 2 children). Even though we shopped for bargains and managed to spend less than $25 on everyone, it still was a bit of a financial hit. We also bought gifts for each other, and each spent about $200. This was probably a little overboard, but it seemed manageable then.

We also had another wedding on New Years, which led to travel costs + wedding gift + hotel costs.

This led to January and February, which have been a little tough financially. We thought we were doing alright, especially after we paid off our car. Then the avalanche started.

We had to pay over $1500 in medical bills in the last month due to my spinal fluid leak in December. We also had 3 baby showers (2 of them for twins), 4 birthdays, a housewarming party, a car repair, and a move. This alone has left things tight, but not unmanageable. We still have money in the bank, and are still managing to put about 1/3 of our income towards getting out of debt.

But now March is here…. March includes 2 dreaded bills: car insurance and renters insurance. We pay a ridiculous amount in car insurance due to a few tickets from a couple years ago and our car accident last June. Renters insurance is also required for our complex. We choose to pay our insurance in lump sums because it is much cheaper than paying monthly. Total cost: around $1200

So here is the part where I get to talk about my pity party. March 5th is our 1 year anniversary and March 11th is my 25th birthday. We had planned a nice weekend away at the resort we got married at, but cancelled it last week due to concerns we couldn’t afford it. I was sad, but knew it was the right thing to do. We can’t lessen our contributions toward the debt for something like this, which is optional.

So instead, we planned to have a nice anniversary here at home, and then planned to go to visit my mom the weekend of my birthday, since my mom’s birthday is the day after mine. My mom was planning to put together a birthday party for us both with family and friends.

Then last night my husband and I went through our budget together. The news was not good. We still have some medical bills going through, and in order to pay 1/3 of our income toward the debt and not dip into the savings, we cannot afford to drive to see my family. We also can’t afford a nice dinner out for our anniversary.

This was where my pity party really got interesting. I UNDERSTAND that these sacrifices have to be made, but IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! And it’s our FIRST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! My poor husband, I tried not to be truly pitiful last night but I truly failed. I was mad. And sad. Especially when I thought of the awesome birthday I put together for my husband last October. It was amazing how in a matter of minutes I went from a mature nearly-25-year-old, to a sad, pathetic 5 year old.

I am seriously going to have to make up to my husband for my behavior last night, but he did the right thing and held his ground. We simply can’t afford these expenses. We will have to celebrate when the money comes around in a month or two, but for now, there’s no other option but to cut it all.

So hopefully you aren’t thinking I am too terrible of a person for sharing my behavior here. I was sad, but I understand. No one said getting out of debt would be easy, and in fact, the most essential part of it is cutting non-essentials. Sadly, my birthday bash is a non-essential. And sadly, so is doing something fancy for our anniversary. This coming month I’ll really be reigning in the purse strings to get us back on track, but that is how it goes. God has been good to us, and we need to be responsible.

But, sometimes I don’t want to be!


  1. Thank you for sharing. It's understandable to get down about something like this at times...and we all fall into pity parties now and then! The good thing is that you have a goal and are sticking to it even when it's hard and you don't want to sometimes. I'm sure that this is building up good character qualities in both of you! It's very admirable!

  2. I have been there too! My husband and I are really young newlyweds and he is going to school. We are on a VERY tight budget. This January we paid for car insurance and this semester of school, and his books and it pretty much wiped out savings out, which is discouraging. He has had a hard time finding a job and so we are living off of my part-time income the past two months while he looks, which is not ideal at all. It is so easy to become bitter about having to always take into account each detail of the budget and not really having any wiggle room. Especially when it comes to special days. We did not go away for our anniversary last September because we couldn't afford it, either. It's hard because you almost feel entitled to get to do something extra special then, you know? I was disappointed as well but I think it will be better to enjoy it in the future when our budget allows and not feel any guilt in going. I appreciate your honesty...I have felt that way too! I'm learning that it's essential to focus on gratitude instead of self-pity in times like this.


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!