Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day shopping with my Mom and cousin. My cousin has relocated here from the Washington, DC area, and has recently purchased a new home. We were out shopping (spending her money, LOL!) for some items for her home. It was miserably hot and humid, with a slight chance of storms (nothing materialized). It was nice to get out and to shop, but since I didn't really have any money to spend, I ended up getting kind of tiring after a while. I did get some good ideas for thing I would like to do around my home, though.
My home has needed updating for a long while. This is something I have wanted to do, but never had the money to even consider doing. Now, that I am seeking work, and am starting to budget my own money, I see great possibilities for getting small projects done. I am not sure why this is so because I don't plan on having that much more than I had previously when I worked from home. I think the major difference is that I am no longer spending money carelessly. I am thinking more about how the money is getting spent, and then also deciding when to spend it (or save or wait for it).
I never had access to "our money". I did have access via a debit card, but I never felt I had the permission to spend any of it. I never knew what bills had been paid, and what money was left over for me to use. I waited for my DH to say I could spend $10-30 dollars and then I would go to the store. I never spent money carelessly, I never spent it without asking his permission.
I don't know how this happened, really. I didn't start out this way, but sometime shortly after we were married, he took over our money and rationed it out. I thought it was getting rationed out evenly, and perhaps it was (initially). Later on, it seemed like there was no money left over for me. And, I should mention that it wasn't as if my DH was carelessly spending it either. It just never seemed to be there. How could this be? How could our money disappear each month?
My DH did pay utilities, but often had to make arrangements to pay them in installments. Our services were often turned off for failure to pay. We never drove new cars, just old clunkers; but rarely did we keep insurance on them. Moreover, we never purchased new clothes (thanks to my Mom who bought for me and my son; and hand-me downs for my DH). So where did all our money go each month?
Good question! I honestly do not know. I have had a small stipend each month, thanks to a concerned relative, and I have managed that money carefully. I have been able to purchase food and important extras, and never have had to put off anything of critical need since I started receiving this "little blessing" each month. How is that possible? I do give all the glory to God, and credit Scripture for what is going on (just like Elijah -- the flour never ran out). It is the exact same way, and I know it is of the Lord.
I have not taken on all the responsibilities of our home, yet; but I feel very confident that it will be exactly the same way. I will get a regular pay check and with it pay for our mortgage and utilities (on time). I will pay for car insurance and other high priority needs when these come due. I will buy food and incidentals when I need them. I will also save some and give to my church and other needy people. I see all this as so very doable. Moreover, I also see myself having some free money to spend each month. It might not be a lot, but I should have a little extra so I can take us through Burger King or out to the movies every so often.
I don't antiticipate spending huge sums on wasteful things. I do need some work clothes. I do need some items for music study. I do need some books for college. Also, I want to buy some paint and begin to make those renovations to my home that so desparately need making. All in all, I think I can do everything needed within the prospective income I am seeking. I do not need thousands of dollars every month, I just need enough to cover the expenses we generate and then to be frugal in saving. I can do this, I can do this -- with God's help.
So, I come back around to where has our money gone all these years? I know that much did go to necessary things. Much went somewhere else, and of that I do not know. It does make me wonder, though. Had I been more involved in the money trail, I probably would have stopped the leak, and said "Nope, not there." Oh well, what is past is in the past. New days require new ways, and I am all about doing things in new ways. Not my ways, no, that is for sure; but, His ways. Always His way.