The “Share Your Story” for May is by
Kim Hall who blogs at
Too Darn Happy
My husband and I were blissful spenders. While we didn’t take on lots of debt, we also didn’t have an emergency fund.
The sad reality is that for years we were completely unaware of how close we regularly walked up to our financial edge. We actually thought we were wise and thrifty.
What finally opened our eyes was a major negative life event that statistically 4 out of 5 of us will face in any given ten year period. For us, it was the combination of a health scare and a routine health issue that would require $5,000 out of pocket in a matter of months.
That got us scrabbling away from the cliff in a hurry, right into a Financial Peace University Class, where we learned 7 out of 10 people earning middle incomes were living paycheck to paycheck just like us, and for those in the higher brackets, it was 8 out of 10.
To be completely honest, we did a whole lot of financial stupid.
But at least we didn’t fight about it. 🙂
To the contrary, we ran arm in arm, pellmell, down the road of financial foolishness, enabling each other at every turn.
People who know us have had trouble believing our story because we just don’t seem to be the kind of people who would do stupid.
How amazingly good we are at hiding things.
There was the big stupid:
- Taking our baby girl and our just paid for cream puff of a car to the local dealership “just to look”, and driving away with a brand new leased mini-van, complete with a big monthly payment, but nothing to show for the car we left behind.
- Getting so caught up in the fever of “The rates are so low that you just HAVE to buy a bigger, nicer house RIGHT NOW!” that we soon found ourselves doing just that, with a much larger, longer mortgage and higher property taxes to match.
But it was really the little stupid that brought us to the brink:
- Buying “something shiny” that just caught our eye.
- Ordering “something important” we were sure we would ultimately sell, unused, at a yard sale for a loss.
- Letting hundreds and thousands of dollars dribble through our fingers via foolish five, ten, and twenty dollar purchases.
While small amounts of money invested over time compound into mighty millions, we realized small amounts of money spent over time conversely compound into a very shaky financial footing.
Still arm in arm, we learned to love budgets and paid off our debts. We also give more now and enjoy helping others on their way to less stress and more peace.
But most of all we learned to be good stewards of God’s abundance, that it all belongs to him anyway, and we are just the caretakers.
There is so much peace and contentment in this place, and my dear hubbie and I are so grateful now for what my doctor said to me that long ago day:
Can you come back for more tests? Your mammogram shows something unusual.
What a blessing that health scare was!
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” ~Psalm 24:1 (NIV 1984)
Question: Have you ever been fearful or angry about a situation only to see later it was a blessing?
How can we help you find the blessing where you are?