Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Fire Re-lit

Has your "fire" burned out on something you love to do and maybe even thrive on? Mine did...but thankfully only temporarily.

When we made the decision for Lee to open his own practice we stopped putting money towards retirement, kids' college fund, and a down payment for a house. Instead, we set aside the money for upcoming expenses that would inevitably be associated with starting a small business/optometry practice.

Once the practice was up and running my main focus was to "survive".  At some point our saved money would be gone and the DITY move money would run out. A few times I had to remind myself, today we are fine.  We have food to eat and there is extra food on our storage shelves.  We can pay our rent.  It's okay.  And of course I would remember the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that Lee and I were/are doing the right thing in coming here.  I needed to be faithful. A few times I thought of a story that my mom told to us kids growing up.  Recently, I asked my mom more specifics on it. She wrote back stating that one of my ancestors "...was promised by Brigham Young that if he served faithfully in the Mormon Battalion neither he nor his descendents would ever beg for bread". That gave me great comfort too! (What we do does affect other people!)

I go a little crazy on my budgets and sometimes have them fairly planned out months in advance. And while thinking about all the money going out and with no money coming in, I knew that our money wasn't going to last till February or March.  The practice was pulling its own weight, but that was it.  No money was coming home.  Lee started looking for an extra job--just a few hours a week--and found a few!  Even some full-time jobs, funny enough.  (It's nice to know optometry doctors are needed in the area!)  He took a job working 12 hours a week for a fellow who has the lease to a Walmart optical.  That job has been such a blessing and I am ever grateful for it.  Heavenly Father once again blessed us so Lee could continue to cover our necessities.

I have tried to be ever mindful of the many blessings we've received. But recently I was "saddened" by the fact that we can't save as much money as we used to. I can't save for a house.  We've stopped retirement.  And of course there is no way we are contributing to any college fund at present. In the Army we were paid twice a month.  We were saving one paycheck a month and then a little, about $2400 every month. I loved saving so much money and putting it towards future goals.  My budget had become somewhat of a game/hobby to me and I loved setting aside money for the future. My fire was burning bright and I thrived off saving money and keeping the budget tight. I realized I missed that. Present financial goals had to be put on hold.

But only temporarily.

Just a few days ago while I was thinking about how we aren't doing any investing or saving for a house, I took a look at the good 'ol budget.  We recently entered into a contract to purchase the optometric equipment from the retired eye doctor.  We have a few years to buy the equipment, but of course knowing Lee and I, we want to finish buying all of it as soon as possible.  As I was looking at some money numbers that would lead to possible pay-off dates, I added up how much money we were able to set aside from the Walmart job to put towards the equipment.  The number slightly surprised me as it was higher than I had thought.  In that moment I knew that Heavenly Father hadn't just blessed us with necessities.  He had blessed us with more than enough--and continues to do so.  Sure, retirement and a house down-payment will have to take a back seat, but we are still able to save some money, which will make a nice dent in buying that equipment.  We have a very aggressive goal for buying it all in just a few months, instead of three years. And so far it's looking pretty good!

My fire has been re-lit.  The money focus has been switched to the business, but only temporarily.  Someday we will be able to buy a house and start-up retirement again.  Funny enough my friend told me the other day that home ownership isn't all that it's cracked up to be.  I bet that's true in many ways!  I am content to rent for now, and in the future I am sure I'll be privy to the downsides of home ownership, ha ha.


Lois said...

I'm glad your fire has been re-lit! You are so awesome with money and are an inspiration to us all!

Lena said...

Hang in there Ruth! The future is still bright.