Years ago, when we were a young family starting out, we struggled. Most families do but I don’t think any of our friends and probably most of our family knew how bad it really was. We found ourselves very often 5 days from payday with absolutely no money. If I found a quarter it was like finding a $20 bill. I knew where every dollar was; I knew if a jacket pocket had change and how much it was. I had a penny jar and I would roll them to gather enough change to buy diapers, milk or eggs. We were seriously that poor.
The past few years have been much easier financially. Owning a business has its perks especially when the “boss” is your husband and his work ethic is above and beyond the norm. We’ve been able to relax and even though we’re not rolling in the dough like some would believe, I haven’t had to count the pennies. In fact, I have penny, dime, and quarter jars all over the place and I have no idea how much they contain! What a concept for me! But that’s all about to change.
Sacrifice is something that we take seriously. And sacrifice is what we are doing right now for the safety, sanity and future of our family. I can’t get into all of the details but suffice it to say that we HAD to move for various reasons and leave behind a thriving business. Leroy is in mourning. He is lamenting his work and all that it afforded him. It makes us think, and doubt. Sacrifice is our new way of life. All of the sudden I find myself back to my old habits, which thankfully I haven’t forgotten. Habits like dividing a package of ground beef into more than one meal, maximizing a grocery bill to last longer than a few days, and conserving trips to town for the sake of the gas bill. We’re in Saskatchewan now and the money isn’t flowing here like it is in Alberta. Now some Albertans may not care for that statement, but it’s true. There is a modesty in spending here that doesn’t happen in most places of Alberta. Even the people in Alberta who say they don’t have money but still run to 7-Eleven every afternoon or eat out more than once a week don’t realize how good they have it. A service call for a tradesman in Alberta could run you easily over $150 in an hour but out here, it’s more like $80. To the homeowner it’s great, but for the tradesperson putting gas in his tank and trying to feed a family on a couple service calls a day you can imagine that that is not terribly profitable.
I foresee less trips to the city, less entertainment and social events and definitely trimmer grocery bills. It’s a little depressing but there is a flip side. We’ve complicated our lives with money. When you have money to spend, you spend it. When there’s money on the credit card and you’re bored, you take off. There’s nothing wrong with spending but there is something wrong when the spending becomes expected and demanded. There’s also something wrong with buying things we don’t need just because we can. I actually look forward to the challenges of budgeting and penny-pinching. It’s my job. I am the homemaker, the housewife and the money manager in our home. Some women think that is so old-fashioned but it is my job. If my husband can work hard to bring in the money then I can work hard to make his money last the longest that it can. Bring it on. I’m up for the task.
Today is baking day. No more Oreos and Chips Ahoy; it’s time to get some REAL food into this house. I will keep you posted on what creations I have made and how far a buck can go.