Lessons of the Great Recession
I can finally share the good news I alluded to a week ago!
Dale was re-hired by the company that led us to move to our Little House!
He has yet to get his old job or pay, but he is back in now and it’s a first step. This is by far one of the best companies in this region. We’re just thankful he’s been rehired.
And it comes at a time when we were almost to the end of our collective ropes, mentally, physically and financially.
He had, up until today, been working 14 hours per day, split between two jobs at minimum and near minimum wage. (Too bad a book has already been written on trying to live on minimum wage, as now we know that it is impossible). We were set at the end of the month to lose our COBRA health coverage, which we somehow managed to keep for 18 months of his lay off.
The worst of it was that we weren’t sure how much longer we could keep holding on here and moving from our dream was the last thing we wanted.
When we moved to The Little House, we already knew we were in the middle of a big change in our lives. We couldn’t have also known that we were not only in the middle of a big physical change in our surroundings, but that our whole way of thinking about who we are and what defined us would also change.
As you already know, my mother had just passed away. Our dreams of building a larger house were also downsized even before the Great Recession hit.
As Dale and I pondered this past weekend how we would manage our money after we get caught up from months of literally teetering on the edge of bankruptcy (which is a very scary ledge), our financial plans were markedly different than they might have been five years ago. Instead of going out and looking at a newer vehicle, or one of those ATVs I wrote about on Monday and working a payment into the budget, we now will be a lot more frugal.
Part of truly Living Large is Living with Less.
Our generation was raised in an era that let us to believe the good times would last forever, and for us, the financial good times did last for 22 years of our married lives.
While we saved some and were more responsible with our credit than many of our contemporaries, we didn’t do all we could to avoid the situation we found ourselves in 18 months ago when Dale was laid off. Like most Americans, we were hooked on consumerism and relied too heavily on credit.
Our new mantra is, “If we can’t afford to pay cash, we can’t have it.”
Sure, we’re looking forward to doing a couple of things at the end of the month such as going “home” for a visit to KC, something we haven’t been able to afford to do in over a year (I also have writing research I need to complete there).
While in the city, I will definitely pick up a new pair of tennis shoes. Not only did this job come along just in time to save our finances and health insurance, it came along just before I literally lost my sole!
When we get back, we’ll splurge on a couple of new boat batteries and the $10.50 each for our fishing licenses so we can enjoy the beauty of the water that surrounds our gorgeous property. It’s going to be a great summer.
Beyond that, we will be working to rebuild our savings and pay off remaining debt, including the Little House and the truck.
We know now the good times don’t last forever and we won’t be caught in this situation next time.
What lessons have you learned from the Great Recession?