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Here’s What Happens

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Here’s what happens when the husband’s income gets unexpectedly reduced and the wife feels like her job is an ever-tightening noose around her neck but the couple is still in debt:

The wife starts to panic a little bit.  She starts to question every purchase that is made because not only is her job not her ideal (which may be the biggest understatement of the year), there are changes at the workplace that make her position uncertain and while she wants to get out she doesn’t really feel like she can but she might be forced out by circumstance anyway.

She starts to look for other jobs.  She applies for her dream job and doesn’t get it, so she lowers her standards.  She considers things she never would have considered before, like working night shift, just to get out of where she is, because she knows she has to keep working in order to just pay the bills, not to mention help pay down the debt.

The husband also considers other work and starts to meet with people to get started on an idea.  And luckily, this idea is something that sounds fun to him.  He’s entrepreneurial (a word the wife has to use spell check on because she can never spell it on her own) and he has mad skillz that people want so this might turn out to be a good thing.

The wife tries not to nag the husband about working more on sales in his current entrepreneurial endeavor, even though she thinks that might make a difference in the number of gigs he gets.

She tries not to feel irritated that he’s got these jobs (or at least one job and another possibility) doing what he loves while she’s in a job she hates, and oh by the way, she isn’t sure what she wants to do as a career anyway except that it isn’t what she’s doing.  And by the way again, the thing she really wants to do (which is be a homemaker) doesn’t pay at all, and she feels kind of guilty about wanting that because then she wouldn’t be making a financial contribution to the household.

The wife starts to think crazy stuff, like adding a part time job to her existing no-good full time job, just to rebuild the emergency fund (which got decimated with plumbing issues) and knock out more debt more quickly so that hopefully she won’t have to work full time for much longer.  She wonders if she could actually physically handle working two jobs, but she hears Dave Ramsey saying “Live like no one else so that someday you can live like no one else” except that she hears it not in the nice, encouraging way he actually says it, but in some crazy maniacal way that is a little bit frightening.

So even though they’ve been budgeting for new shoes which she needs because she’s just had foot surgery, she’s hesitant to drop that kind of coin on shoes (because she has high standards for shoes because she doesn’t want to ruin her new-and-improved feet) when maybe that money could be going toward debt.  And even though the garden is a joy and the fresh food is wonderful when it’s harvested, she wonders about the money spent on all the preparations.  And although the extended family is talking about a camping trip this summer, she thinks probably she and the husband won’t get to go because a: she used up a bunch of her time off for surgery, the flu, and an ice storm, 2: she might have a new job by then and probably wouldn’t be able to take time off, and also: who can afford a trip right now anyway?

So the wife gets tired and a bit overwhelmed and worried and she tries to pray about it all but she’s so exhausted after work that she’s barely cracked open her Bible in a couple of weeks and then she really does wonder whether she could handle two jobs but how else are she and the husband going to pay off all this stupid debt?

At least, that’s the story I’ve heard.

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About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

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