When people run into financial problems, we all tend to feel sorry for them, all the while assuming they’d somehow brought it on themselves. I know that’s how I felt… until it happened to me.
I thought we were a financially responsible couple. Our bills were paid each month, and there was enough money to cover our other expenses. We went on vacation once a year and had enough money to make birthdays and Christmases special for our children and the rest of our families. If you’d told me five years ago that we’d run into financial troubles, I would have laughed in your face. Not us. Never. As it turns out, the saying ‘never say never’ is the truth.
It happened in a heartbeat. My husband came home and announced that he’d lost his job due to cutbacks. I panicked. How many months could we afford for him to be without a job? The answer was a simple ‘none’. You see, we’d never saved for a rainy day. And now it was pouring.
We had to start planning immediately if we were to survive. My husband and I spent hours examining our bills and expenses, seeing where we could trim some to save money. We didn’t have many options.
We had a mortgage, vehicle loans, and credit cards that needed to be paid off. That left the grocery bill, but we would still need to eat. My salary suddenly seemed tiny, as it would barely keep the creditors from the door. But there was no money for food, gas, or cable. The little bit of unemployment money would tide us over, but we’d have to implement our own austerity measures in the home.
My husband immediately went out in search of a job. He spent hours on the phone and computer, speaking to people and sending out his resume. For every thirty he sent out, he got one phone call offering him an interview. He was always ‘too qualified’ or ‘too experienced’ for the job. It was very disheartening for him.
One day, he called me while I was at work. He had been watching television and happened upon some cryptocurrencies market news. It seemed that he could try and make a go of trading in cryptocurrencies to fill our bank account with some much-needed hard currency. I was skeptical and worried that we’d lose the money we invested.
I’ll give my husband credit for the fact that he is laser-focused when he wants to achieve a goal. He did a lot of research and reading over the next few days. We agreed to try it. He started making small profits, which soon grew a bit bigger.
We have less money than we did before my husband lost his job. But I’ve made my peace with it for a few reasons. First, my children have got to know their father as a person, not a blur rushing out the door.
Second, since he now works flexible hours from home, I’ve been able to seek full-time employment, finally putting my college degree to good use.
Third, those first few months taught me that in losing our money, I hadn’t lost my happiness.
Fourth, we’re quite a team. We never defaulted on any payments or borrowed any money. Our children were fed and clothed. The time drew us closer together as a family. We had a lot of games evenings since we couldn’t afford other entertainment. I wouldn’t trade them for any amount of money. Fifth, we have a savings account for the next time we run into a rainy day, although it seems that these days, the sun can’t stop shining.