Josh and I used to pride ourselves on how we managed our finances. We had a very lean budget, and lived on 75% of our income while saving or donating the rest. We were pretty good at sticking to our budget, and were amazed at how we were surviving on our own.
Then we had Jax.
We both decided that I would stop working to stay home with him, even though we didn’t know how finances were going to work out. However, we believed that God would provide for us because we knew that he wanted me home. For a while we were able to maintain while cutting luxuries here and there… good-bye second car… good-bye Netflix… good-bye future subscription of MMOs. But that’s alright, it’s worth it.
Then our health insurance went up by adding Jax. BAM! No money. So Josh works for a pretty small company, like small enough that they don’t really get any discounts on health insurance as a company… It was bad enough with just the two of us, around $450/month. All of the sudden adding Jax makes it rise, and Josh’s birthday is this month, putting him in another age category and thus rising the price tag again! Now it’s at about $800. Take a minute to let that sink in… $800/month on health insurance… … … That’s what I said. (Yes we tried getting on private insurance, but we were denied because I have Crohn’s Disease… lame)
Anywho, we were out of money. So sure, we technically could continue on, buying groceries on the credit card and rack up a bunch of debt in a few months… But Josh and I are REALLY REALLY against carrying a balance on our cards. I decided to apply for WIC (a state program to help pregnant women and moms get the right nutrition for themselves and their children), and I was accepted! My house was empty of food, it was depressing, and now it had some basics… and four gallons of milk haha. We were stoked.
Then the blessings continued.
We had a meeting with our bishop to ask for some help from the Bishop’s Storehouse (the LDS church has a center for needy families to get groceries per Bishop’s approval, usually in exchange for some service hours there) for the main groceries. As I started to explain our position, he asked how much we were short! I told him we didn’t come for money, just for some help with groceries. He told us that the groceries were not a problem, but continued on trying to find a way to help us. He offered writing a voucher for baby clothes from the DI (Deseret Industries, a thrift-like shop owned by the LDS church that helps families through employment and filling needs through its inventory). OH MAN. Just the other day I had dressed Jax… after not dressing him for a week because our swamp cooler has been broken in the house, and he skipped like 10 outfits! He was at the biggest clothes we had, so the Bishop’s offer was just what we needed. We left the meeting almost in tears.
But the blessings continued.
The following day I dropped off our food order to our Bishop and went to the DI to get Jax some clothes. The Bishop had written us a huge voucher, so I walked away with four bags of clothes that should take care of Jax until he’s almost two years old. But while I was getting him clothes, the Bishop gave me a call. He told me he needed to talk to me about our food order. Instantly I went pale. Did I order too much? Did I order the wrong things? I didn’t know but I didn’t want him to think I was trying to take advantage of him or the Storehouse. Then he told me the food I ordered wasn’t enough. I retaliated, “Sure it is, we normally live on $40 a week and this order is what we would normally get at the store for two weeks.” He continued on telling me it wasn’t enough and that he was going to pad the order. I was in shock. When I went to the Storehouse, a nice, middle-aged woman helped me fill the order my Bishop had altered, but in the middle I had to go change Jax’s diaper, so she continued on. Needless to say I was shocked when I got home to unpack the groceries. He had nearly doubled what I ordered. Josh and I were in tears that night, thanking our Father in Heaven for the multitude of blessing he’s given to us!
But the blessings still continued.
Every day I see more blessings. Our swamp cooler was busted, and we got a new unit for $60 through our home warranty. My son is healthy and strong. All of our worries seem to figure themselves out (amazing how they do that when you stop stressing out about them! haha). Josh and I have been profoundly humbled, and couldn’t be more grateful for these experiences. Sure, money’s tight and probably will be tight for a while. But that’s alright because we have each other and our faith. 🙂