My husband has some big plans for the summer. He is attending ComiCon with his younger brother and sister. This is the third annual ComicCon family fest for him. He bought the tickets last year, but he has been concerned over the past few months about not having enough spending money for ComiCon or money to buy tickets for next year. The tickets sell out a year in advance. He is a teacher with an eleven month contract so we always have a month without income in the summer. He was fortunate to get a session of summer school which will help cover the short month. We'll still have to dip into savings to pay for some of our regular expenses in August though.
So he started looking for alternative ways to raise some cash. He started applying to tutoring companies and even posted his own ad on craigslist. He spent a good deal of time over the past few weeks doing this. It finally paid off. He has a tutoring job for the next six weeks that will more than provide him with enough spending money.
I was really proud of him for doing this. It really shows a shift in how our family approaches money. Our relationship with our finances has really evolved over the years. Seven or eight years ago, if we didn't have the money for something we thought we needed, then we'd pull out the plastic or get another student loan. Five or six years ago, we would have just used money set aside for something else to pay for these "necessities. And starting four or so years ago, we would have used cash and made sure to budget for it. Now, with our limited income, we've had to prioritize the real necessities and more often than not there really isn't money left over for these extras unless we find an alternative way to pay for them.
It takes time to learn and then adopt and apply financial strategies in your life. It's take us several years to get where we are. We're budgeting, living within our means, saving, and not stressing about our finances.