Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Series: Becoming Debt Free...The 1st and 2nd Years
Debt Free! Two words that I've wanted to own but haven't been able to achieve yet...even now as I type this we have some debt looming over us. I don't want to admit that, but it's the truth. You may ask why I even bother to share this "Becoming Debt Free" series if I'm in debt? Well, over the course of the last several years I've learned a lot and have a lot to share. Maybe it's because I feel the need to be "real" with my readers, maybe it's because one of you need to read this story, maybe it's because I have a passion to teach other's how to live within their means. For whatever the reason, I hope that this series accomplishes its purpose and gives God the glory in the end! Like most stories go, we'll start at the beginning.....
How it all began: The 1st and 2nd years
First, I want to express that my husband, Brian, agreed to let me post our story...just in case any of you wondered. :)
We were young... I had just turned 21 and Brian was 18 and a half! Yes, I'm the older one! ;) We found ourselves engaged after dating on and off for 3 years and shortly after that we found ourselves pregnant. Again...not the story that I would like to tell, but one we aren't ashamed of since the Lord has done a wonderful work in our lives. By the way, I'm going to pass over the pregnant out of wedlock part of this story...that's another series...maybe for another blog! :-)
Anyway, we found ourselves expecting a baby so we moved our June wedding date up to February and got married in a scurry. We had less than $1000 between the two of us. We cancelled our honeymoon plans knowing that a huge chunk of money like that would be better spent on our baby-to-be. We secured an apartment and got married on February 26, 1995. We did go to Branson for one night and part of one day. Brian worked in the dairy dept. of our local grocery store, plus he was going to school full-time. I worked selling shoes and baby clothes at a department store. Although this was a stressful time we were happy to finally be married and together forever! One month later...March 22, I woke up early in the morning not feeling well....hours later I miscarried our baby...depression immediately set in as I struggled with all kinds of emotions. I sat in our apartment, most of the time in the dark, for a month. I didn't work during that time and Brian was faced with making ends meet.
I did go back to work eventually, but quit my job as I was having a hard time with the depression. Selling baby clothing wasn't working for me! I looked for another job and got hired to work at the same grocery store that Brian was working at in their bakery department. I liked this job and learned to decorate cakes while I was there. I eventually started a small (and I mean very small) cake decorating business on the side only for family and friends. It was fun, but not very profitable! We also found a house to rent during this time. It was nice to get out of the apartment and my heart had started to heal.
As you can imagine, our jobs didn't pay us much. We had a few bills...2 college loans and the basic house bills such as rent, utilities, phone, etc. Brian was still going to school full time. We didn't see much of each other as he was also mowing lawns on the side to make extra money. We found out we were pregnant again in early February of 1995. By June of 1995 I was having problems with my pregnancy and was put on complete bed-rest for 3 months. About 3 weeks of that I was in the hospital and the rest of the time I was at home. Our oldest son, David, was born on Sept. 14 a whopping 4 lbs. 15 oz. He was in the NICU for 2 1/2 weeks. We found out that our insurance would not cover his delivery since he wasn't a "well" baby....all of that due to some silly fine print of the insurance agreement! Thankfully, the Children's Miracle Network stepped in along with some government assistance and covered all the medical bills.
So here we were...I lost my job due to the bed-rest (plus, I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom), we had a new preemie baby, Brian was working full-time and going to school full-time, we had NO savings, we had been married 19 months and TIMES WERE TOUGH!
Tune in next week for a continuation of this story....