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Winter Blahs and Some Reflection

January 7th, 2014 at 03:41 am

I'm usually pretty positive about our TMM, even after 15 tedious months in the trenches. But today, this week, ugh. Maybe it's just too cold and dark for a brighter outlook right now. I am frustrated though that we are clearly not going to make our Jan. 31st goal date for scraping together a $5000 emergency fund. Right now we're about $913 short and the best we can hope for is maybe on Feb. 14th.

This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that our original goal for this was late Aug. last year. I've discussed some of the setbacks in other posts. And this month the setback is mostly due to my home business going very slowly this past month. But it's always something, ya know? I feel like we're never going to actually get there. Somehow it's always another month or two out.

Even this would not be so horrible if it wasn't the case that despite my hubby and I entering our late thirties, we still have not a dime saved towards our retirement. I am literally starting to panic. We need to get going on this. But we also need to have at least a few thousand set aside for an emergency first, because heaven knows those certainly seem to keep creeping up on us.

So right now our TMM timeline has shifted thus:

Finish stocking $5K EF: Aug 2013----->Feb 2014
Start 6% 401K withdrawals: Sept 2013----->Feb/Mar 2014
Save for/Pay off "new" car: May 2014----->Feb 2015

As I said: Ugh.

A new reflection though: I saw on FB recently that an old friend of mine I've lost touch with the past few years, is selling her house. She has been dying for a bigger house for years, and her husband had a well paying job. But they also had a lot of debt and not the best of spending habits, and with the housing market crash they felt completely stuck.

About 4 months back, her husband's department was downsized and he was laid off. He had a few months severance though and lots of job interview lined up, so they weren't too concerned at the time. Thus, when I saw her recent FB posting, I at first assumed he had found something even better and that with the housing market upswing they were finally able to afford the new home they have been wanting.

But then I read further. Turns out, they are not buying a new one, just selling the old one. She didn't elaborate more but a quick check on LinkedIn confirmed what I feared; her husband has been out of work since Oct. Now I am purely speculating at this point, but given what I know of their past financial situation, it's not at all hard to draw a line that without a high paying job, the large debts have are going to sink them once the severance pay ends, and they are trying to find a source for more funds.

I say all this not to gossip or point fingers (presumably, you have no idea who I'm even talking about), and I actually feel very bad for her, though not really close enough anymore to question her about such a personal matter. But for me, she is such a stunning reminder of why hubby and I are doing all this.

Our financial situations were close enough at one time that it is easy for me to picture how something very similar could have happened to us, had we not begun to exercise financial restraint. But I admit that it was very hard for me to hear about their fancy trips, and see their pretty new cars and how beautifully decorated the inside of her home was. I wanted those things too. I wanted to look that good as well. But we were pouring all our extra cash into debt and had nothing visual to show for it.

We are still a long way from where we want to be. And without more savings, we are still not even insulated from going through something similar ourselves were hubby to lose his job. But we have no credit card or car debt dragging us down anymore. And we have a very clear picture of our budget and of the steps we need to take to get from A to B. So, even though this is a total drag, and even though I feel like it's taking way longer than it should, reflecting on where we could be instead leaves me still feeling thankful about where we are. Maybe not happy, but thankful.

3 Responses to “Winter Blahs and Some Reflection”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    It is a tough journey you are on, but it will be worth the hard work. You will get to a place where you feel secure, where things are financially moving in the right direction. Actually, they already are going the right way for you, it is just taking longer than you prefer. Frustrating, of course! Keep moving forward and you are going to do great!!

  2. snafu Says:

    {{{Hugs}}}, If you're feeling frustrated, I'd chalk it up to shortened days with fewer hours of sunlight! Fact is you've accomplished a lot since January 2013 and I hope you give yourself a reward. Perhaps a bubble bath, or special hot tea or phone visit with friend to wish them well with their next plan. You've several thousand dollars in an EF and your side bar shows 4 paid off CCs, o car loan and eve the fridge has been paid off! Good on you!

    What are your goals for 2014? it's exciting to move forward without old debts dragging you back.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Sorry about your discouragement, but I think we all get to that point somewhere in our lives. BUT, and that is a huge BUT, you have made changes to try and improve your financial situation and you are making steps towards improving things.

    As you know, you didn't get into debt overnight and you won't get out of in a matter of days. You have made great gains since you began. Don't give up!

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