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The last couple of years have been extremely rough on all of us - the economy in the toilet, job losses, foreclosures, etc and so on. I’m sure we’ve all had a friend or 12 who’ve gone through some really bad luck.
I’ve mentioned here that I’m is a stretch of bad luck - trying to sell the house in order to divorce...as well as trying to find a job while I’m back in school. I’ve got what I call the triple whammy. But it’s not all that bad and it makes me feel a little guilty.
The Man (as I call my ... well, hubby? soon to be ex?) is a government contractor at a nearby military base. He served 21 years in the Army as well. He brings a very nice paycheck each month as well as the retirement check from the Army. We never invested anywhere except for his pay-in for his Thrift Plan - all bonds.
We created a lot of debt while in the Army - living in the DC area on an enlisted salary doesn’t mix well - and, instead of selling the house last year, we re-financed and paid off all the debt. We’ve kept it down since then with the only unexpected big bill was my pup’s emergency surgery last December.
It makes me feel a little guilty ( but lucky) that we aren’t behind on anything nor are we upside down on the mortgage. I feel a little guilty that life hasn’t really changed at all in the financial area for us. We‘re able to do little home improvement projects with local contractors to spruce up the house to sell it. We‘re able to afford some luxuries - going to sporting events at the local college, small trips here and there (not together, mind you).
Being an army wife made me learn how to be extremely thrifty. I learned to shop big once a month - we bought a stand alone freeze in Virginia and it saved the budget more than once. I learned (through a friend) to go ‘buddy shopping’ at Sams. My mother I go to Sams maybe once a month and split the meat bill. I’ve become the dreaded ‘Turn off that light if you‘re not in the room’ person (AKA My Father). And, I still refuse to pay more than 30 bucks for shirt. I have no qualms saying, “This? I got it at Walmart.”
Is that why we‘re doing better than others? I don’t know but for some reason, we‘re fine. I think about the folks I see on TV every day - the ones living in tent cities or homeless shelters, the thousands of people who show up at a business advertising only 10 jobs. It makes me feel very guilty.