One would expect to fork out money in December. The holidays, gifts, the holidays, taxes, the holidays, winter coats. It adds up. But you too, May?
First there were new shoes for my son. He’s outgrown his old ones by nearly two sizes and can no longer wear Stride Rites. Now his shoes cost as much as mine. One of us is going to have to get a paying job.
Then came a dress for me. Bathing suits for the pool. T-shirts for the child like this one that reads Shiver Me Timbers. Too cute and, at less than $6 on clearance at crewcuts, too big a bargain to leave in the store.
Next came fees for summer camp, dues for the pool, Frontline for the dog—the vet tech reminded me flea extermination would cost more—graduation gifts, teacher gifts, hotel deposits for vacation.
Gas and groceries, groceries and gas. Astronomical.
Then our dryer stopped working. A few cool Ben Franklins to replace it. Now that is one fun shopping trip.
And to top it all off, another house refinance. Since we have so far been unable to sell the house, at least we can roll the debt into one abominable snowball.
I was beginning to feel ill. Our budget was tanking.
A reality check with friends on Facebook brought validation and consensus: May spending rivals that of December. The expenses come out of nowhere like mosquitoes, and we all feel it.
For those of you whose budgets are perfectly balanced year round, congratulations. Mine used to be. And it will be again, so help me, God.
The sun will come out tomorrow. Or the next day. Or someday soon, I hope. The monster recession will end. It will be safe to go back in the water.
Take a deep breath with me now. Brave the tempests of Target and the wiles of Walmart. Sail past the sirens stationed on the endcaps to buy the staples—Cheerios, milk, bread.
Traverse the bakery section. Imagine a voice on the intercom, “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY: Ma’am, step away from the expensive, over-processed baked goods.”
Turn starboard and spot a box of doughnuts on closeout. A rare treat, and $1.50 is such a small price to pay for relief. “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY: Mom overboard! She’s going down!”
The budget never works on paper. But somehow it all works out in real life.
Keep living. Trust His hand. Full speed ahead.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:31-32 NIV
The search for a song lead to Gwen Stefani’s Rich Girl. I like Stefani and the pirate theme of the video made it a shoo-in for the link. The video may offend some, but get a load of the lyrics: All the riches, baby, won’t mean anything. All the riches, baby, won’t bring what your love can bring…