Living within my means

10 Feb

It occurred to me tonight, after I repeatedly misspelled occurred, and once misspelled misspelled, that I worry way too much about making spelling errors.

But also, as I was packing up Cal’s package (no, not that package — brownies for his birthday, you sick bastard) that this time last year I would have left Postal Pack and Ship crying, as I no more had $22 to ship a last-minute package than I had personal cabana boys to tuck me in every night for the past year.

That is to say, a year ago I was broke. Beyond broke. Desperately, heinously poor. A series of job changes, student debt, credit card debt, and moving left my little family crippled by what it owed and unable to scrape up much more than what we could eat. I don’t think I bought any new clothes for a year, and what I did get came at the kindness of my parents and friends. We spent the summer months at the lake on my father in law’s boat, filling it up with gas from his credit card, eating peanut butter sandwiches we packed and brought from home.

I am not exaggerating when I say that we lived hand to mouth for more than a year, and I would not change that experience for the world. Then suddenly, last summer, a chance to teach at the university came open, and we both got jobs and a huge pay bump. I’m proud that we used that extra income to pay down our debts, and are close to being free of all IOUs (except the house — is anyone ever free of that behemouth? Oh, wait, yes, every other Byrne ever).

So it’s not a crisis anymore to buy an occasional dinner out, or get a new pair or jeans, or make an offer on a healthy white child from the black market (I can only assume you get healthy black children off the white market?).

But again, I wouldn’t trade that time for the world. It made me so much more grateful for what I have now, and I realize that while a lot of people go through their broke phase in their younger years, I feel like mine came at a perfect time.

Because now I can feed my healthy white child, all the while keeping an eye out for a nice new black one.  So happy birthday, Cal, and happy brokiversary!

One Response to “Living within my means”

  1. Dennis M Byrne March 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I can never spell occasion or occurring. The best part about financial freedom is the “freedom” part. When you owe money, more people can tell you what to do. As you get down life’s road, the fewer people that can tell you what to do, the better. However, you still need to do what your parents say. Great news on the debt front – Really!

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