Obviously I’ve been away for a bit. Two days after my last post, all three floors of our home flooded due to a pipe fail in the middle of the night. The water ran for about two hours before it woke one of the kids.
We would spend four months in a hotel dealing with insurance adjusters, contractors, and a long string of other unfortunate events, all of which cost money (of course).
At first, we clung to our newly acquired Financial Peace skills. We were determined to keep going, even though the thousand dollar emergency fund wasn’t even close to enough to cover the deductible, much less the other emergencies which occurred during that time (seriously felt like we were being used for target practice).
About a month in, exhausted from arguing and pushing back against the onslaught, things began to unravel. It seemed everyone wanted money. Did you know people swarm (and charge more) when they hear “insurance claim”?
We felt like a dying animal, sideswiped on the side of the road… the vultures circled and picked us apart… finally, we gave up because we didn’t have any fight left. We just let go. Our motto became, “It costs what it costs, and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Out came the credit cards and with them, our old spending and eating habits (hello, take-out).
We gained debt and extra pounds.
We’re finally back in the house… and we hate it. We upgraded some things in the process of the rebuild that we thought we just had to do while everything was ripped apart. It felt ridiculous at the time not to, but now we are saddled with even more debt and a house we can’t stand the sight of.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s gorgeous. It’s just that, the things we thought would “make us happy”,or were a “must”, have actually ended up contributing to our misery. We feel more suffocated than ever, which is ironic after living in a hotel for four months and now being back in a house with more room than we know what to do with…. especially now that we have another kid away at school.
Thankfully, God has helped me immensely with my anger. I’m beginning to see some purpose and I’m finally able to say I’m at least thankful we had insurance (they paid well over $100K total in this whole mess – ouch). I’m also very aware that if we’d had a fully funded emergency fund this probably would have gone way different – even more incentive to reach that baby step as quickly as possible.
I’m sure I’ll be unpacking more lessons in the months to come, but the husband and I have realized it’s time to face the financial music.
We know it’s bad, we just aren’t sure how bad (which is what happens when you go into denial). With what I do know, I don’t see any way we’ll meet the goals I had set for this year, but hopefully we can at least stop the bleeding.
So what’s our next step? Give ourselves a financial check-up, do our zero budget, and replenish the baby emergency fund.