I’ve been in a season of life where I honestly feel like I’m drowning most days. Things have been crazy and chaotic. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar life situation where it all just feels like a lot happening at once.
When Chaos Hits
We had our major house update when we had the entire interior of our home repainted, including the kitchen cabinets and the carpet replaced, which meant that we had to move our entire home to our garage so the work could be done.
Then, our three kids started in three different activities, and this is the first time in our lives that’s ever happened. So we found ourselves fumbling a bit, trying to navigate life.
Then, we decided to switch banks from Wells Fargo, which we’ve had for over 14 years, to a local credit union. And of course, just like whenever you get a new debit card, and you have to update payment information at a million places, but you end up forgetting one…. yeah, that happened twice. I tried to remember everywhere that we had automatic payments set up, but there were two places that only pull payments once a year, and they both hit in the same week…and yeah, what do you know, I happened to forget about them both.
Then throw in that one of our kids has to have an unexpected surgical procedure (nothing major or life-threatening), and that has required lots of driving into Atlanta to specialists. This was followed by our one son taking a fast-pitch baseball to the face this week. We initially thought his nose was broken, but thankfully, there were no broken bones! It’s just a bunch of swelling and two black eyes.
I share all of this not looking for sympathy but because life moves at the pace of life. We can’t perfectly predict everything that will happen. And there will be times in our lives that no matter how great we’ve become at managing money, we’ll be hit with a curve ball and have to hit the reset button.
So here are the things that have made this crazy season easier – both practically and financially:
- My crockpot. Seriously, if you don’t have a crockpot, ask for one for Christmas. It has been my lifesaver during this insane, busy season. (This is the one I have, and I love it so much that I’ve bought it twice in the 12 years since I bought my first one when an overhelpful kiddo broke my original one).
- The delay start function on my washing machine. Honestly, I have never before in my life used this function until now. So I know that you probably already use this function, but in case you don’t – use it! It’s been helping me make sure that our laundry gets done.
- My cooler. I tote this thing everywhere with me. It keeps us from buying food/drinks while at various sporting events and doctor appointments.
- Cleaning routine. I’ve been using Clean Mama’s cleaning routine for years, and it has yet to fail me!!
- Colossians 3:23. We’ve been memorizing this Bible verse in our Homeschool this past month, and it’s been so life-giving as we navigate all the craziness of our current season of life!
- Our Emergency Fund. If you don’t yet have a Starter Emergency Fund of at least one month’s worth of living expenses saved up, you need to get one started ASAP. We would be completely lost without this account, and no doubt we would have had to sink back into debt if we didn’t have this safety net. This is the bank here whose HYSA we use to save up our Emergency Fund.
- Sinking Funds. Another financial lifesaver is our Sinking Funds. They make sure that we can still do things like pay for Christmas with cash and avoid sinking into debt.
- Cash back sites/apps. Using Upside for cash back on our fuel purchases since we’re spending more in fuel than usual with our commutes to Atlanta and back. We use Rakuten and Swagbucks for cashback on our online purchases and even for grocery pickup when we need it. We also make sure to scan in our receipts to Fetch to earn points from our purchases to go toward gift cards that help us stretch our budget.
Take the Next Step…
So, even though this season hasn’t been without its bumps and bruises along the way, there’s still beauty in it. I’m grateful for the challenges of this season and learning to ask for help when I need it. And if you’re caught up in a busy season as I am, I pray that you find and see the beauty in the hard, even when that seems impossible.
Sometimes, the “right answer” is to just take the next step in front of us, even when we can’t see the path laid out before us.
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