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My husband and I started Hard Walk to a Feathered Bed, to help others see that you can overcome when life is falling apart. Over the recent years we have: lost our jobs, been temporarily homeless, lived in a hotel for one year and were forced to figure out how to get back on our feet alone.
I don’t mention these things for pity, I say them out of truth. The hardest thing we’ve ever had to do, was admit that we needed help. My husband and I are in our thirties and I remember my parents never asking any of their family for help and I always felt that by this age we should have our finances and life in order.
What I’ve learned over the years surprised me as an adult. All walks of life are different. You’re not going to follow in someone else’s footsteps, because you were never meant to be a carbon copy of another person. You have to make your own path. Unfortunately sometimes that path doesn’t work out the way you had planned. This is where re-evaluation and priorities begins to take place.
Make a lot of lists. The first one we made was a priority list. Closely followed were smaller things that we could put on a back burner until all the priorities were made. For example: We need a vehicle to get to and from work to make a paycheck. I’m currently trying to change careers and have done most of the legwork. However, if I can’t get to and from my current job, I can’t finance that change. Always protect your (ass)ets.
The top priorities of anyone’s list should be:
- Job security
This means a savings should be put in place before any major changes occur. I say should very loosely. Currently we are scrapping every loose bit of pocket change to fix our vehicle or buy another off Craigslist. Transportation is our biggest expense just behind daycare cost and bills.
I list daycare because of our current situation. The lady that watches our child was recently told she was no longer allowed to do daycare out of her apartment. No matter where you take your child, you always run the risk of having to go and pick them up inconveniently or having to find another Center to take your child temporarily. Always have a plan for your day care because one day you may not have it when you need it. Luckily for us, she ended up moving and offering to pick her up and drop her off, and that saved our butts.
Job security sounds rhetorical. I assure you that it’s not. Most everyone is replaceable. I’ve been proof of that myself. I was legally replaced while on maternity leave because I had to take extra time off for pregnancy complications. Because FMLA was exhausted, I no longer had the security of having my position when I got back. Have a plan in case you no longer have a job. This also goes for write ups. Keep in communication with management and keep records.
Keeping up with the bills is both financially responsible and pertinent to starting a business or gaining credit. If you find that you have more bills than income you’ll have to examine your budget or find a new source of income. This is what my husband and I had to do. When I lost my job, my husband went back to work and I stayed home with our baby. After examining our budget we realize we needed more income so I went back to work 2 days a week on his days off to help increase our income without using daycare. After revisiting our budget we acknowledged that I needed to work 2 more days a week and we needed to put the baby in daycare.
Don’t be afraid of change. Change is the only way we grow personally. If you’re uncomfortable, you move. It’s a personal choice which direction, forward or back. Sometimes all we need is motivation. And that’s why we’re here. To show you real movement by a family that has seen its fair share of hardships and dumb luck.