Accepting the Temporary

If you follow me on twitter, you probably saw that I had some good news to share as a follow up to “Scary Stuff.”

Husband just got off of the phone with unemployment. The entire call took all of five minutes. Basically, they asked him if he was given a specific reason why he was fired and if he had ever gotten any formal warnings regarding his performance. Thank goodness for bad surprises because his shock-and-awe-dismissal from his last job basically guaranteed that we WOULD GET UNEMPLOYMENT!

Not that it’s anything to brag about.

But you seriously do not know terror until you lose your main source of income two days after getting back from a lavish honeymoon and wedding.

Having the possibility that we wouldn’t receive any assistance threw us through a major loop. We are not able to budget or make the payments to our debts with certainty. We have been holding off on buying holiday gifts for our family. And my husband’s job search has been more of a desperate plea than a strategic plan of attack.

I know that we are not out of the woods. We still are waiting on some job interview follow-ups (including one which asked for a reference check yesterday), and there are a million pending applications and resumes floating out in cyber space hopefully being analyzed right now. We are obviously not giving up or hitching our bets on the long term government assistance train.

Instead, we spend today thanking the higher powers (or the great state of Illinois) that our world provides us with opportunities to live with the “temporary.”

I may not have yet mentioned it here, but I have been practicing yoga for the last 8 years, and one of the most powerful lessons I have learned (besides how inflexible my hip joints can be) is that everything is temporary. Pain, emotion, physical, and metaphysical. Everything will move on or away eventually.  Roads that we see clearly today will be clouded tomorrow, and we’ll be left to deal with the new or unknown paths.

I’m choosing to look at this state of our house as an exercise is the temporary. Instead, we will accept what life has put in front of us knowing that time will provide some form of answer. And while I do not know for sure how we will revisit this period in the future, I hope that we can eventually look back and say “We survived. We did our best. We are ok.”

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A Look at Husband’s Debt

My partner is a fabulous, wonderful man who is a talented writer, editor, and makes a mean steak.

But he sucks at managing money or understanding financial jargon. 

Me taking over the money management for our new family has been quite the trip. In one week, I moved our money to a shared checking account and a money market emergency savings account. I increased my 403b contributions by 1%. And as of yesterday, we knocked out Debt #1 of 4 credit cards. All in all, I’m feeling like I can handle this responsibility a bit more as the weeks pass.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do, however, is look at my new husband’s debts with an open mind.

Before we got engaged in late 2011, Husband and I lived together for a year and a half. Throughout this time, we split our financial responsibilities pretty evenly. I vaguely knew how much he was paying for his student loans and credit cards. But besides a random mention here and there about how much student loan debt sucked, we failed to really address it.

When we got engaged and started planning our 30k dream wedding (budget breakdown to come in later blog post), we had to get honest. We both laid out estimated amounts of what we owed. I was excited to hear that it was a pretty even playing field.

Monday was our first time sitting down and laying everything out on the table with exact numbers. So, for your consideration, I present my Husband’s debt. (You can read our plan to pay it off on my DEBT TRACKER page.)

Credit Cards: US Bank- $3,853

This card kept him afloat when he was unemployed previously for over a year. He has been good at paying more than the minimum off, but had emergencies and financial pitfalls that masked the larger monthly payments

Student Loans: $27,604

In all honesty, he has less student loan debt than I do and this is for both grad and undergraduate degrees.

Total debt: $31,457.

Wow. That’s hard for me to handle. Here, I thought that he brought the most debt to the table. But the numbers do not lie. He actually contributed 46% to my 54%. Mind blown. I guess I’m the one who should be concerned about my partner judging me for my high debt load. I should be at least 8% more guilty than him. Frack.

Time to hide in my debt hole and work on digging myself out!