Brian closes his computer with a sigh, a worried look on his face.
“My shoes will have to wait,” he says.
“Uh oh. How broke are we?”
“Let’s just say that you shouldn’t buy anything this week. At all.”
I sigh heavily and sink lower into the couch, feeling guilty for the tightness of our financial situation.
After all, last year at this time, I was doing massive amounts of freelance work – on top of my 9 to 5.
But it got to be too much. I was, quite frankly, completely miserable.
So I’m not doing any freelance work right now. Or not much, anyway. Add in some of the other financial changes we’ve seen this year, and well, the difference in our circumstances starts feeling rather painful.
But you know what? It’s all a matter of perspective.
After all, I can still spring for organic milk at the grocery store (most of the time). I can usually buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and all the other coupon-less items I love without think too much about it. I can even get the occasional $10 bottle of wine.
It wasn’t always that way.
In the leanest years, every trip to the grocery store was an exercise in extreme budgeting. Bill-paying was a matter of stealing from Peter to pay Paul. Heck, there was a time when I couldn’t even afford to pay my trash company. Instead, I dragged my garbage cans up the block and a half to my friend’s house when they got too overloaded.
And even then, I was lucky. I never had to rely on food stamps. Never had my home taken away from me. Never had to suffer the pain that is a six-figure medical bill sans health insurance.
I hope I never do.
And this budget crunch we’re under? It’s partly because we had to pay for the registration on our brand new Forester. And also because I took a trip to New York City for a blogging conference.
Talk about your first world problems.
So yeah. Money’s tight. And probably will be for the foreseeable future.
But you know what? I’m happier than I have been in a long time.
I’ve got a husband whom I love to pieces, and who loves me in equal measure.
A little girl who continues to surprise and delight me, and who I love more than I ever thought possible.
A family who supports me in all that I do – even when they’d rather I didn’t do it.
And a job that I actually enjoy going to every morning. How many people can say that?
In other words, I’m filthy stinking rich.
And I wouldn’t trade my life for all the money in the world.