I awoke at 2:00 am this morning, yet beating the neighborhood roosters to the punch again. I’m not intentionally competing with the birds…it seems my inner clock is following something else rather than the sun or dawns early light. Sometimes it is a rowdy neighbor that awakens me. Sometimes the To-Do list department decides to hold a company meeting at odd hours. Then there are those rare times I wake up early because I’m eager for the next day to come.
That was last night. I have a lot to be excited about right now, however, I will not be able to reveal this reason for a couple more weeks. I know, cliff hanger, right?
In the meantime, I have many ideas to share on what I feel are my duties and responsibilities as the holder and keeper of the household purse.
Since I was up so early, I was quietly counting down the minutes until I could legally get up and begin stirring about. That would be 4:00 am when my husband gets up to prepare for a day at the gas station. He had the royal treatment this morning with a big jar of water, hot coffee, and toast made extra crispy as he likes it…all in bed. I then sat with him to chat about new things, nag about his use of the cell phone, to encourage on other items, and to hear topics he wanted to share.
He then said something I’ve never heard him say in all our years of marriage and all his years of labor in the outside world. “I must get ready now. I wish I didn’t have to go to work. I want to stop working forever.” He grinned at me with slight embarrassment at this new proclamation. This took me by surprise. He has always been very proud of working and even when he retires, I can place bets he will work some market or gas station (if they are still around then) part-time. It gives him purpose and honor to provide for his family.
He is tired. We both worked ourselves silly over the past few months. He was working doubles since two coworkers left the station for a wedding in India…and then never returned. I worked extra hard on my channel, making almost daily vlogs and wrote a book at that time. I did all the work at home to help Bali so he could just go to work. I kept the house clean, cooked plenty so he had lunches and dinners at work, and made sure he could just rest on his days off. I worked just as hard out of guilt. If my husband had to bust his rear out there, by golly, I would bust my rear at home. We are a team and one of us doesn’t get to lay about while the other pulls the plow.
We had a huge goal to motivate this crazy work fever that almost lasted a season. It seems the goal has been reached victoriously and now we can rest. He is no longer working doubles but is putting in extra time with the new boss. I took a vacation from media, the channel and writing but put extra weight into cleaning the house deeply and being with the boys.
But Bali’s words aren’t taken lightly. I am not the wife who will wave her hand and say, “Oh, he’s just a little tired this morning.” I know my husband and getting anything from his inner world to be spoken outwardly is harder than pulling teeth with plyers and no previous experience. When he hints at something I lean in and crane to hear. I then set about working a new plan to accommodate.
I am the budgeter, the financer. I am responsible for everything that spells money. If we save well, that’s me. If we are overdrawn at the bank, that is me as well. If we run out of groceries before grocery money is alotted, that is my fault. If I make the budget stretch to amazing proportions, that is my victory. I have failed often and had a few naggings by the spouse over it. Overall, I take my job seriously and I strive to thrive. I have to trick myself every which way, but it works. After two years of saving not a dime, this year we saved a huge amount with a couple simple tricks. One was to pay ourselves first and put the savings in a separate bank. The second trick is to not spend at all. That hasn’t been fully accomplished but when we do eat out its Taco Bell or a buffet and when we do shop it’s thrifting. I love gourmet and luxurious things, but right now luxury is Bustelo coffee at home and lighting Goodwill candles for atmosphere.
I am now on a new mission. This one inspires me deeply. I will be writing up a new budget today and new efforts will be made, new ideas incorporated to help my dear companion have part of this mornings wish come true. He may not be able to retire as of yet but we can work on reducing his hours so he can enjoy home more often.
I will be sharing all my budget cuts soon. They can’t be painful and we must go about this with imagination and a spirit of fun. It’s a game and I love playing it because when we do it well there are huge payoffs.