Monday, December 15, 2008

Fifth Month: Be Prepared and Don't Be Scared!

(Go here to read all my updates on our attempts at gazelle intensity, or click on the label, "Personal Finance" in the sidebar.)

This month was a pretty big challenge financially. We spent over $700 on car repairs, and still have a few hundred dollars' worth of maintenance to take care of. (Thanks to the buckets, we have the cash for it. I'm just waiting for the right time to take the van back to the shop.) Also, Mr. Honey, who is in sales, has received instructions to redouble his efforts on the job, Or Else. Anyone who has been in sales will understand the challenge of making quota at any time, and in this economy it can be downright difficult. Mr. Honey is working all the hours he can to produce the additional sales needed. He has been given the beginning of February as a deadline.

As Triss' Brownie troop leader used to say, "Be prepared, and don't be scared!" That's our motto, with the Lord as our provider. This morning, while thinking about our situation, I realized what a huge blessing Mr. Honey's employment has been throughout our marriage. He has worked for this particular company for eleven years, and was steadily employed before that, too, with only short times of unemployment. The Lord has provided for us thus far, and will continue to do so.

Thus far the Lord hath led me on
Thus far his power prolongs my days
And every evening shall make known
Some fresh memorial of his grace.

(I just want to say here that I really don't think they will let him go if quotas aren't met. He will just move into a less lucrative position. And the man is working like the dickens-- if anyone can make the numbers, he will.)

We have decided to pour all our money (after bills, buckets and credit card minimums) into the emergency fund, just in case. We plan to take it all out and put it toward one of the credit cards after February comes and goes and the Lord continues to bless Mr. Honey with work and a sufficient income. If He has other plans, we will change ours accordingly.

Other than the van and the scary job news, our month went well. We paid over $1100 on our debt (this was before our van had its breakdown and we had to go into the emergency fund to pay for it-- this month we will replenish and add to our emergency fund, while paying only minimums to our debt). In spite of van woes, I had a sense of surplus the whole month, what with gas prices being so low.

I took Triss to The Picture People to get her portrait made with her bunny-- her belated birthday gift-- and it ended up costing us only $5 for a sitting and three sheets of pix, after our Portrait Club discounts and coupons. That was pretty nice! We had cookies at the Nestle store in the mall with some of the extra.

I am just about done with the Christmas shopping, which hasn't been extensive. I had a great idea for a gift for Mr. Honey the other day, although we hadn't planned on doing gifts for each other. I'm still going to do this for him, but I can't tell you what it is because he reads the blog occasionally. He is going to love it, though, and it will be a comfort while he is out on the road every day seeking sales. Hee hee! I can't wait for him to open it.

(I have a few project-gifts I am almost done with too, but I can't say what they are because I don't want to spoil anyone's Merry Christmas.)

We had an amazing gift arrive anonymously last week for the girls. I wrote about it here. (They are still going strong with it, wanting to examine *everything* under the light of the micro/magnascope! Hmm, there's an applicable scripture there somewhere...)

My mom told me today that she heard the gas prices are starting back up. I trimmed our gas budget by a couple hundred dollars last month (Mr. Honey drives a lot for his job), and was thinking of trimming it more this month, but now I think I will hold it here and see what happens in the next few weeks. We got a gallon of milk for $2.15 today at the store, and I assume it was so inexpensive because of the lower gas prices. (I thought they had the gallon jugs sitting on the half-gallon shelf at first!)

That's about it on the financial front. Thanks for reading this far. I know I am long-winded.

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