Honestly, when Jarod informed me of the changes at work, I'm certain I had a small panic attack inside. Thankfully, we were smart enough to not extend ourselves out of his base wage. In other words, we'll be fine paying our bills; however, a lot of the extra money Jarod used to pull in - is gone.
The first thing we did was sat down, looked at our monthly bills and decided we needed to make some changes in our lifestyle. We were planning on getting a data phone plan (because Jarod no longer has a company phone and we, honestly, really just wanted smart phones again) this fall when the new iPhones were expected to come out but have since, decided against it. Jarod agreed that he wasn't going to spend $100 online on workout supplements anymore and I agreed to start meal planning and coupon clipping. We've stopped having "date night" out for dinner and a movie and now we tuck the kids in bed, bake cookies and Redbox our night.
It's definitely a different lifestyle than we've been used to. We don't even think about spending money because there isn't any "extra" money to spend. I'm much more diligent about planning ahead with our meals at home and when we're on the road, simply because we have to be. It's annoying and inconvenient and I look forward to the day when this lifestyle will once again be a choice and not a necessity.
However, I would be lying if I didn't say I didn't love it on a some weird, pure and simplistic level. Don't misread me because no, I do not like being poor. I look forward to the day when Jarod makes twice as much as he does now (three more years, three more years! three more friggin' years!! :) and when all of our babies are enrolled in school and I can start my own career and bring home a nice hefty :) paycheck. I absolutely look forward to having money.
Yet, life seems just so much simpler now - without it. I've seen my husband more these days than I feel like I have the last two years. Jarod's less stressed and less tired, which equates to him being a happier and "sillier" father. He's home more often; thus, I finally have help in the house and I don't feel like a chicken with her head cut off 90% of the day. It's peaceful and as serene in this household as it can be with three crazy kids, an extremely vocal cat and a rambunctious puppy.
We are so broke and yet, here I am - so incredibly happy.