Hi everyone! Happy Monday morning! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend. I’ve had kind of a lazy but social one – been out for spur of the moment coffee three different times, saw Alice in Wonderland with my son (loved it!) and enjoyed a blissfully quiet Sunday morning while my kids snoozed late.
One of the friends I’d called for coffee explained she’d been feeling depressed and would otherwise have curled up for a nap. My call was serendipity and sometimes there’s serendipity in blogging. Like right now … this weekend I saw a tweet from @TsQuest and @Runpippirun about getting together to help Single Mom Says celebrate her fortieth birthday. I’m also at the point in the Divorce Encouragist’s story where I asked her what was particularly hard for her after her divorce. The two might seem unconnected but DE answered my question with “adjusting to having less money.” Before I tell you more about the send Single Mom Says to Vegas movement, here’s what DE said living with fewer dollars after divorce.
I don’t want to say it was difficult but it was definitely a change. It was something I wasn’t used to, not that I’m a big spender or irresponsible with money. However, my budget was suddenly cut and I had to downsize everything. So where I used to be able to go to Target and spend $150 and it wasn’t a big deal, suddenly it was a big deal. I can’t just go do that.
My husband and I had a used car business. I had been driving a Volvo and then an Audi and then I had a supercharged Grand Prix. Now I have a 2003 Saturn Ion. I really like cars so that was a bit of an adjustment but that was the car I asked for because I knew it was practical and something I could put my dogs in.
My house is half the size of the house I left. That wasn’t really difficult but it was a noticeable adjustment. I picked out new furniture that I could afford and it was this nice, big cushy couch and loveseat but it barely fits in my tiny little living room. I hadn’t thought about that!
It’s definitely an adjustment that I’m conscious of but it’s not making me miserable. I left so much misery behind. I’m so much happier now. Every sacrifice I made has been worth it.
I like DE’s perspective on this – the material possessions matter less, the functionality of items matter more because what matters most is being happy and if that means less money then it means less money.
My post-divorce life was an adjustment for me too but I can’t say it was solely because of the divorce. I was also in the middle of a career change and had decided I would do whatever I could to be at home in the afternoon for when my kids finished school. I am fortunate that I have a chunk of savings to live off and I’m working part-time to stretch those further. The job also gives me health insurance which is a huge relief. But I’ve trimmed back discretionary purchases significantly, and have become quite the comparison shopper.
Now the connection with Single Mom Says. I don’t know much about Mindy Mom of Single Mom Says – I do know she’s mom to four daughters and Bank of America (shame on you) has been giving her quite the run around with a rate modification on her mortgage. All the time, she’s paying her mortgage in full and on time. I know how frustrating that is – for a while I was carrying two mortgages and the bank on one of the mortgages refused to modify my loan rate because I had too much debt. Duh! Does it ever occur to these people by lowering the monthly payments, it lessens the chance of default?
Now it’s Mindy’s fortieth birthday coming up and she’d love to celebrate it with a getaway but that’s not really in her budget. Two bloggers, T and Pippi (read T’s Quest here; Pippi’s story is coming soon) have started a movement to send Mindy to Vegas ‘coz we know that being a single mom is hard.
I’m supporting Mindy for a couple of reasons – if a lot of us get together, it’s a small amount from each of us and I can certainly forgo a few of lattes to do my part. The other reason I’m in is truthfully, I’m really curious to see if the power of social media can make this happen. Are you curious? Can you empathize with Mindy? Could you support Mindy? Pippi’s post, Vegas or Bust for Single Mom Says has all the details about how YOU can help.