When Craig and I got married, we had lots of money between us. We both had good, secure, full-time jobs. We could easily pay our bills and have plenty left over for whatever we wanted. But Craig was dying on the inside at a job that suited him less and less. I kept urging him to quit, telling him that the universe provides when we follow our dreams. He didn’t really believe that, but in May of 2011, he quit. So we had less money, but it was still enough to pay our bills.
I had already started my part-time business as a jewelry artist, working at it every spare minute outside of my full-time job. We played a lot less. Then I started my training to become a life coach, and my time got even tighter. So we took another risk, and I went from full-time to half-time. I worked like crazy to build up my jewelry and coaching businesses, spending a lot of money on expensive equipment, website design, marketing, training, etc. I was following my dreams for all I was worth. During all this time, Craig worked a number of different jobs, experimenting with his dreams. He bought some expensive equipment, too. So we had even less money, and it really wasn’t enough to pay our bills.
And then I was dying inside at my now part-time, secure job. So at the end of 2013, we took another leap, and I quit. I turned my attention to my two budding businesses. I worked my ass off. Money started coming in, but it was slow. And it definitely wasn’t enough to pay our bills.
As our income was going down, we talked about needing to spend less. But we didn’t really do it. The credit card debt crept up. And most of it was on my cards, cards that Craig can’t see online. We share all our money as a couple, but we still had some separate accounts from before we were married that we never bothered to combine. Yes, a lot of the creeping debt was household expenses. Yes, we discussed big purchases. But it was the little stuff that kept piling up. When I wanted something for my business, I’d think, ‘yeah, yeah, that’s okay, the universe always provides.’ I trusted the divine to bring in magic money, and used that to justify buying things on credit. And the universe DID provide — we definitely had all we needed during those years. But the debt just kept growing. And I didn’t want Craig to know how high it was piling up on my cards. I didn’t want him to worry, because I knew the divine would come through for us. So I mustered up more faith. I believed harder. I protected him from his fears. And the divine DID provide: we got some big windfalls…but didn’t use them to pay off much of that debt because we needed the money to cover bills.
Then, at the beginning of this year, Craig told me that our financial situation had been eating at him. And he asked me what the totals were on my cards. And about had a heart attack when I told him. I felt so ashamed. We decided we needed to commit to getting out of debt this year.
And I had some coaching. And here’s the yucky truth about me that I learned. I was being manipulative. I wanted to be right that the divine would take care of us. I wanted to prove to Craig that I was right. I wanted to make him not worry about money so that his worry couldn’t scare me. I didn’t want him to tell me I couldn’t buy olives at the grocery store because they were too expensive. I didn’t want to spend less. I WANTED MY WAY!!! (high-pitched voice and stomping feet).
I poured out all this crap to Craig, and guess what: he still loves me, and almost immediately there was a shift. We talked about the real issues about each other’s beliefs about money. We watched some free webinars from YouNeedABudget.com. We bought their software (best $60 we’ve spent in a long time) and entered our finances. We made a plan!
And now that I’m looking squarely at reality, I have a whole new level of hope about making money in my businesses, and about the divine providing when you follow your dreams. Money is coming in. I feel so much more secure now that I know the truth of our financial situation, and Craig and I are connecting about it. I might not get my olives for a few months, but I’ve got something better: truth.