Living overseas afforded my family many wonderful opportunities–to travel, to lean on one another and become a cohesive family unit, to meet new friends, to experience a new way of life, to save money.
The last opportunity, the opportunity to save money, was an important one, and one of the reasons we considered the experience in the first place. My decision to stay home was the right one, but our budget was tighter than we’d ever been used to before. Savers by nature, knowing we weren’t putting away money every month was hard for us to handle. Moving abroad with work gave us the opportunity to sell the house at a profit, make money on that investment, and save while we were gone. It was perfect.
Most of the cushion from the house went into the new house after we moved home, and with an extra mouth to feed and me still working part-time from home and raising the girls the rest of the time, our budget has become tight again.
It’s easy to see the ways and the places we can save (less eating out, no more beer, less special treats for the girls and coupon clipping are all things we can and should be doing). It’s easy to see the areas I could be making more income for the family (news writing is steady earning, but I rarely do it).
It’s not so easy, of course, to actually make the changes that would give our budget the cushion it needs.
Mostly, it’s sad that the tighter our purse strings get, the more yarn I want to buy, but the less I actually can buy.