The Spring and Summer of 2015 have been relentlessly wet here. It seems like every day brings showers or storms. The ground is soggy. The streets are flooded. Our tomato plants look pitiful. The jalapenos are another story.
You know what doesn’t happen when it rains? Construction. My job has been a little slower, which doesn’t bother me in the least. There’s still enough work to keep me busy, and I’m a salaried team member. But Bryan’s now working out in the field. Or, more often than not, not working. After all, you can’t dig in the rain. And, even if it isn’t raining, most job sights are under water. What should have been the busiest time of the season is turning into a 2-3 day work week, if that.
He has enough seniority in the union that he can easily switch employers. But that’s zero help when the weather is keeping everyone from working. So, he’s sticking with a large company that has plenty of work, and waiting out the storms. In the mean time, he keeps himself busy painting around the apartment, running errands, and cleaning. Gotta love a man who can’t keep still!
Obviously though, not working is not a good thing when you’re an hourly employee. We try to split our living expenses equally: We each pay half the rent, I pay for the groceries each week, and a few other bills, while he covers the electric and internet. But he still has a house payment every month, while mine went away in May. It isn’t like I’m living high on the hog now that I have fewer expenses; I’ve been keeping to a budget, and throwing all my extra cash towards my car loan. After all, paying off that loan opens up a lot of options for our future. But, it seems ridiculous that I’m working to create a better future, while he’s struggling to afford the present.
For months I’ve been pushing him to let me take over more of our bills. At least until he’s working more, or he can get rid of the house payment. He’s been very reluctant to let me “support him”, as he refers to it. But, as time goes by and the rain keeps coming, he’s started getting a little resentful of my position. I’ve finally had to put my foot down; After all, we’re a team, and this is our life. There will always be times when one of us is pulling in more money than the other. Does it really matter? So, for the next 3-6 months, I’ll be paying the rent, and possibly taking over some of the other bills.
I’ve also noticed lately that my spending each week is going up. At first I panicked, thinking I was letting lifestyle inflation creep in. Then I realized we were buying more on our weekly grocery trip, and Bryan was making fewer small runs throughout the week. In all honestly, it’s probably a good thing: Overall we’re spending less, and getting better at eating what we have on hand. We’re also wasting less food.
All of this means that “my” expenses will be going up. I’m adjusting my budget accordingly. I’m also watching to make sure I don’t get careless as my spending increases. Just because I’m spending more doesn’t mean I should waste money. My progress on paying off the car loan will be much less than I was originally planning. With the tax refund I typically get in February or March, it should only slow things down by a few months. I’m okay with that. Like I said, paying off the car loan is working towards the future; Right now we need to get the present under control.
When it rains, you have to adjust your plans!