XXXI: Unknown Travelers


A phrase I’ve heard more than once inside the school over the past several weeks, directed at students…

Being an adult isn’t always that fun. Right now, it stinks.

This usually coincided with sick days, retirement issues, and taxes.

The truth is, I could easily be one of those adults that’s currently thinking that being an adult is rather rotten. Currently, Darco and I are in a bit of dilemma. Due to the constant, positive, changes in our daily work loads, we need to relocate to the city south of where we currently reside. The recognition of that is easy, the execution of it is completely different. I’m having a hard time justifying to the need to move at this very moment. Factoring in the debts that we’ve gathered over the past year, my horrific pay cut between jobs, and the upfront cost of relocation (transportation fees, deposits, pet deposits, utilities (if applicable), etc…) it’s very hard for me to rationalize the immediate need to pick up and go.

On the flipside though, in definite defense of my tear-stained wife, we’re spending two hours a day driving from home to work. Several days we leave when it is dark and we arrive home when it’s dark. Our church, home church, work, and even shopping outlets (grocery stores) are all located in the vicinity that we’re wishing to locate to. Needless to say, she has so many great points on why we should be moving right now.

This difference in thought has caused for some extremely tense conversations in the household (these are things you’re not ready for when you become married by the way). Unfortunately there hasn’t been a collective agreement on the plan of action. I was a little more in favor of the rapid departure until an apartment complex turned us away due to our credit history. It was at that point that I started to try to think in the most purest, Biblical manner on our finances. Even with my large pay cut, I’m convinced that we’re making our lives harder than it needs to be.

I  could easily find every credit card we’ve ever owned and cut them up this very moment. I’m so, so sick of debt. Between student loans, car loans, payday loans (yes, I said it), and unpaid bills, I’ve had it up to here with constantly owing someone, something.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

-Proverbs 22:7-

Here’s a hard reality; sitting in church, knowing that you need to tithe, but telling yourself not to because you owe this, that, and the other company later in the week. I know I’m not the only one who’s ever been in that situation. That’s being a servant to a lender, and not being a servant to God. After all, we can’t be a servant to two masters, right?

Throughout this morning and afternoon, heading into my week-long Spring Break, I’ve been trying to find the correct, Biblical compromise between Darco and myself for this situation. I firmly believe that as the husband it’s my responsibility to guide the family in a way that would be pleasing to God. My soul aches at the reality of spending more money while we still have so many debts out in the open. Don’t get me wrong, student and car loans don’t disappear overnight, but the $250 here, and the $300 here, and the $25 here do if planned correctly.

Where does my soul go for this set of unknown travelers?

I don’t believe we should move at the end of our lease in May. With this many debts and having to move forward nearly $600 upfront (thanks to “the Dark One”) for deposits, it’s a hard pill to swallow. That’s even saying that an apartment complex would approve our credit (…he…he…he…).

Instead, I believe I can see God working on a plan:

  1. Darco is moving towards management promotion at the end of April, that’ll change her earning substantially, plus quarterly bonuses at her store
  2. While I’ve been disappointed to miss out on two teaching positions in the school, God’s been shaking up the system in the past week. I’ve completed my course requirements, the department of education is off to reactivate my certification, and my middle school professional knowledge test is on Tuesday. Along those lines the percentage chance of my teaching in an actual classroom (with an actual salary) has rapidly increased in the past two weeks. Now, if I were to get a contract, teaching pay wouldn’t start until late August. However, it’d almost bring me back to the former pay I had in my previous job.

These two elements show me that things are happening, and they’re not within my control. However, God expects me to be wise with them as great opportunities.

My proposal for compromise:

  • We have to move. That is a fact that we agree on. Living sixty miles away from work is hard and it’s not enjoyable. Unfortunately we do not have the capital to relocate right now.
  • We sign a final lease with the current apartment for six months. This places us at a moving date in late October 2015.
  • With the six month extension, Darco’s raise, and my lack of movement during the summer (saving money) we can knock out several small debts that we’ve accumulated, and also ensuring that our student loan situation is secure.
  • At this point, by October, after I will have also added two months worth of teaching salary to the mix (praying here), we will be able to relocate with ease, a better credit score, and hopefully even some money in savings.

With all that said, there will be some requirements in order to have this work:

  • Debts must be paid. We can’t hoard money for ‘something else’ while due dates pass by.
  • We have to continue to do better at eating at home, not going out, and enjoying what we have
  • We are going to lose sleep, and our car is going to have some serious wear-and-tear as time goes on. This section is the hardest to accept because of time lost, but the time being lost could in turn be money saved.
  • The obvious question is the fuel; currently we’re spending nearly $60 a week in fuel due to driving to work. Compared to eventually running $20 on average. That’s a $40 difference per week, $240 difference per month. That’s the biggest snag, is accepting this loss over the next eight months, while also increasing the bill pay. This area is the biggest struggle we’ve come across in terms of disagreement. That’s an $160 extra per month that could be placed towards rent or larger bills. My only thought is knowing that even with that being the case, we can’t make the immediate large drop of money at the end of May to relocate. It’s an opportunity cost that’s going to be absorbed.

In the end, i wish I had a perfect answer, but I don’t. I know that I don’t plan on running 5K’s this season for the sake that $25-$35 race fees add up over time. I hope that I’m making the right choice as a husband and a Christian, and I pray that Darco doesn’t hate me. I want to give her the world and everything in it, and it pains me to be in this position. Not to mention, anyone who knows me knows that I hate talking about finances. This is the best case I’ve got to trying to be faithful to God and His commandments. I’ve screwed up just about everything else on this planet, so I hope at least this one I can get right.

-D-

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