The game is constantly changing.
Maybe it’s a bit trite to call paying off our debt a “game” – maybe I should say “our reality is constantly changing” – it’s more accurate, right?
Anyways, you’re probably wondering what has changed. Let me tell you.
Two months ago, I shared that my husband had lost his job. It was disappointing, and we knew it would slow our debt repayment down, but we would be okay. We’d still be able to pay the bills, and Fred worked hard to get on teacher on call (TOC) lists and had committed to being the house husband. We adjusted to our new reality.
Fast forward to 12 days ago, when I started my part-time teaching job and entered into a new season of working two part-time jobs to a total of more than 40 hours a week. Everything was working – Fred was cooking, cleaning, shopping, and taking care of the bills while I was working, working and working.
We were just getting used to our new roles. I was finally letting go of not planning meals and taking care of the home, and starting to enjoy the idea that all I had to do was work and help out around the house, not take charge of the household responsibilities like I had done in the past.
Then, something crazy happened.
Fred was TOCing at the school he worked at last year, and the principals approached him and asked him if he would be interested in some part-time work, 2-3 days a week, including a bit of teaching and some administrative work. He said yes, and we weren’t really sure what that would look like. This seemed exciting, and we were open to the idea of him doing this and still TOCing in other schools on the other days of the week.
The next day, he got asked if he wanted full-time work until January (the end of the semester) to add support to oversized classes and relieve a principal of a part-time class.
We were shocked. Both of having full-time work? Both of us loving what we do? Both of us being able to bring in a decent amount of money?
This changed everything.
This is more than just a boost to our income, and more than just a solution to help us pay off our debt more quickly. It was also encouraging to Fred that he got to be back in the school that he loves. It felt right – like this is how it was supposed to be all along.
So, the game has changed.
4 years ago, we didn’t know how we would ever pay off the almost $100,000 total in debt that we owed. We’ve never both had full-time work. We’ve been doing what we can with what we have, and now, we’re in a new season.
We’re earning more than anticipated, which does increase our ability to put more on our debt. We are teasingly close to paying off one of our three remaining debts, and are feeling hopeful about the idea of being completely debt-free in about 2 years. Our responsibility and anticipation is growing.
Now, we’re just re-adjusting our expectations of what it will look like to both be working full-time, sharing the household responsibilities like we never have, and seeing the light in the tunnel get closer.
The game is afoot!
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