As I think back on this past year I remember where I've been and focus on all that I learned, I am beyond grateful to have found my way back home.
It exhausts me to focus on the financial instability that continues to play a part in my days. Though I am already earning more than I averaged over the course of the past year, I cannot become too complacent about that fact. I should be out there 'selling myself' to attract one or two more children to my daycare.
I used to sit down with my finances on a regular basis, consumed with juggling the numbers to balance the budget. I spent a lot of time sitting down and 'doing the math'. And in the end?? It really didn't matter. No matter what I did, unexpected expenses arose and messed up my numbers. Many times ... the opposite happened. It seemed (almost) every time I was making the best choices that I could with the money I had at hand, 'pennies from heaven' would fall just when I needed them the most. There was always enough.
It took the greater part of my life to reach the point where I realized that worrying about money was a waste of energy. As long as I respected the money that I had and didn't overextend my spending (paying off my credit card at the end of each month was the one rule that I followed religiously) ... things had a way of working out.
I have a system that works for me.
I have added up my annual expenses and divided them by 12. I set that dollar amount aside every month and when I need the money to cover the bigger bills, it is there.
Thankfully, my mortgage is (relatively) small and all that I am required to pay is the interest. This feature has allowed me the freedom to make choices that I never could have if I had to pay rent or regular mortgage payment.
My bills are minimal. I am so grateful for that fact. It has given me the opportunity to learn &/or earn-as-I-go. But ... the past year has been a bit of a financial challenge. Now that I am working at a job that I feel fully capable of doing, I do need to focus just a small bit on making myself become just a little more financially stable.
But I do not want that to rule my choices. The last time I ran my daycare, I was in a perpetual state of Financial Worry. I took on too many children because I was worried about income security, safety nets and all contingencies 'just in case' of all of the various scenarios that affected my bottom line.
This time? I know I can live on little. I know that I am a calmer, better daycare provider when I have fewer children in my care. I am discovering that less is more when it comes to taking care of children. The truth of the matter is that kids have more fun when there are more kids to play with. So I do hope that my daycare family grows to 'four'. Five at a a maximum.
But for this very moment? I need to focus on making what I have ... work. And? It seems to be working for me.
Case in point - I checked my bank balance this morning to find an excess! I have received another final pay cheque from my last employer. Pennies from heaven when I least expected them ...
"...He has continuously made a way when there seemed to be no way ..."
~ Quote from "The Miracle of Cedar Lodge"