Ian and I had been living on a very small income for nearly a month and we still hadn’t asked for any help. We were determined to get through this on our own without asking for anything from anyone.
We scaled our budget back and made sacrifices to make sure our little guy would have everything he needed. We had no problem giving up the things we wanted as long as he was taken care of.
We cut back on groceries and I gave up my Tim Horton’s coffee runs in favor of homemade coffee and buying the bare essentials at the grocery store.
Up until now, living on his income and my reduced income (due to my maternity leave) had been no big deal! We were still doing great and figured there was time to save. That was our downfall – always thinking there would be more time.
And there we were, regretting our lack of savings that we really could’ve used right about now. Christmas was fast approaching and we were nowhere near prepared for all the expenses.
There we were, in need of help and refusing to ask for it. Each time our families asked if we would have enough to get to the end of the month we would say “yes”, but wondering if we really would.
Then after a visit one day, my mom called us and asked if they could help us out. We didn’t want to set them back and said “no, we’ll be okay.” However, she insisted. We looked at each other, knowing what the other was thinking. We needed this. She told us we didn’t have to pay her and my dad back until we got back on our feet. I then said “okay.”
To anyone who is reading this: please never be afraid to ask for help!
The help my parents have given us over the last two months has been a lifesaver and kept us from going deeper into debt.
Now that I’m back at work and Ian has started to receive his employment insurance benefits things are already starting to get a bit better, but we are by no means well-off.
While out shopping for food for Harley’s first birthday party Saturday morning (post to come soon!) we stopped at Metro and standing outside were some volunteers from the Christmas Hamper Program. They had signs posted asking people to buy just one extra item to donate.
I knew immediately that I wanted to purchase something for them! There was no question about it!
I couldn’t afford to do much, but Ian and I had been helped out by our families while we were in need and all I wanted was to do the same for another struggling family. I know all too well what it’s like to go shopping with a budget of only $15 and how hard it was to stick to it.
I went into the store, picked up two loaves of pumpernickel bread and continued further into the store, ending up in the cereal aisle. I spotted a box of oatmeal on sale and grabbed it without a second thought and headed to the register.
I checked out and headed out to hand in my donation. I put the box into the hamper and said “Merry Christmas” to the two volunteers and headed back to the car.
I felt really good about my donation and I still do. A box of oatmeal may not seem like much, but to a needy family it could mean the difference between having a filling breakfast or starting their day hungry.
Like I said, we are by no means well-off now that I’m back at work and we are definitely going to be smarter this time around because once Ian’s sickness leave is up we don’t know where we’ll be. We don’t know how bad his injury is or if he’ll ever feel the same again.
We’re hoping for the best, but you never know where life will take you.