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Six and a half years of hustling to provide for my family and pay for Jeremy's ongoing tuition has started taking a toll on me physically and emotionally.
Over the last few months, I have hit a financial, emotional wall and have struggled to move past it.
Have you ever hit a wall?
Years of frenzied work catches up
Last year was a challenge to get all the hours I wanted with my free lance work and the first two months of 2015 have been no different.
The year was made harder by the fact there has been no word from ASU which would my husband to take his final Electrical Engineering class and he has had to change majors, adding more years of study before graduation.
I was sick, for the first time in years, with several colds throughout the winter and lost my drive to hustle to bring in more work. My sleep is being affected.
Each day I wonder how to make it through the day and how to bring in more hours to accomplish paying for the last two years of school. The stress of the last seven years has started catching up to me.
Lest anyone who knows me starts to worry, I have had plenty of hours to pay all our bills, it is just the extra hours I rely on to beef up my savings to pay for school and other things which has been hard to come by.
Hitting the wall
I suppose when you are doing something long term, everyone is bound to hit a wall at some point. However, it is what you do when you hit the wall which makes the difference between overcoming and quitting.
For me, I hit hard, fell off and stumbled about for a couple of months. As I slowly got my bearings back, I had to renew my trust in God, knowing He has everything under control and will continue to be faithful to provide for all our needs.
9 tips on how to bust through a financial, emotional wall have come to mind during this time and I would like to share them with you in case you have hit your own wall recently.
9 tips to bust through a financial, emotional wall
1. Remember God is in control of everything which is happening in your life.
You might disagree with me which is fine, but the only way I can make it past an emotional wall is to depend on God to get me through the situation with the strength He supplies.
2. Step back and remember your Why for living on a shoestring budget.
Clarify or rework your Why as necessary. Add some tangible steps you can do to make progress on obtaining your financial goals.
3. Take action on a small goal.
Stop making excuses and start making some headway. Just start today.
4. Do not limit your income opportunities.
If your financial wall is related to not enough income, then become creative about ways to earn some extra money. Side hustle, sell some things from around the house, or get a part time job. The goal is more money to work with in your budget.
5. Make your health a priority.
Eat nutrient dense food. Get some sunshine and fresh air. Go to bed earlier and drink some tea to help you sleep. Get off the computer and give yourself time to wind down before crawling into bed. Start moving more, walking, and exercising.
6. Look for ways to reduce stress in your life.
What is the biggest stressor in your life? Morning routine? Staying up too late? Too many commitments? Come up with specific ways to reduce the stress for this particular habit.
7. Say no and set boundaries.
It is totally ok to say no and not do everything you have been asked to do. Another season will come when you can do more for others.
8. Remove clutter from your life.
Clean your house and get rid of stuff you do not want or need. You will breathe better.
9. Let go of your own expectations of yourself.
You are not a super hero and cannot do everything.
While I still feel like I am dragging a little, God gives me strength each day to continue, the trust to know He will get me through this time and will be glorified in the end.
I am being diligent to cut expenses again and to save every dollar I can. My schedule at the college has changed for the better, allowing me 3 days to fill with free lance work. I have started picking up jobs once again on evenings and Saturdays.
I make it a point to spend time outside walking on my lunch break and aim to get 1-2 jogs in during the week. There are some pretty big boundaries I am in the process of establishing.
My financial goals have been narrowed to three in 2015, increase our emergency fund, pay for three semesters of school, and start saving for a replacement vehicle. I have been able to start saving for all three.
There have been many bags and boxes of clutter I have gotten rid of and have started selling 1-2 items on Craigslist a week, however I have let go of the desire to have my house clean all the time. Getting more quality sleep is the next thing I need to work on as well as reducing a couple big stressors in my life.
My dream is to see my husband graduate without any debt and I just have 1.5 years left of paying tuition. I just celebrated 5 years of being debt free; developing the patience to save up and pay for everything in cash without returning to be a slave to payments ever again.
I do not give up and am not a quitter, though at times the thought does cross my mind. When it does come up, I fight to beat the thought back. I am going to overcome this difficult time as God has promised.
How do you deal with your own financial, emotional wall? Do you have any tips you can share?
This post was shared at Thrifty Thursday and JetFuel.
Hi! I’m Charissa. I’m on a mission to help hardworking women overcome money struggles and gain financial peace with a Biblical perspective so they can have the freedom to impact their families and communities. Ready to make some changes that will impact your finances in 2020? Click here to get a free worksheet to help you make it happen!
This is so good! Memorizing Scripture helps me during these tough times. Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorites.
Memorizing Scripture is always a good thing to do and is something I need to start doing more of, starting with Psalm 16. Thank you for the reminder.
I went from making a large corporate salary for almost 15 years, never really worrying about debt or savings because there was always more than enough money, to losing my job last year and having no safety net. I lived ‘The American Dream’ running up credit cards, buying expensive cars and spending rather than saving all in the name of being happy. Last year I got married, my husband & I decided that we would rather downsize than me go back into a stressful job. We have adjusted our lifestyle so that we can live on his salary alone while I build my blogging business. Honestly we are drowning in massive six-figure debt and bad credit but our end goal is to be free from all of it. Now we have a much better idea of what it takes to truly be free & content. We have years of stressful times ahead of us but we have common financial goals we work towards every day!
Loriann, thanks for stopping by! I am so sorry to hear about your job loss and all the debt hanging around. Lifestyle adjustments, being content with what you have, and working together on your common financial goals are all so important and will be key to getting out of debt quickly. I believe in you and will be here cheering you on as you plow through your debt. You can do it! I love the awesome food pictures on your blog.
I have been going through something similar and can totally relate to this! I have been getting so stressed lately trying to do it all and it’s been overwhelming! I have started going on walks to clear my mind and it really helps. I’ve also had to adjust some of my goals and focus on a couple things at a time instead of worrying about everything at once. Hang in there!
I agree with you, Kristin, about feeling overwhelmed at times. It is amazing how much a little time outside in the fresh air really helps your mind settle. Adjusting goals is something I do quite regularly, often due to necessity, but focusing on a couple small things is a good reminder. Thanks!
Angi @ SchneiderPeeps says
I’m so glad you are finding your way. I think anytime you are struggling with something long term there are hills and valleys. My husband went through a four year season (2008-2012) of not having a full-time job. Even though he has two masters degrees, he was working 3 part-time jobs. When I look back, I cannot believe it was 4 years. There were some super hard times and times when I thought we were just spinning our wheels. But God is faithful, and saw us through everything. We can now encourage others who are struggling with long term unemployment.
Good job on letting the house go a little 😉
Thank you Angi, I needed to hear your comments. Super hard times and times when I feel like I am just spinning my wheels, that is an apt description of how it has been for me. 4 years of three part time jobs, you have worker for a husband! I have seen God’s faithfulness through the last seven years and know He will continue to be faithful. Right now it just seems like the tunnel of school will never end since graduation keeps being postponed. The house…I mainly clean it for myself:-)
Willie Wonka says
One of my walls was in my marathon training a number of years ago. It was the worst physical and emotional feeling I ever experienced. In essence it is the complete depletion of body’s fuels we get from carbohydrates. It is like having an empty gas tank. It was so bad for the last two miles of my 18 mile training, I wondered if I could finish the marathon. What I learned that made my race successful is loading up with the fuels of carbohydrates two days before the race. I was able to complete the race without hitting the wall. This experience has been a metaphor to face my life walls. The emotional fuels, the spiritual fuels are essential for my perseverance in hard times. In many ways dealing with walls is arranging our lives to prepare for them before they happen. Here are some that are meaningful to me: 1. Experiencing the reality of the Father is quite nurturing, when he gives me encouragement from his word or a song. 2. Pouring out my heart and neediness is enlivening because he is the perfect listener. I am truly not alone. 3. Expressing my burdens to my community of friends and home group allows others to carry some of my load with empathetic support. 4. Listening to and welcoming my walls as growth opportunities for the Father to refine my character; just being a good life student. 5.Learning over and over, accepting “Your will be done” when my desires are different or the wall is so draining that I want to give up. (I do have a strong will and I embrace the illusion that I know better than the Father.) Charissa, I appreciate your candid honesty and you responders your insightful thoughts.
Willie Wonka (ha, do you carry around chocolate in your pocket?), thank you for sharing your helpful experience with running a real marathon. I am needing to recharge/refuel and build up more emotional stamina to keep pushing on past the 16 mile mark. However, it sure is difficult to ‘load up on emotional carbs’ per say, when life keeps rolling without a break from the pressure. I appreciate your correlations between the physical aspect of a marathon and the spiritual aspect of life. Thanks for stopping by!