Let’s skip Christmas and head right on to the anniversary

DH and I were married 8 years ago today. I love my man. He is sensitive, clever, empathetic, funny, kind and makes me a better human being. I am filled with love for him.

This year we’re in a difficult financial position, caused mainly by my inability to get a job. We could lose the house (unlikely – I’ll become an UBER driver before I let that happen). But I’m serious. We are in a very bad way, not made any easier by the fact that even though my husband APPEARS to earn a lot, in fact we see less than 40% of his gross income after taxes, child support and voluntary superannuation contributions are taken out.

Like most folks with a good income, we have lived pretty well. And I’ve been a little bit careless financially. We’ve bought each other expensive gifts, travelled a lot, drunk lovely wine and real French champagne and I’m happiest when I’m buying presents for other people. But now all of this has dried right up. We have some big bills that I thought would be paid out by a windfall tax return, but some of that was garnished by the government for back-pay of child support. Just a note here: we pay $1000 a fortnight to his ex-wife who has primary care of his two children. We also pay half of the school fees and all of their phone bills. That would be fine if I were working, but I am not, and it’s now impacting on our ability to pay for things like health insurance, car payments, house and car insurance, council rates, electricity, phone, utilities and credit card bills. And food.

So Christmas was a little bit impacted by our dire need to slash spending immediately. We managed to have a lovely day, though, with turkey, trimmings and a pavlova for dessert.

This year DH and I can’t afford to do anything special for our anniversary. But here’s the rub. Every year our Christmas gifts to each other have been getting more and more extravagant, as if we are trying to best the previous years’ efforts. Last year was the craziest yet with the gift of a beautiful Kitchen Aid bench mixer, and my DH is so good and lovely to me – he just wants to make me happy. This year our gifts were less over the top. I still got some lovely perfume and a spa pamper day, and DH received a book and a blingy shaving mirror, but all of a sudden we have put the brakes on our spending. And this is a good thing. We have a beautiful bathroom and WIR, and this is enough for me.

Today there were no gifts to commemorate our anniversary. Just a small bunch of long-stemmed roses, cards, a day spent in each other’s company and a reshaping of our pantry area and the Oh Jesus room*. Tonight we’re going to a cheap and cheerful pub for dinner followed by a movie. We’re seeing the latest James Bond film Spectre. And you know? I think this is the best anniversary day of all.

Happy New Year everyone.

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