How to save money in a recession and be otherwise productive

I had a little realization this week. I was just thinking about how different things were a year ago, when I had an SUV and gas was going up like 50 cents a day. My credit card debt felt crushing. The economy wasn’t le suck yet, but it wasn’t fantastic either. I was just starting to understand that I could take control of my life and stop feeling like it controlled me.

Little by little I made a lot of changes. And now, things are better. Having just paid off a small loan I’m seeing slightly bigger paychecks. The debt has been dented. The car has been traded in for a smaller, cheaper one. I’m saving in advance of travel (what a concept).

Starting the crafty business did not make me rich, but it did give me something to get excited about.

All of this means that when I take a week with no pay next week I don’t have to despair. I’ll be okay. I’ll be okay when we inevitably have to do it again. And the other thing I realized is that if the debt number doesn’t go down this month, that’s okay, too. I can’t be upset at myself if a little thing like not receiving a paycheck interferes with my plans. I’ll do my best, but I can’t move mountains.

I think just reflecting a little and seeing that I really did make progress, even if it was slow, is so important. I need that confidence in a year when everything has been so overwhelmingly negative. I can do this. I am doing it. No doubt I won’t make the progress I could have made in a better year, but it’s pointless to dwell on that.

And the other thing? I’m running again. After rest didn’t help my twisted knee I just said screw it and hobbled through a walk with the dogs and a few steps jogging. The next day it felt better. So I ran a little bit longer. Then it felt a lot better. So I’ve kept going out, running a little longer every time. Chugging up hills, wiping away snotsicles. Laughing at how little I can run compared to how much I used to. But being proud nonetheless. I remember why I do this now, this crazy thing. It just feels so good when you conquer something that is so hard. The runners high is real, no matter how far you are to the back of the pack. And believe me, I am always there. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to do that race in May that I was hoping for.

Baby steps, ya know?