Surprisingly well. We have a tentative budget for August, with both of us agreed to the various amounts and limits. We’re putting a moratorium on all extra projects and purchases until we BOTH feel like we’ve got our collective spending under control.
Second, DH is just about done prepping not only his July spending info for sharing, but also May/June. Interesting little evolution with that situation. Keep in mind that one of the reasons we’re still in therapy is that he has a lot of difficulty with expressing his opinions, concerns, idea, etc. (Whatever my limitations in life, that’s obviously not one of them). So this whole time that we’ve been living beyond our means post-DR, he thought he was doing a good job communicating his concerns and frustrations. Um, honey, you actually have to say this stuff OUT LOUD before anyone else knows about it; walking around scowling doesn’t convey much detail! But his reluctance to share account info was based on his conviction that I had totally blown off DR and just wanted to spend all his money anyway. Wow, um, no, that’s not the motivation, and I was pained to hear that was ever a suspicion. Suffice to say we both learned a few new things. And now we both feel like we’re on the same page again, in terms of financial priorities and spending limits. That by itself feels great.
But the biggest news is that I’ve had a major change of heart concerning my own earnings potential. As I mentioned last week, DH and I were already in agreement that farm income HAD to improve. And as I reviewed this-or-that option, I kept running into the same problem. We’ve got the production end of things down pat. We can produce garden goodies. We can produce piglets and chickens and rabbits and eggs and hay and a whole host of other products. The crunch comes, though, in the sales and marketing. There is no single product we’ve created yet so far that we’ve consistently sold out. We’ve come close on some items, but we’re not at that “demand is greater than supply” stage yet. Furthermore, our cost of production is still high enough that whatever we do sell, we only make about 5% profit on it. And we don’t have the scale yet to make that 5% add up to enough for me to live on. Long story short, I could produce my little heart out over the next few weeks and months, and maybe sell all of it, maybe sell some, maybe sell nothing. And still not quite earn enough to meet our financial goals. A lot of that is because we’re still building out our capacity. But bottom line, I can’t meet our income goals for the year, with just the farm. So, over the weekend, I made the hard decision to button some things up here and start looking for non-farm part-time work again. It’s the only way I can guarantee that I’ll actually be paid for effort made, and get paid enough to make a difference. I came to that decision kicking and screaming, but the numbers just wouldn’t allow for any wishful thinking in that regard.
So the job search has already begun, and I’m already putting together application materials for two different listings I’ve found so far. Yikes, back in the job market after 3 years of self-employment. Not for the faint of heart. But that’s my homework report. I might not get an A for achievement yet, but I sure as heck hope I got a gold star for effort.