When we lived in California, I never worried about money. My husband pulled a 6 figure salary, and I had a steady job. Yes, our rent was more than what we pay in three months out here, and a gallon of milk often cost as much as a kidney, but we were fine. Although I bitched about frivolous spending, we didn't worry about it as much. We paid our bills on time, more than the minimums, we saved, and we lived our lives.
Except we didn't have lives.
Correction, my husband didn't have a life outside work.
While he loved the amounts of his paychecks, he was working 24/7. When he wasn't physically at work, he was on the computer or on the phone. Let's face it, that kind of salary is never attached to a 40 hour work week. Since he was working so much in San Francisco, he often stayed in the office apartment above the store. It was an hour drive each way, and when you aren't leaving until 9 and have to be back by 7, there's not a lot of sense in coming home to sleep for a few hours. There were days when Isaac didn't see his dad, until we figured out how to Skype. Ben would go on business trips, meetings, trainings out of state, and we couldn't even do that much. We had to reschedule our Disneyland trip 3 times. 3 TIMES!
I didn't worry about money, but I did worry about my marriage. It was just me and Isaac ALL THE TIME. Even when Ben was home, we were hard pressed to find a babysitter so we could go to dinner or to a movie.
When we knew we were moving across the country, we started saving and paying off more. I started planning how we were going to survive on one third of what we were making. It's been rough. I didn't plan as well as I thought I did. Ben messed up his back and has been to all kinds of doctors for tests. One of the cars has needed repairs. SNOW TIRES, ugh.
Anyway, now I worry about money all the time. Like, I wake up at night for Isaac and I can't fall back asleep because my mind won't turn off. But you know what I don't worry about? MY MARRIAGE. I see my husband everyday. EVERY SINGLE DAY. When we have a problem, we can talk about it, face to face. We resolve things. Isaac sees his dad in real life, not over a computer screen. Most days, we eat dinner together. When Ben is home, he is HOME, not on the phone constantly or worrying about numbers or customer issues or whatnot. He's worried about, well, nothing. (Except maybe the fact that his wife is seriously inept at keeping up with laundry). We get to be a family. A broke family, but we are a family that sees each other.
This is a trade off I am willing to deal with. Somehow, dealing with money troubles seems immensely easier than dealing with marriage troubles. I'll take it.