There's nothing like tax season to give a couple of lovebirds a jolt of panic and grief. Spring seems to call unto itself minor financial crises.
For example, when you live in a world where $25 equals a week's groceries and your landlord thinks you owe her $25 in additional unpaid fees, your eye starts to twitch and you feel stirrings of rebellion in your heart! (Don't worry, we didn't owe her anything. I rounded up all the receipts and checks to prove that she had messed up her calculations and actually owed me and each of my roommates $8.99. Cha-ching!)
However, we received really great advice from an accounting friend who is also a member of our church. He said, "I've seen a lot of messy, messy accounts. People have money problems when they're not honest with the government, the Lord, or either. By and large, those who pay an honest tithe and fill out their taxes with integrity are just fine."
And we believe that completely. So we have to make some tax payments (ugh), and sometimes it's hard to let go of 10% of our paychecks to tithing, but we know good things will come to us if we do.
For example, I was fortunate enough to win an ORCA grant for some writing I'll be doing for a former employer over the summer. That'll pay our rent for the spring and summer.
Mike got a grant for school this spring. He will finish his undergraduate education with his tuition and health insurance covered.
BYU was kind and flexible and converted my last semester scholarship to cover my spring and summer tuition.
I also found out on Monday that I received honorable mention in an essay contest! If I'm allowed, I'll have to post the essay someday. I know it's going to be published but I'm not sure the rights yet. Still, a nice little chunk of money for our savings account. It'll cover my health insurance for the spring, anyway.
And so even though life is stressful sometimes, and money is a universally huge factor in marital strife, Mike and I feel pretty darn blessed to have received so much when we have given the minimum that is expected of us.