A weird thing happened in the midst of this season, though: Blessings began to pop up randomly, oddly, at first, then picking up steam. What I learned from that is goodness is always working behind the scenes, even when it doesn't seem like it. I attribute this positive force to God, but it doesn't have to be a religious experience for everyone. The main point I want you to know is it's out there, this desire to bless, and you never know who or what is operating on its behalf.
In our previously life, we truly thought having a budget was a punishment. Seems strange now, but coming from a place of entitlement, consistently doing the work of living responsibly was tough. Every day, we had to be mindful of where our money was going in order to ensure there was enough. The safety net we were used to was gone; we were officially on our own. Looking back, I can clearly see how far we've come and I'm grateful for the humility we've learned. On the other side of that effort was not only wisdom, but freedom. We are finally living the life we'd envisioned all those years ago, and it's better than we hoped it would be. Thanks to sites like Groupon Goods, a million-dollar salary isn't a necessity.