Keeping an eye on the credit card bill...
It's not a tight budget month, not at all. Quite the contrary. So, trying to squeeze out the $400+ cost of LM's new mattress, out of the budget, without touching savings. Which would go a long way towards "crazy TV purchase of 2010." Dh is now set on a $1500 model. Oy vey. (I did convince him to "wait a few weeks." Which means, I might not need to touch savings for that either - if I can earn any decent overtime).
I find it hard to balance the "prepare for the worst" with the "chill out and enjoy" when it comes to this TV. I think because it's the only thing dh splurges "recklessly" on. Maybe because it is something I would never buy. I was looking at our savings and thinking maybe it wasn't a biggie. But then again, we haven't had a great time lately as far as Murphy - and there is certainly a lot more that can go wrong. But in the end, maybe I should just chill out.
On the flip side, my large purchases are always pushed back into eternity, while he gets constant instant gratification. While I am the one working my butt off for a paycheck. Yes, I told him how I felt about that. I told him my fears for the future and my stress at always putting my needs aside, for his. It is certainly a communication thing. I don't feel my needs are as pressing, and so they just stay in the back of my mind, while he is very vocal about these things. So I spilled my guts and it is what it is.
He told me he envisioned working again in 2 years. I don't really want to push him to work anytime soon. Kinder will be a large transition for us all. I don't think LM will take to it all quite as easy as BM. (Though by 1st grade, I am sure he will be okay with after school care, on occasion, if need be - I think all day Kinder will be enough of an adjustment for this year). BUT, I certainly feel more economic pressure this year than I have in a long while, and appreciate dh being on board. We discussed that he would probably focus on volunteer opportunities once LM starts school in August. He has looked for jobs this last decade - and had applied for MANY. Before the economy had gone bad. Though our cost of living is cheap, and my wage is good, employment has been hard (impossible?) for him to find since moving here (whether it be in his field or a minimum wage job - either has been very elusive - I can't imagine how hard it would be now to find anything). BUT, he wants to put more face time at the public TV station (more weekday time with employees, anyway) and we both had thought that volunteering more at Scholastic (more time to) could possibly lead to a warehouse job there. I don't want him to focus too much on menial jobs, BUT he feels he needs SOMETHING on his resume, and references, etc. Volunteering will certainly yield references, at the least. He had talked to the TV station about jobs many years ago - they just didn't have anything part-time. Now, he probably has to wait out the economy a bit.
The other thing about the TV station is he has met so many people in the film industry, anyway. Another good angle - could get a lead at another job. But the thing about the TV station is it would be his "dream job" in a sense. Maybe not 100% - but it is for a good cause, deals with his favorite subject (TV) and the commute would be stellar (about a mile each way!). He worries about the income, but as long as we don't divorce (no plans to) the income would be just fine as a second income. We got ample life/disability insurance to cover my wage if something happened to me. I thing being happy is worth more than pushing for the big bucks. The thing is my dh is also great at working from the bottom up. Like he won't be running the place in a decade anyway... That's how he has been at any job - started out low and worked his way to the top very rapidly. He just doesn't look good on paper! I am quite confident he can get a decent wage if he just puts the effort into what he loves. The thing is he doesn't need a ridiculously high wage to support his family - as long as I am making the big bucks doing what I love. $20k income sounds DIVINE to me, about now! But I know he can work up to $40k-$50k income, easy. Pursuing what he loves... Which is plenty for us to live on, anyway.
Even if he scores a minimum wage job, the money would be great as a second income, and could mean paying cash for some college training. References and something to put on a resume, are all good outcomes too. I think for once, he has a really good plan. He has just been floundering since graduating college, for the most part. Mostly because he feels he has to do something he hates for big bucks. Volunteering, is a move in quite a different direction. But he has had a chance to show off his smarts and work ethics to some good employers, in the process. That's how he needs to get his foot in the door.
Come to think of it, Scholastic is a good commute too - it's not any farther than a mile, either. It's not like he will have large commuting costs. Another perk!
Economic forces? In this economy, my pay is not keeping up with medical costs. (We were blessed it had kept up - the last decade - with skyrocketing costs).
Our plan originally, was to get some modest second job with good benefits. BUT, with the events of the last year, I have decided two things. 1 - We want to keep our HMO, if at all possible. No longer willing to settle for less, to save a few bucks. 2 - Considering my parents' melodrama more than our own - I no longer think relying on an employer for benefits is anything more than short-term thinking. Lose your job, get a pre-existing condition = be screwed. Nevermind that.
We have a rather sudden mindshift that our private insurance is worth keeping, indefinitely. A second low paying job would easily cover it - so it's not a huge biggie. (Not going to go bankrupt over it or anything).
The other economic force at play is losing my retirement benefits. Though I expected a temporary reduction in this economy, and a permanent reduction, in the future, I thought I had a little more time, all the same. I had been trying to bulk up other savings in the meantime - but really needed at least another year to get there!
The combination of both these factors mean quite the storm. (Committing 20% of my income to our health, for the long run, and losing 10% of my compensation - ouch).
I suppose on the health insurance - at least we have gotten our money's worth. Would be different to pay a bazillion and never use it.
Anyway, I got the preschool bill yesterday, and there was mention of spring break in April.
It hit me that we only have to pay this dang bill for about 3 more months. Holy cow!!! I should have been counting down the months.
It's very hard to believe that both kids will be in elementary school come late summer. & that dh is talking about returning to the workforce, now that it won't cost an arm and a leg. (& also because the kids wouldn't even notice if he was working).
The preschool savings is nothing huge, but will be about $150/month. Phew! Enough to make a substantial difference to our savings, all the same.
I can just hardly believe it. Where is the time going?
I was evaluating my overtime and deciding how much I could realistically work the next 6 weeks. I think I will just throw myself into my work. (Dh is doing great this week!). I can't believe that is only 6 more weeks of tax season, as well. The time will FLY - it has been so hectic. That's the thing - I work my butt off this time of year - but the time FLIES and the rest of the year is so slow and leisurely, really. Anyway, I am putting a big weekend in and work, and so should get to it!
More Time Flying By...
Keeping an eye on the credit card bill...