That's how it seems to be over here:
$2200 property taxes (due 4/10)
$1000 medical (just was billed the rest of our deductible for '10 - came much faster than expected - but beats bills that are still out in space, for years past).
$700 - Family camp (MIL may insist on paying; I won't argue. But I haven't exactly offered to reimburse her, because this month sucks. Will bring it up later).
$200 Summer Camp
$200 Tooth pulled at dentist
$70 For some network wiring @ home
$1250 TV & stand
$200 furniture for LM
I am sure there is more.
Oh yeah - taking my cat to the vet for the first time in 8 years. What can I say - when it rains, it pours. We did some of these big purchases because March is usually so low key. But, I won't complain too much.
Take a guess - do you think I am going to touch my emergency fund for a cat that hasn't gotten sick in 8 years? Um, no - ample cash saved for such an event.
Mostly, in that case, I hope she is okay. Told dh she felt left out, since we all have been to the doctor far more than usual, lately. (Dh and I usually go years between doctor visits, ourselves).
My cell phone has issues too. It is like 1 day past 1-year-warranty. Of course! I usually keep my phones for 4 years. So, not too happy. For now, just keeping an eye on it - battery is running down very rapidly. It's new enough that a new battery might make sense. But with 4 people on our cell phone plan, I can probably utilize someone's "free after rebate" phone. Cheaper.
The end result of all this is that I am really treading water when it comes to savings. Most of these are well planned purchases and not a biggie. (All of them?) BUT, I feel like for about a good 8 months, I can't catch a break and move forward. The more I save, the more everything breaks. So, I feel rather bah humbug all the same. *sigh* I feel like the universe will only allow me $20k cash savings. It must be the rule since having kids. I wonder if I toss all my savings into retirement if Murphy will go away. I can't help but wonder!
Dh did good at Target yesterday. HE bought $103 worth of items for $37. Not bad, not bad. Receipt says, "$66 SAVED!" For a total bill of $37. Sweet!
Actually, some sort of Toy Story promo so he got TS1 & 2 on Blu Ray, plus some movie tickets for the new one. I think he paid "$6" when all was said and done - for movies and tickets.
HE also had a "$10 off $75" coupon. He was going to stock up on cat litter and cat food. I had seen a really cute beanbag monkey for $30. 2 weeks ago. I might have bought it, but had scored a beanbag monster on sale for $7 a few weeks ago. SO, couldn't really stomach the $30 price tag. Figured I'd keep an eye on it.
SO, I told dh if he had a $10 off coupon and had to work so hard to use it - to just get me the monkey! I consider it $20.
Dh had a pile of other coupons and bought some food on sale. SO, there you have it. & I got my monkey, too boot. (Though since it was still there I can't help but wonder if I should have waited longer for a discount!)
Reminds me in a roundabout way, about an interesting conversation with a friend this weekend.
She is one (of many) who has presumed I didn't have to pay for my own college. I am too financially successful to have "done it on my own." She's actually about 10 years my senior, and has serious issues about her parents not paying for her college. OF course, there is a lot more to it (like, an absent parent was going to pay, then flaked out). Not quite the same, obviously, as parents like mine, who are extremely supportive but expected me to work hard for it, all the same. I certainly understand why she is PISSED!
So anyway, she is a good friend, and honestly, I've never had the heart to tell her that I actually worked and paid cash for my own college. Doh. IT's not like it would make a difference - she's got issues on that subject.
SO, we were visiting this weekend and she starts griping about her 1-income friends. Which is a little uncomfortable. She tells me, as a conclusion, "I just don't understand how people do it!"
At first I was looking over my shoulder. Is she talking to me? Does she remember that my spouse hasn't worked since I met her many years ago? But I think it was more than that. She's got some snotty "friends" that I don't care for at all - who put her down. I think she was just more griping about them than anything. Maybe she was posing the question, "How do you do it?"
As far as the snotty friends - one is on the brink of foreclosure, so they say, so not sure I would care about them bragging about "better finances." LOL.
But anyway, even though we long planned for our current stage in life, I told her frankly, that after taxes and daycare, there wasn't much income to be had with dh working. Of course, I tend to be very private, in real life, when it comes to finances. This blog is my venting place. I love talking about personal finance. BUT, I realize most people don't want to talk about it, and in general I tend to be pretty private.
BUT, I told her that I knew that many people thought I made more than my spouse and that we would have to make six figures to do it. I told her that honestly we were both making $50k when dh stopped working. BUT, that it isn't like we gave up $50k in income. We gave up about $25k income, because our tax bills went down by about $25k. & the other $25k could easily be eaten up by daycare, commuting, work clothing, etc., etc. I mentioned how we eat home cooked meals 99% of the time, whereas I know they eat out like every meal. That makes a HUGE financial difference. The plain truth is we give up a few thousand dollars a year. Of course people look at that at face value, and wonder how you surviv on $50k less a year!
OF course, we are much younger and we didn't have that much to give up. It's not like we worked for YEARS in a career and just gave it up. We were just starting out - so it doesn't make a huge difference one way or another if dh has to start all over, in the workforce, in the future.
I don't think she will ever quite *get* it until she gives it a whirl. But she has been working hard on her finances and aims to cut back her work hours in the future. I told her I could help her run the tax scenarios - she would probably be surprised how much tax money she'd save, cutting back her hours.
So, dh was off scoring bargains at Target yesterday, and I thought of my friend. Was just thinking how it is like his full time job to keep our living costs down, in any way possible. This is the stuff that other people just can't *See.*
Of course, we are so LUCKY all around. OF course.
So LUCKY that we have such an excellent public school.
So LUCKY that dh scores any gaming systems, accessories, games that he wants through buying/selling video games.
So LUCKY that we can get any book free we want from Scholastic (through volunteering).
So LUCKY that people will always offer us NICE hand-me-downs.
The list goes on and on. I suppose that is the flip side of the coin. Do people think that we really just sit around at home, and all this falls into our lap? We are always searching out ways to squeeze a few more bucks out of our budget. To stretch our dollar a little further. But gosh, fierce money management can be a full-time job!
Spend, spend, spend
That's how it seems to be over here: