Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Money Matters

Since this blog is about all parts of my life (minus work), let's talk about money.

We have been dealing with low funds for a while now. I can pretty much directly pinpoint it to the wedding. Without having gone back and added up how much everything was exactly, I think it came to around $18K. (Hey! That is way less than the national average of $26K!) Dylan paid for the alcohol, which was almost exactly $4K, and my parents gave us another $4K to pay for the food (which it paid for food plus some of the extra odds and ends), and the rest came from me. I have never been a great budgeter, but not terrible either. In the end, we just did not have quite enough funds for what I wanted/needed so the last month before the wedding, all of our non-wedding expenses and the last couple wedding expenses (which included the hotels and $600 of hair and make-up, so not small expenses) ended up on the credit card. We paid off the first first bill fine, but last month was the first time I have ever not paid off my credit card.

Between the house, the new dog, ridiculous gas/electric bills (our AC and furnace are ancient), and life, the amount we have been able to put towards the credit card bill is not ideal. We are trying to be frugal, but that is just not a word I know well.

Where I am doing well - not buying clothes. I have only spent $250 on clothes for the entire year. That was four dresses for work/wedding (not my wedding dress!) and some underwear. That means I wear clothes from before I met Dylan and a lot of them are getting pretty threadbare... but we are getting ready to switch seasons, so I think I'll be good there.

We are also doing better about not going out to eat for lunch and dinner. I have not even gone out to lunch each week since the wedding. On our own, Dylan and I are much better at not going out, but the trouble is when we see other people or have people in town. It is so much easier to go out when you see other people.

We are not great about other entertainment. We, and me especially, love movies. We go see a movie with my parents most weekends. Movie prices here are up to $10.50 per person. We never get snacks, but it adds up. We also buy movies sometimes. We never want to pay $30 for a movie, so we browse the $15 and $5 movies a lot. But there are the occasional movies that we just have to have.

I am doing my best to not buy things for the house and just keeping a running list of what I want to do with the house for when we do have the money. I know that our house is perfectly livable and I don't need a lot of things for it. I don't need a bedroom set, I don't need anything on the walls. Those are just things that I want. Not an easy thing for me who wants everything to be perfect. But a house is more than just the stuff in it :) As one source of entertainment, Dylan and I spend a lot of time browsing home wares places. Home Depot, IKEA, American Furniture, The Container Store, you name it. Some times it is more of me dragging Dylan there, but we usually have a lot of fun getting ideas for the house and moving around instead of sitting at home on the couch. It always makes us really excited about building our home.

Right now it is a work in progress. Dylan and I were both stressing about our money situation a couple weeks ago and we decided to take a couple weeks and get some ideas to bring to the table. Dylan feels like even if we get raises/more money, we will continue to live within our means and not ever really build up savings for our kids or their future or our retirement. I don't want him to feel that way and I don't want that to be the case, so we are going to be sitting down and making a plan. Then we will meet about it periodically and figure out how we are doing and make changes.

I have a couple ideas and I want to do some research to get some more ideas and see how to really make some changes that we can both live with. Hopefully we will make our time to sit down and talk about this situation this weekend and start to get a plan in place.

Once it happens, I will be sure to keep y'all updated.

1 comment:

  1. Have you checked out Dave Ramsey at My husband and I used his "method" to help us save more money.. it's amazing. I highly recommend him.


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