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October!

gmarie

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Well, we are in a place we haven't seen in a while... baby step 3! :blink: Based on current projections, after replacing our sinking funds, we will not climb out of the hole until December! So, I stopped the 529 contributions (which kills me) but should help to keep me motivated to fix the mess we are in.

 

We never made it to the deck project or dental work, but we did go forward with the beater car - and even paid $1000 for it, but spent $$ to pass inspection. We've also had issues with our other car which doesn't help. But, the car finally passed inspection, and hopefully we will get a few years out of it. It's a SUV with high mileage, but it was one owner and owned by a local company known to take care of their vehicles. And, it does feel AMAZING to be able to leave the house without worrying about driving DH 40 mins to work!

 

I have not been able to add a bookkeeping client - I really don't even have the time for it right now- I've been struggling to get my work done as it is - the baby will be 6 months old next week and of course he requires more and more attention (although I am super lucky to have such a relaxed baby!) Still, I am pretty maxed out with the two jobs I already have!

 

We have some potential snowflakes coming up which will really help, but I am not putting them in the budget until they are a sure thing.

 

I was at the tax office today doing back taxes for a family member, and had a discussion with him about working from home this tax season - two days at home, and one day in the office. He would want me to commit to work for a 4-5 hr stretch at home, which would be hard. I would definitely need child care. but if I found someone to come to the house to watch him while I'm home, and my office day was Dh's day off, it could possibly work. especially since it's short term (unlike an ongoing bookkeeping client).. but we'll see. My focus needs to be on the baby, and honestly I don't want to miss ANY time with him...he is only young once!

 

DH really needs a new job with higher pay!

 

But, I also wish there was something DH and I could together for extra money... maybe if we were working together on a business (with the baby!) it wouldn't feel like we were missing out on family time. Any ideas?? My brain space is already so maxed out!

 

Honestly some days I just want to give up on DR! But, I know we are on the right track, even if we have setbacks and slowwwwww progress!



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When I was in grad school I had a 3 year old and a newborn home with me.  It was the hardest time of my life.  I thought it would be so easy to just write papers and do homework during nap time or something but there was never enough time.  With a 6 month old who is probably crawling all over the place, it's just not realistic that you'll be able to work for 4-5 hours at once.  I wouldn't pay for childcare for that unless the money makes it really worthwhile.  Don't get too discouraged though. This is a season of life.  My kids are older now and I work from home and it's fine.  Even during the summer when they are all here, it's workable.  I'm not saying it's easy because the summer is not easy, but it's workable and worth it for us to have one of us home and with a flexible work schedule.

 

I think the bookkeeping from home is great for you long term, you may not be able to add clients now, but you'll be able to later when the baby is a bit older.  This will pass.

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Seems like your best bet for this time in your life is dh changing jobs. I pray something comes along that fills that need. Your focus is right where it needs to be, on your little one. You can't put a price tag on that! Like Miranova said, it's just for a season. The jobs will be there later. And hey, slow progress is progress. 

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Thank you! I do need to accept that I can't work as much if I'm focused on the baby!  I also want to start cooking again!  DH is currently all of the cooking. But, it's hard because I do earn 50% of our income and most of the the childcare is on me... which I love. (I'm not pumping at all). But, I think that if we went to more traditional roles maybe things would be easier for us. I am also starting week three of a moms group at church so that is contributing to these feelings... I left the first class thinking that i need to quit all of jobs, and the second class I left feeling like I want to do all of the cooking!  Of course, neither of those ideas is realistic, at least not until DH finds a better paying job!  But, I can see how it gets frustrating for him because I expect him to come home and take care of the baby while I work, cook dinner, and then get frustrated when no yard work ever gets done!

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My uncle used to give my aunt a break by putting their baby in a backpack carrier when he would mow the grass. The baby loved it, my aunt got a break, and it was a chore that needed to get done anyway! I used to do lots of housework with my babies in a backpack or sling. 

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OK, so YAY!  In less than 3 months your FFEF will be back to full!  SO glad you had it and so glad it did what it was supposed to do!!!

 

Personally, I do not consider myself back in BS3 when we use the FFEF.  I still consider myself in BS6-7, just pausing it to refill the FFEF.  I expect to have to refill it when used, and I expect it to be used sometime.  So it's not really backsliding to me, it's using it for what it's there for, and ensuring that it's there in the future.
 
Since you are temporarily stopping a 529, I assume that you are in BS6, and have paused that step to refill the FFEF.
 
As ar as your second(? third? fourth?) job....  with the information I have......I think you should wait.  Here's the thing..... You spend time or money.  Period.  There is nothing else available.  My mom told me a quote the other day (sorry to whomever said it, because I can't remember, if she told me.).... The quote was "Spend your money on things money can buy.  Spend your time on things money CAN'T buy."
 
Not sure that that mom's group is helpful to you at this point in your life.  Rather than being refreshed, you are coming out of that group dissatisfied with life.
 
Can you take a hard look at your budget and see any holes in your bucket?  It may be enough to plug those holes.  You might think about giving up a luxury or two to keep the luxury of time.  Or you might contact a local homeschooling group and see if you can find a mother's helper.  The child can gain babysitting experience, possibly home ec credit, and you can be home with the freedom to work on what you need to (possibly saving time to spend later), getting your "work" done during the day, while able to take "baby" breaks =0), and be sure that you are there when he needs you.
 
I think I remember that you were going to spend $1000 on re-staining a deck..... is this hiring it out?  I think that unless there is extensive repairs that this is something that you and DH could do together (with the baby in a backpack).  Saving you maybe half the cost.  So this is kind of "saving", even if it's only "saving" what you would have spent.  If you can find a day off for both of you.  =0)  Probably needs to be done soon though.  It has to be pressure washed ($150 or so for the weekend to rent.... $0 to borrow), which can be done in the rain if necessary, but then you have to let it dry out before staining/sealing and you want a dry sunny day (or 2) for it to dry, which will start to get fewer and fewer and the seasons change.
 
Good luck!  
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Thank you! I personally think DH could get more done while he is on baby duty, I manage all day by myself, working and doing stuff around the house, but I'm also feeding him every few hours which takes up a ton of time... but DH does do most of his bath and bedtime routine at night while I'm working, and of course time playing with him is important.

 

He also hasn't been working out lately, but he has had been doing 1-2 hour workouts, which was crazy!!  I think 45 mins max is sufficient when you have an infant!!  And, when I started complaining, he started working out after I went to bed, leaving him exhausted the next morning!

 

We do have an ergo and a sling that we rarely use, but he needs a lot of tummy time also so we have blankets and toys on the floor in every room so that is where he spends most of his time. We do have a really easy baby, he mostly sleeps through the night.. although he doesn't nap very well lately...hoping that changes soon!

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OK, so YAY!  In less than 3 months your FFEF will be back to full!  SO glad you had it and so glad it did what it was supposed to do!!! 

 

Personally, I do not consider myself back in BS3 when we use the FFEF.  I still consider myself in BS6-7, just pausing it to refill the FFEF.  I expect to have to refill it when used, and I expect it to be used sometime.  So it's not really backsliding to me, it's using it for what it's there for, and ensuring that it's there in the future. Good point!  We've never used even a penny of it before so it's super scary to me!  And it was not one "emergency", just an accumulation of things,  house projects/repairs, car issues, and general overspending and reduced income that got us to this point. We used to rely on our sinking funds as a buffer, but we spent most of those this summer also.. our mortgage is due on the first the month, and just had to pay our property taxes, so our cash flow is very tight. I really should consider getting one month ahead. but it was never an issue when we had sinking funds as a buffer.
 
Since you are temporarily stopping a 529, I assume that you are in BS6, and have paused that step to refill the FFEF.  Hmmm good question. We have not made even one extra payment to the mortgage, have done one year of 15% of gross to our retirement funds, but can't fit it in our budget on an ongoing basis. Even the year we did it, the 15% was funded with tax season income and snowball money. I started the 529 for the baby, and am contributing $250/ mo to it., and have been trying to get our income up to the point where we can do 15% to retirement on an ongoing basis. We are so close, but not close enough.
 
As ar as your second(? third? fourth?) job....  with the information I have......I think you should wait.  Here's the thing..... You spend time or money.  Period.  There is nothing else available.  My mom told me a quote the other day (sorry to whomever said it, because I can't remember, if she told me.).... The quote was "Spend your money on things money can buy.  Spend your time on things money CAN'T buy."
 
Not sure that that mom's group is helpful to you at this point in your life.  Rather than being refreshed, you are coming out of that group dissatisfied with life. Hmm good point. I do love listening to the women talk and feel like I can get something out of it. They are mostly home schooling moms, but there are a few other new moms there also.We are reading a book called Momnipotent, which is interesting... It's a good excuse to get out of the house for two hours once a week and try to be social. Working from home is isolating!  But, now that we have the second car, I am filling up my life pretty quickly with (free) activities, baby play dates, etc. 
 
Can you take a hard look at your budget and see any holes in your bucket?  It may be enough to plug those holes.  You might think about giving up a luxury or two to keep the luxury of time.  Or you might contact a local homeschooling group and see if you can find a mother's helper.  The child can gain babysitting experience, possibly home ec credit, and you can be home with the freedom to work on what you need to (possibly saving time to spend later), getting your "work" done during the day, while able to take "baby" breaks =0), and be sure that you are there when he needs you. This was originally my plan to find an inexpensive mothers helper, but have felt it was a waste of money while I'm breastfeeding, but it's definitely something to consider... 
 
I am obsessive  with our budget, and although a lot of areas have crept up from our gazelle intensity days, I feel there is not much we can cut on an ongoing basis (other than selling and downsizing our house or eating only rice & beans). I'm sure I could probably cut more, but i'm not sure how realistic it would be. We did spend a small fortune on the baby, and our spending did really creep up this past year, but we are slowly  getting back to being frugal again. We are $1000/ mo away from our current net income being 25% of our house payment - and if we had that extra $1000, our budget would work!  (although if i'm being honest, there are plenty of holes in our budget, like not saving anything for car repair, car replacement, vacations, etc) We also give 10% gross to charity, and we're not willing to cut that from the budget, although we have in difficult months. Our health care costs are outrageous. So, it's the big ticket things that are killing us. And of course we also want another baby (or two haha) and I've done the math and compared our options SO many times, we are still in least expensive healthcare option for us if we are having babies. My bookkeeping job actually pays 100% health care for their management - I wish I could find a way to negotiate it for myself - we're actually sort of considering DH working there, there is a job opening  up soon that would be an extra 17k/ yr for him plus free healthcare, however it's a 6 day a week live-at-the-restaurant type chef job when he's been at a day job with weekends off for years now.  So yes, everything really does come down to time or money for us. It's always one extreme or the other!  So that's when I start thinking of starting a business together!  
 
I think I remember that you were going to spend $1000 on re-staining a deck..... is this hiring it out?  I think that unless there is extensive repairs that this is something that you and DH could do together (with the baby in a backpack).  Saving you maybe half the cost.  So this is kind of "saving", even if it's only "saving" what you would have spent.  If you can find a day off for both of you.  =0)  Probably needs to be done soon though.  It has to be pressure washed ($150 or so for the weekend to rent.... $0 to borrow), which can be done in the rain if necessary, but then you have to let it dry out before staining/sealing and you want a dry sunny day (or 2) for it to dry, which will start to get fewer and fewer and the seasons change. The $1000 was not hiring it out - it was as rough estimate of 2 coats of stain, plus finishing the actual deck that DH started two years ago (he still has to replace railings, etc) but it's also a huge deck that runs along the entire length of our house (which is long) balcony and front porch. We do not hire anything out, although I did just pay someone to clean our house before his baptism last week to save my sanity, and although I was disappointed with the work they did, the floors did look nice, and i didn't run around like a maniac before the party like I usually do!
 
 
 
Good luck!  

 

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Am I reading correctly that you are contributing $250 per month to college funds but nothing to retirement?  

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Sort of. BS4 is technically budgeted every month (and 4% is 401k) but it is always the first to go, and we really do need $1000 extra per month to make it all work. The 529 is a lower amount so it's not as scary to put on auto draft and it was important to me to start it as soon as his SS# finally came in the mail! But, I stopped it while we are refilling the e-fund, and will reinstate it along with BS4 at that time. 

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Thanks. I just feel so hopeless with our current income. I am working on our 2017 budget, and we are actually short several hundred dollars in a minimum income month. The solution to this is to cut the sinking funds and fund them in an extra paycheck month), or cut some things (but there is really not much to cut)... but my issue is that I have trouble giving up on my 'ideal budget'!!

 

There are also some extras in there, like $120 for therapy - I had been going every week after I had the baby - to prevent postpartum since I had issues with depression when I was younger- now that my deductible renewed and i have to pay $60/session, I am going every other week. I really don't want to give it up, since I do feel it helps.

 

Also, I feel there is a disconnect with our budget vs our actual spending. We have been going over budget in a lot of areas for a while now. We are trying to get food under control. I am experimenting with a free trial of emeals, and it's definitely not going to save us much and we may even gain weight (using their budget plan) but seems sooo helpful for meal planning and shopping. I will probably cancel the trial, but I need a fast easy HEALTHY meal plan every week including a shopping list!

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