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Geesh, when did my money train derail?

April 14th, 2013 at 06:27 pm

Geesh. I don't know when my money life got so out of control. Y'all know I'm usually on top of things.

Payday was Friday, and after paying the mortgage and just some of the bills, the checking account was wiped out. I'm pretty freaked out. I had the dread feeling it was coming.

Life has been pretty expensive since Christmas. We had to spend $2000 on plane tickets to the family reunion. Then, this payday, we paid for the $500 rental car, plus the $100 meal for the cousins we picked up. Ugh. One thing after another.

Then, we owed income tax to the tun of more than $700. I actually had to take money out of savings to cover it.

I'm feeling frustrated and out of control. I know our life is much more expensive than it was two years ago. We moved from a paid off house to one in a better school district (read much more expensive house..), and now have a $1700 mortgage, plus two kids in part-time preschool at $788 a month. Plus life. 529 plans, groceries, all that stuff.

Anyway, I'm trying to turn it around.

**
The good news:
- the latest mortgage payment got our balance down to just over $65,000. Almost there!
- I talked to a financial planner about my self-employment tax issues and I feel like I have a real plan now. I'm opening a SIMPLE-IRA, so I can sock away much more of my self-employment income (and save some serious tax money), and I'm switching my roster of projects. I'm ditching the low-paying but steady and demanding gig for occasional but higher-paying projects. Should help with the stress of balancing two little kids and work.

This dialing down might also help us financially, as I will actually have time to clip coupons, cook most meals at home, search for cheap and free activities for the kids, repair things myself, etc. I'm fairly optimistic.

So yes, another temporary set-back, but the big picture looks rosier. Fingers crossed!

**
Finally, I was digging through my sock drawer and realized I have more unused gift cards than I realized-- easily north of $200 worth. People keep giving them to me for holidays, and I never get around to using them because I don't really have the time to shop, and I don't really enjoy shopping. I'm thinking I should do some sort of austerity budget and use the cards to kind of fill in. We have about $150 in restaurant cards; $80 in Macy's; $50 in Barnes and Noble; $70 for Jo-Ann Fabrics; $10 in local plant nursery; $25 in AMC movie cards; and a $20 target card.

**
We also are in the early phases of getting the new garden up and running. The hot peppers and herbs are in my seed trays, just starting to sprout. I planted onions on Good Friday, beets last week. I also planted three red currant bushes, horseradish, and rhubarb.

We still have to excavate the area for the new patio and get some of that dirt recycled into our new raised beds. Tick tock last frost is May 15!

3 Responses to “Geesh, when did my money train derail?”

  1. freeme journey Says:

    I know the feeling - I realised my money train derailed slowly... over the past 2 years!!! Just haven't been as vigilant as I used to be. So don't feel alone - I am right there with you - one day at a time Smile We will get there...

  2. snafu Says:

    Isn't it wonderful to have the saving to pay tax or any other pressing bills? With all you've got going, dialling down financially sounds like a good plan. Did the expensive family reunion give everyone their fill of family bonding? Did you find it more like walking on eggshells?

    What categories can be reviewed for reductions? What will it take to get DH aboard. Enjoy garden time, it's fun to 'play in the dirt' as our DKs call my efforts

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hubby is always on board. It just seems like we've had one big expense after another with no time to recover. The reunion was exhausting, namely because his parents spent almost zero with the grandkids, after giving us some long guilt trip about going out there for family togetherness, the 3 hour timechange messed up the kids schedule, and we stayed in a house where the rule was kids can't touch anything. SO yeah... not fun!

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