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SO much has happened...

December 2nd, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Some of you might remember it involved my complete mental breakdown over the demands of career and young children.

I am feeling better, although not much has changed. At the same time, a lot has changed.

One of my "co-workers" (I say that because I'm not technically an employee in the office, but I freelance and work with these people on projects) was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle-- at NOON on a SUNDAY!! He's been in the hospital for 30 days and is lucky to be alive. He will be out in rehab for months, though.

Which leads me to my next bit. My boss has asked if I'd like to fill in for him -- 3 to 5 days a week, in the office, doing my old job. I'm flattered, and I was tempted at first, but then the reality of what they'd have to pay me to make it worth it after the childcare and taxes set in. The numbers likely won't add up.

But, I still want to help out and engender that goodwill, so I suggested that they could farm more of the work out to me as a freelancer. I can do that job from home. I already am. They just kind of have a butt in the seat mentality. We'll see what the boss says when he gets back from vacation Wed.

I have been trying to scale back at work, but this would be a temporary bump up and would get them out of a pinch, which is always positive career-wise, which is why I'm considering it. I could also use that money to pay down the mortgage.

DS1 is doing great at kindergarten. His teacher couldn't say enough great stuff about him at his conference last week. He's way ahead of where they expect him to be at that age. So Phew! One kid is on the straight and narrow.

DS2, however, is still having social problems at school and is so sensitive and whiney at home. I'm at the end of my rope. We're trying, but don't know how to handle him or give him skills. Hopefully some books from the library can give me some tips.

At least with kid 1 doing all right, we can take some time and dedicate most of our attention to the youngest. Maybe that will help

On a personal note...

I had 10 cubic yards of awesome compost delivered a few weeks back, and yes I was that crazy person shoveling compost and pushing a wheelbarrow when it was snowing outside. I still have a small pile left to tackle, but the garden looks great and prepped for spring, and I managed to expand two more veggie beds in back and a large strawberry patch out front. Backyard farm is moving along!

Now that December has also snuck up on me, I'm working out my goals and budget for the year. For some reason, we should be able to save and cover expenses easily. At least the numbers make it seem that way. lately, though, it seems like we're running up short every month. I wonder if I'm missing something or just spending too much, or both.

I am dedicated to righting the ship, though.

I'm also curious about those of you who do year-long budgets, rather than monthly. What does that look like? a list of expenses for each month? I don't even know where to start, but I like the idea of having a map for the year.

10 Responses to “SO much has happened...”

  1. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    oy, and I ride my bike alot on weekends to do errands. All the way to our little 'downtown' (10 mi one way). And I am not exactly as sharp as I used to be in my 50s. So thx for reminding me to ALWAYS use my helmet at least.

    We have a 'butt in the seat' mentality too to a degree, but it's really flexible for me as far as start/end time, and spotty time off for off or no school days as well as many after school needs.

    Let us know what happens.

  2. rachel021406 Says:

    I just became a yearly budgeter. It was such a great feeling. Its nice to know everything is on paper and if I HAVE to make an adjustment, I can. Our other SA buddies on here really convinced me it is the way to go. I used to busget every 3-4 months.

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    How do you organize your annual budget? Do you do a spreadsheet or just kind of make a list of what you expect expenses to be each month, accounting for seasonal/special occasion stuff?

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm just switching to an annual budget, so I can talk about the difference between my two...

    I used to have a spreadsheet that listed my monthly income and expenses. Anything that was predictable but not monthly got an "escrow" line item, but each had to be calculated by frequency of bill. For instance haircuts cost us $80 every 5 weeks, or 10 times per year, so $80 x 10 / 12 months = $67. Homeowner's insurance gets billed once a year, so $225 / 12 = $18.75. Diaper service comes every 4 weeks (13x per year), so $20 x 13 / 12 - $21.67. Xmas & bdays come once a year so divide total by 12 and set that aside every month. And so on. Turns out we have quite a few non-monthly expenses!

    When I would paste my monthly budget into my active budgeting spreadsheet, I'd have to fix all the dates to the exact date they'd happen for a particular month, rearrange them, and delete the escrow items while adding that amount to the escrow I was accumulating for each expense. (I use a "ledger" or "future checkbook" system where I paste my checking account balance at the top of the sheet, and make sure I'll have enough money for upcoming expenses and that the bottom line comes to zero. Then I update my checking account balance and delete lines as they actually occur.)

    Then I realized that I typically have enough surplus in my budget to cover an annual or other nonregular expense when it comes up. I wondered if it would be easier to just figure out which expenses were coming each month, and what exact date, and go that way.

    Now I have a 13-sheet Excel file. One through 12 are January through December 2014's budget, and the 13th calculates my total annual bills so I can still have a sense of what percentage of my income goes to each expense.

    When the month is about to come up, I'll paste the sheet for that month into my active spreadsheet, but I won't have to make any of the normal adjustments because I have hardly any "escrow" items and I already figured out the exact dates for the whole year and organized the sheets accordingly.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Wow CeeJay. I admire your organization. I'm not that organized. Maybe I should start with some annual goals, plus a month by month breakdown of expenses, including vacations, etc.

  6. snafu Says:

    Happy to see your post. I think money is tight because prices are going up, some small, some like operating the car feels like a roller coaster. Have you looked at write ups on 2nd child? They just seem to delight in surprising you. Our guys are in their 20's now but I recall DS2 needed more hugs, high 5's, atta' boy re enforcement than DS1 + instruction had to be v/detailed. Where is DS2 on EQ soup daily whose base is a perpetual zip bag in the fridge freezer. There are remarkable savings in making your own cleaning products following instruction/video on You Tube. Do you track 'cost avoidance'? For several years I made it a point of adding money to the jar for coupons used, sale cost differentials, charting sales and delaying purchase until sale priced when possible etc.

    This site is terrific for keeping us motivated.

  7. snafu Says:

    So sorry, obviously, doing something that causes 'puter to contract sentences...
    Trying to say... Where is DS2 on EQ [street smarts]? As parents we were surprised by Gr 5 results; turned out DS2 way higher IQ than DS1. We found it useful to have sons do age appropriate chores daily. It helped them understand family bonds, figure out the concept of team work , follow instructions, earn both praise and $$. The specific project done was secondary and I was able to send them out into the world knowing they could self manage

  8. ThriftoRama Says:

    Frankly, I think DS2 is highly intelligent, articulate, etc. maybe moreso than the other son. He just can't seem to regulate his emotions. Every little thing turns into crying or screaming. It's hard for me to manage, because screaming and crying over nothing makes me irate. I try to keep myself under wraps. Hubby isn't so good at being patient.

  9. KellyB Says:

    For the annual budget, I just have my regular monthly ones, and then one extra spreadsheet for all the non-monthly expenses. Once you figure out what month you pay something in (ex. water bill Jan-Apr-Jul-Oct, $30 each, Christmas $2400/year, etc.)put that amount in a savings account for the year, then just transfer it over in the month needed. After a while the smaller amounts I was able to handle in the regular budget, and the big items like Christmas and vacations I just transferred as needed.

  10. Looking Forward Says:

    I would take the job.. it just temp, which is perfect because you aren't commiting to a *major* change. Three days per week - Do It! It doesn't need to make sense tax or childcare wise right now because it's about making you *feel* better about career stuff!

    For DS2 do you think he just gets frustrated easily and can't express how he feels yet? That can lead to a lot of screaming (on both sides).
    Wish I had a good resource to point you to that would help.
    One of my girlfriends swears giving up dairy totally changed her little guy's bad attitude. *shrug*

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