money issues

i feel like i’m always playing “catch up” these days. but today, i will make progress. i finally wrote to general mills about my hatred for 4 of the last 5 boxes of Kix that i have purchased. you should know that kix is probably my all time, most favorite “healthy” cereal. or was. it WAS my favorite. sigh. i hate when things get changed.

 

today i’m also doing laundry. a lot of laundry. it’s a horrible, never ending cycle. hey honey…. remember how we said our electric bill is too high? i think it’s all the laundry i do. i kid you not. ugh.

 

i recently finished a HUGE photo project… it turns out that i hadn’t printed photos since august 2nd of last year. so i had to wade through over 4000 photos. i narrowed it down to about 400 photos. then i spent WEEKS (no exaggeration) in photoshop cropping photos to 4×3 and putting two of them onto one 4×6 photo blank. but i saved about $30 in printing fees AND even though i have the same number of photos, since they’re smaller, i can fit more onto a scrapbook page.

 

a week ago, i looked at some new houses. dave and i decided about two months ago that we were ready to upgrade. just a little more room. a bigger kitchen. a back yard. that kind of thing. and i found it. i found THE house. brand new construction. just down the street from where we are now, in fact. i was salivating over it. i took dave to see it. the kids ran around like crazy people (they loved the space). dave loved it.

it’s 2400+ square feet of new construction perfection. hard wood floors, formica countertops, an office, a laundry room, an oversized garage WITH massive storage space “upstairs,” 4 bedrooms and a much larger living space. the house was within the price range dave had provided to me for our upgrade, so i thought we’d be putting our house on the market pretty quickly. but, as it turns out, the house is outside our budget. we’d need an extra $400 a month to pay the mortgage. i thought, “surely i can cut back on unnecessary spending so we can get this house.” that started our budgeting process. and folks, it is with a very, VERY heavy heart that i tell you we cannot afford the house. not even close. if we didn’t want to put so much money into retirement accounts we could buy it. if we didn’t tithe or support missionaries we could do it. if the kids and i had our health insurance was covered, we could do it. so after i shed tears (a few too many for a house that was never ours to begin with), i’m beginning the search again. there’s always the possibility of buying a lot and having the builder build us a cheaper version of that same floor plan. but that seems nearly impossible right now. so we’ll stay put. i’ll keep my eyes open. and i’ll pray for God to change my heart.

 

and to top it off? i can’t even go shopping to cure my woes!!  :)  i (we) have been overspending lately and it’s time to get it in control. so we’re on a mission. so if you see me in the stores obsessing over coupons and comparing store brand vs. name brand products, you’ll know why. and if you come to my house and see a bare wall because i removed some photos and put up one project and intended to hang some shelves but now i can’t afford to buy the shelves… you’ll know why.

 

on that note, our June garage sale can’t come fast enough. i’m ready to clear out unnecessary items from our home (clothes, toys, shoes, etc.) and make some spending cash. and this week i’ll be putting our Jeep up for sale on craigslist. (this makes me REALLY sad). but we don’t need a third vehicle, especially one that we haven’t driven in over 2 years. no exaggeration.

 

and an update on the boy’s potty issues: in an attempt to prove to him that he really needs to use the potty and not his pull ups or underwear, he now has to EARN his TV time. if he wants to watch a tv show or a movie, he has to go poo on the potty. and that earns him one show (movie, TV or otherwise). additionally, i’m almost mentally prepared to do nighttime and naptime potty training with him. meaning no more pull ups. it’s my lame attempt to save a little bit more money, ya know?!

 

more updates (with photos) coming soon. i PROMISE!

One thought on “money issues

  1. i totally hear ya on the budget issues – we are working on it too! i know it’s hard when it seems like you found the perfect place, but so many people just get what they want w/o actually figuring out if they can afford it and then end up being house poor. we are doing dave ramsey’s financial peace university right now and we have discovered that even though we don’t have a ton of income, we are in a WAY better place than so many others who have just gotten themselves into all kinds of debt just to “keep up w/ the joneses”. i really like one of dave’s mottos, “if you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else” – meaning, if you do the hard work now to stick to a budget, save, stay out of debt, etc. then down the road you will have a lot of money and can basically do whatever you want. :) our problem has been (especially since moving, buying the house, getting the kids, etc!) that we have a written budget but we haven’t been actively making sure we stick to it. so that’s where we’re at now – we started using the cash/envelope system for a few major budget areas and that has been helping a lot. it gives me the freedom to know exactly how much i can spend and i don’t feel guilty anymore if we decide to eat out b/c we only do it if there’s still money in the envelope! once we get our tax refund we will have our emergency fund completed, and then begins the hard work of trying to get our mortgage paid off early. anyway, just wanted you to know you’re not alone! oh, and when you mentioned about having the garage sale, it reminded me of something funny dave ramsey says, “get rid of so much stuff that the kids think they’re next!” bah! :P

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