On top of everything else going on in 2018, Scott and I have been facing some pretty severe financial issues. It’s one of those situations where everything kind of hit us at once.
It started right after we had Briar in the beginning of 2017.
We were definitely more mentally prepared to have Briar than we were financially.
I took off work for 6 full weeks and it was paid at 100% of my salary. After the first 6 weeks, if I decided I wanted to take off more, it would be unpaid, or I could go back to work and get paid. I guess I took the best of both worlds and I went back part time for 6 weeks and was paid 60% of my salary and then at 12 weeks, I went back full time.
Briar didn’t have to go to daycare until she was 12 weeks old. At that time, our daycare bill doubled, and also at that time I had my last and biggest student loan that I had to start paying on. It may not seem like a lot, but between the two of those, it was an additional $600/monthly that we just did not account for.
At the time, we did have a savings account with a nice chunk of change in it.
Every month when we needed the money, I would slowly transfer over month, until the next month we needed money again, and again… you get the picture. Then, one day at the end of 2017, we didn’t have any more money to transfer over.
In every sense, it was one of those, “OH SHIT” moments. I didn’t know what we were going to do.
Several of Scott’s family member started seeing a financial adviser. I assumed this was going to be our way out so I scheduled a meeting with him. We needed help. Scott and I both were so tired of worrying about money.
For me, it was very frustrating because I deal with money all day long, yet, here I am in the position of not being able to handle our own money. I felt so embarrassed. When we met with the financial adviser we had to provide a listing of our current expenses and monthly income.
Quite literally, we did not and still do not make enough money to cover our monthly expenses. This is not a joke at all. This sucks a lot.
Our number one goal for this year has been to cut expenses.
So far this year we have cut $650 in monthly expenses. It’s actually been a pretty simple process. We changed our home and auto insurance and we are saving close to $100/monthly on that. We had been with the same insurance company for 10 years and we were just under the impression that we were getting the best rate. I encourage you to shop around because I can pretty much tell you that you aren’t getting the best rate.
We got a really good tax return this year because we were able to claim 2 kids for the first time and we were able to claim a large portion of the daycare expense.
With our tax return, we paid off our credit card, Scott’s car, a small dental bill that I had, and the down payment on our house. The credit card only had $2,000 on it and it was pretty much all from Christmas shopping. That saved $100/monthly. We saved $150/monthly by paying off Scott’s car, we saved $50/monthly paying off my dental bill, and we saved $100/monthly paying off our down payment assistance that we received on the house. A couple other savings that range month to month are we plan our grocery visits better and try to stay under $200/weekly. We try to limit our spending to a certain amount each week, which has been way better than before. Our weekly spending used to be out of control and I blame this majorly on Scott. He used to go out to eat all the time for lunch. Not so much anymore.
YET, WE STILL DON’T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO COVER OUR MONTHLY EXPENSES.
We are still $650/monthly in the hole. And this is not a joke. When we started this journey, it was just under $1300/monthly that we were short. I literally do not even know how we were making it. Still, I have a hard time understanding how we are making it now. Each month I still have to “play” around will the bills to figure out which I can pay at the very last minute. Yet, we never, ever pay bills late.
We are now in the process of refinancing our house to lower the payment and I am considering refinancing the truck. When we refinance the house, we will be able to skip 2 house payments, and if I’m calculating correctly, it will give me enough money to pay off another small debt which will either be medical bills, or a small student loan that I have. The only debt we have now is medical bills from having the kids, all of my student loans (3), the truck, and the house. But, the latter 3 are rather huge payments each month and that is what is killing us…
It’s definitely been an eye opening experience.
The financial adviser assured me that we weren’t spending our money wrong. He saw almost a year’s worth of our bank statements. We weren’t incurring a huge amount of credit card debt, going on shopping sprees, or just plain spending money outrageously. We just simply had “too much” debt, but it was inevitable debt.
I wished we had gone to him before we decided to have kids; in all reality, maybe before we even moved out 10 years ago. We would be in a much better position right now and we wouldn’t have to be stressing about money now. But, I’m also glad that we are at least doing this now, instead of 20 years down the road. And we can share this knowledge with our kids in hopes that they will not ever have to be in our situation.
So, with all of that said, I will bring together my last two posts….“Self” Issues and this one…
…in my next post…