have you seen the show "till debt do we part" For the most part I really dig the show, I enjoy seeing people regain control of their lives (I can relate) by making painful changes (Im trying to relate).The little part of me that loathes the damn show wants to know how in the hell people feel so poor at 80k a year, (yes, that is envy typing so furiously) enter clarity...in a not so distant past that was us. We lived ungratefully..declaring to the universe its not enough. constantly living beyond our means. We had adequate means and some how we always needed more. One career change later and we are learning the basics of life. I go back to an earlier post and say again its never about the money. Goal for this week is to put 50 in savings. Its summertime friends and adjuncts skip a few weeks in pay. the tcat's motto; what doesnt kill you makes you pissed.
In my last post we celebrated a meager success in savings. In this post I get to describe our meager loss of savings (you're welcome). We had a surprise trip to the vet for the discounted price of $99 and a tire replacement of $140. We are in between spring and summer classes which means the additional teaching income wont be back until the end of june. We have $100 to last us until the 30th. The lesson we are learning is tough. Im not sure how to make such a small sum of money last, we are used to credit cards to pull us through but we eliminated those. Life 2. Tcats 1. we get one point for having money in savings to cover the vet. Life gave us a suckerpunch. its rude like that.
we still have our $50 in savings bringing our grand total to $70. Right on for us! Ive got to be honest and say that right now that might as well be $1000. it just feels so solid to have something put away. Im going to find a way to stick $30 more to make it a hundred. In other news...lastest pet scan came with a $400 dollar deductible. In other other news....I have actually planned our meals through friday so we have no reason to eat out. Lets check the score Tcat-2 Life-1. this round goes to us.
Here is the first "official" we sat down and really looked report. Credit card debt 12243.. outstanding medical bills 2430. Car loan 3400. We have a mortgage but havent checked that balance and student loans. the good news is that we are current on all payments except the medical. Now mind you I had two major emergency surgeries last year so that figure is on top of what we paid out of pocket. I could take solace in the fact that our cc debt wasnt created by a shopping habit but I wont because here is the reality. we had to use them to cover emergencies because we didnt manage our money and had little to no savings. We have struggled to use cash only this week but it shows me our true attitude. We dont say no to ourselves - we dont set limits. For most of you that was a no brainer but when you hand over the debit card there is a true disconnect between how much your spending and how much you think you are spending. Our goal is small but we are going to save $50 this week. so lets recap..cash only spending (great start~crappy finish) putting 50 in savings (one small leap.....you get the idea)
Im digging all the feedback and encouragement so Thanks! Its great to know other people have been where we are and lived to tell about it. So....we actually sat down and created a spread sheet for all our debts (aka the elephant). We have decided that on Sunday evenings after the kids are in bed we will open a bottle of wine and go over our speadsheet for the week and get on the same page. This week we started by talking about how the elephant makes us feel, then we moved to who actually brought the animal in- which we got a little heated but in the end we concluded that one of us held the door open while the other one pushed him through the front door and we both helped to keep him feed and happy. The tricky part is in trying to figure out how to release snickers (aka elephant) back into the wild. Do I finish my last semester at school (creating more debt) or go to work (requiring child care and more money we dont have). I feel like finishing school is my ticket to creating wealth and security not to mention the earning power to live well. This is where you experienced folks come in...what do you think? Im all ears and so is snickers.
spent our first day cash only and we ran through $80 in two hours but I have a much needed new bathroom door and a pretty good lunch (with leftovers) to show for it. Normally, I wait until the end of the month to be all confused at the whereabouts of our money today I got to see how far it doesnt go and that means we have some hard choices. We cant afford to be dropping $20 bucks on lunch and we usually do that twice on the weekends. Seeing how fast it goes as it happens really makes an impact so much so that I decided to tally up our last 3 months of eating out. Drum roll please........$2100. its not a typo. Brutal truth #2 We could have paid off our car with that money. we have nothing to show for what we spent. Oh...sanity where for art thou. we wont be doing that this month.
I like quite a few others tivo'd the william and kate party. loved the dress and then spent most of the afternoon pondering the idea that the newly hitched couple never have to worry about money, careers or bills.... ever. I want that freedom. Its been so long since our money has been ours. Even better than that is the fact that I have been the sole money manager, brillant husband makes the dough and I make it into bread, only it turns out I cant bake. So I start small. I want to only use cash until the 15th rather I dont wish to be a contestant on beat the bank this month and in order to do that we have to track ourselves. still dont have a grand debt total, not looking yet. sad but true. Here is brutal truth #1. we have played the dont ask dont tell game at my house. my beloved knows we are in debt but doesnt really want to know...ya feel me? yep, its like that.
I hope to eventually post the specifics (once I actually know them) until then just think of it as getting to experience the anticpation of christmas morning. I can assure you it will be well worth the wait. What? you cant wait you say? Snack on this for a few. My husband used to make $80K a year, changed careers and now we live on a little less than half but it didnt matter even at 80K we didnt do what grown folk should do and at $37 we dont do what we must do. Our lives have been excessive. I almost cringe to say this but we dont even keep track of our check book. We run it mentally (eye roll). We have been poor, well off and in between and it never really changes. Im convinced of this- it is not about money. The money is just saying whats going on inside. However, regardless of what cant be seen, we have little ones and this isnt okay to live like this anymore. Hold on to your weaves, hats and unbrellas its going to get rough. Tommorow is payday and so it begins.