Budgeting

We’ve been in our new house since December, which means we’ve got a few months of paying our new astronomical mortgage under our belt. We also now have a month of paying our astronomical mortgage after both receiving our raises, and this marks the beginning of a period of unchanging finances. For the next year-ish, we should be making the same amount, and our bills should be about what they’ve been.

So now I can finally start to figure out what “normal” looks like on a monthly basis and budget accordingly.

Last month was a bit of a flop – we went backwards on our total debt, which was very upsetting. I think we’ll chalk it up to not understanding how much our raises would actually buy us. Oops.

We’ll do better this month. Maybe. Hopefully. I mean…I want to make the adjustment period short and keep the damage to a minimum. However, that feels like it is a tall order, because Lewis needs a few big-ticket items now that he’s getting bigger/older.

Car seats are the biggest ticket items, and they’re non-negotiable – for obvious reasons. He is too tall for his infant seat, and probably has been for a while. The upgrade must happen, and it must happen asap. Less burdensome are things like sippy cups (bye bye bottles, hopefully) and summer clothes (bye bye winter!). But even if the little things cost less than car seats, they still add up!

We have two major financial goals at the moment: 1) pay off all our debts, and 2) have enough money to have a second child. Both of them seem so far away, and item #2 is particularly hard to wait for.

In order to set ourselves back on the right course towards our goals, we need to be more mindful. I have very much been enjoying our Blue Apron food deliveries, take out, and my Stitch Fix clothing deliveries, but I think it is time to either decrease the frequency or completely eliminate such luxuries. Kyle is trying to be creative about some of his personal luxuries too… we’ll see where we both end up/what we cut.

We knew we were going to be testing ourselves financially by buying this house, but we also knew 100% that it would be worth it – and it has been! I am confident we can manage it and keep up a relatively pleasant lifestyle. But we can’t “have it all” right now. We chose the house, and that means we have to un-choose some things – like food deliveries, new clothes (for the grown-ups), vices (like whiskey… poor Kyle), moving Lewis to a daycare which is nicer/better and/or closer to our house, and (sigh) having a second kid.

When I was a kid, someone else always told me what I could and couldn’t have/do. Being a grown up means I have to figure it out for myself. It is a constant battle of self-control. And when I have to tell myself “no”, it can be really difficult not to have someone else to direct my tantrum towards!!!

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