Monday, October 8, 2012

It all started with a budget..

Ok, not really. Nothing starts with a budget, right? 

But in all seriousness, here I am on my couch with my little man (Iggy, the Chihuahua sized, but Terrier faced pup that is as attached to me as I am to him) nearly in tears thanks to money & bills & all the stresses that come with 'em. I have just read my 900th blog on how to save money & live off of pennies for families of 4.. & my fiance (J) & I are having a hard time making it with just the two of us. Here's how pitiful our situation is: we're engaged, planning a wedding for June 22, 2013, living with my dad (Diddy) for free (he also covers my insurance & phone), & J's parents (D&A) help with the majority of J's bills. I am in my senior year of college, which barely leaves six hours a week for me to work (two hours, m/w/f/), & next semester I'll be student teaching & have no idea if I'll be able to keep even those hours. Also, I drive to school an hour away (each way) M-F. J is in school full time (generals) & working about 55 hours each week between two food service jobs - that's right, two of 'em.. that means no overtime, in case you missed it. 

Tonight we sat down to discuss the few bills that we DO have, & the amount of money we DO make. Guess what.. the numbers don't add up. Somehow we're spending a LOT more than we're making, & we're both completely maxed out time-wise & emotionally. We don't spend much time together, & when we do, one of us is doing homework & the other one is napping, cleaning, or giving our pup some much-needed lovin'. I miss my man, I tell you what.

I know that this is a short-lived time in our lives, but for real.. the next year is going to be incredibly taxing. I have tried to adopt as many 'tools' as I can through others' blogs or personal experience/advice.. but I still feel like things are slipping through the cracks & I'm starting to lose it. 

SO! These are the steps we are taking to get away from superfluous spending
  • We are doing the Dave Ramsey course with D&A, & that's where the budget talk came in tonight.. but I don't know how we're ever going to get baby step 1 accomplished, let alone everything else on our 'to do' list. 
  • We are both writing down all of our spending.
  • I have been adopting at least one new recipe a month & working in as many cheap repeats as I can (thank you Pinterest!), I have learned to love leftovers, & I try to meal-plan. 
    • BTW: We spend less when my dad (who drives truck) is out of town - we just scrounge for food around here 'cause Diddy honestly buys most of the groceries. 
  • & I have cut my 'random' spending (vending, fast food, gas station food/snacks, etc.) down to nearly nothing, but I've never been a spender & there's not much more I can cut (J is working hard in this department!).
  • J & I have now set our 'pocket cash' at $10/each.
  • $50 allowance to go out to eat (this is about all of the social time we have, so this is usually with friends or for someone's bday)
  • J's tips go into our 'change jar' where we collect all of our loose change (Diddy, too) & that goes toward our wedding fund

That's the best we can do right now, since gas is not negotiable.. but J is going to ride his motorcycle until snow flies (which, let's be real, will only be like two more weeks) - but every bit counts! 

I have to get back to studying for my midterm, but I had to vent somewhere - thus, a new blog is born.