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Losing sleep over the budget

April 26th, 2007 at 04:55 pm

We've had a number of pet and medical emergencies in March and April that have depleted our smaller reserve funds (medical, dental, home repair, car repair, basic savings), as well as our clothing and free $$ catagories (which we normally let accrue from month to month), and may yet touch our emergency fund (see previous post).

We also spent about $200 more than our discretionary budget so far in April -- half on clothes and half on "Misc" -- could be as much as $250 if we're not careful the next few days. Normally it wouldn't be too big a deal but in light of all the other spending it's not good.

So our reserves are down quite a bit and will need to be built back up. DH's mother is coming from overseas for a 3 week visit around Memorial Day -- usually that entails a lot of eating out, shopping, and presents. It will be hard to stay on track.

I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep due to thinking about all the red numbers in YNAB. For some reason the $200 discretionary overage bothers me a lot more than all the others. I can only imagine what people in serious debt must go through all the time.

And I'm not happy that there are a lot more big wants such as vacations this summer that we don't have money set aside for yet. We've done a poor job controlling the little wants each month so that we can afford more of the big wants. I was happy that we were able to purchase a laptop and an anniversary trip with money we set aside this year, but in hindsight wish we had budgeted for two more trips that we want to take this summer -- one to fly out to see the great-grandparents and the other an unspecified road trip. Then there are other big purchases such as updating the wills and our next big trip to visit DH's parents overseas that we need to be saving for. And the landscaping just isn't going to happen until we have two incomes again.

On the positive side, DH is starting a new job in two weeks. His commute drops from 25 minutes to 5, so fuel costs will be way down. Medical insurance costs drop from $200/mo to $0, and he gets 401k matching and a much better selection of funds.

Ideally, I'd like to be working 10-15 hours a week from home in my field (during naptime), to keep my skills sharp and resume up to date. The extra money would be a nice bonus but not the primary motivation. I'm planning on talking to someone I know that started his own consulting company whether this is really feasible -- I suspect it's more reasonable to think I would need to work 20-30 hours per week just to get jobs. That would require some sort of daycare or nanny-share, which I'm not sure I want to do quite yet (DS is 18 months). But we also want to have a 2nd child soon so this is kind of my window of opportunity to do something before I take time off again.

In a few years I would like to be working half-days while both kids are in pre-school, then 30-ish hours a week so that I can be home when they get home from elementary school. It would be really cool if I were my own boss, consulting for companies rather than being an employee. Not sure how to get from here to there, though...

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