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Home > Archive: March, 2015

Archive for March, 2015

Echoing New Mom Yucks

March 26th, 2015 at 12:21 pm

There is so much I should be doing, but I just do not have the energy. I don't remember being quite like this for my first born, but I think that maybe that was because he was born in the late spring and I had the summer to recoup. My second, being born in the late fall, coupled with the winter weather and dark... maybe that's what is causing the "hardship" I'm having lately. And, sleep, like Chloe said in her post. Sleep is always lacking (those 4 month sleep regressions hit the hardest!). And no time, like Sarah has said, to really conquer anything without having a demanding little one take over.

Those few days this month where we could get out in the sun made such a difference, but then, typical for the Midwest, it was just a tease. Back to COLD and GREY. I cannot wait for summer! But then comes the humid heat and mosquitoes...


After my last post, and a comment by snafu, it got me thinking of trying to find the real reason my motivation is lacking on saving for a larger down payment. Logically, I really get it, but I cannot get my emotions behind it.

I think part of it is that I am still coming to terms of "failing". I was unable to secure a house in our budget in our area in our time frame. Then with my littlest's medical issues, well, we settled for a nicer apartment instead. Now we are under contract for a year, but realistically I see us staying in the apartment for two+ years (NEVER moving in February again). We will move before my older hits school. I do not like this school district.

I've always wanted to own my own home. A tiny starter home with a little yard would be perfect. A live-in-able fixer-upper ideal. I love houses and I love seeing the bones behind the ugly shag carpet and strange layout. There's so much you can do to fix up a house, that can turn it from a "shack" into a decent home that can be sold later for a profit.

Timing just wasn't right. I know that, and in a way I'm glad that we didn't get a house. I just have to come to terms with it. I changed jobs, my littlest has some medical issues, and now my older has some milestone issues. I would not have had the time or energy to deal with a new house. Maybe in a few years...

But I was dreaming for so long (8+ years), and I came thisclose to making it happen at the end of last year... bleh. Just BLEH.


Anyway, onto something concrete - GOALS. I know there is a bit left in March, but I'm logging my April goals early, while they are in my head. If I can complete two of these, I'll feel happy. Any more than that, I'll be beyond thrilled.

Goal 1: STAY IN BUDGET. I will do this in April. Period. The end. I have calculated out that we will have $945 to spend on our variable expenses (groceries, gas, dog food, diapers, formula, dining out, household supplies). Goal is to hit. Extra bonus if we can put any of that to savings. Side note: hoping our electric will be less too since March was warmer than February, and if so, leftover will also go to savings. I love when there are "leftovers".

Goal 2: NO SODA. I haven't had a soda for 48 hours. Holy cow is it tough. But I can do it! It will save the wallet, my health, and my teeth.

Goal 3: LOSE FOUR POUNDS. I'm no longer breastfeeding, so my weight has stabilized. Thankfully it hasn't gone back up since my initial baby weight drop. I've joined weight watchers again. It worked last time to lose those last ten pounds. Makes me cranky (diets suck), but I only need to do it for the three month introductory period, and then I get fully reimbursed by my health insurance. I need to lose about 14 pounds to be within my 10-pound window where my body looks and feels good.

Goal 4: DECLUTTER. Hit 3 out of 11 (!) subgoals listed below. I figure one every week and a half will be more than enough work.
~Subgoal 4-1: Pack away maternity clothes. They don't fit. They don't flatter. But I do not want to pay for maternity clothes if we decide we want number three in a few years.
~Subgoal 4-2: Hang pictures in living and dining room. Decide what I like, hang it, or get rid of it.
~Subgoal 4-3: Get rid of the extra electronics. I have three printers (1.5of which work), two dead laptops, and other random electronic stuff - including a lot of cords. Then there is our current computer that I'm replacing. I need to figure out what is what and get rid of it!
~Subgoal 4-4: Sort paper that is floating around. I started to deal with it, but then we moved. And holy cow, paper stack monsters are eating everything in our office. I had just shoved in random boxes just to pack in the short time we had. Then I just pulled out and stacked when I unpacked. I'm limiting this to the paper that isn't currently in boxes, because...
~Subgoal 4-5: Sort boxed paper. I have one large file box, three normal file boxes, two small file boxes, and two small tubs. Maybe more. (shivers.) I'm not moving it all again. Time to PURGE.
~Subgoal 4-6: Sell dishes. I need to finish unpacking, take pictures, and sell the dishes that I don't want and will never use. They are heavy, so it will have to be either local craigslist/facebook or consignment. Packing costs would be crazy. I also don't want to move these ever again.
~Subgoal 4-7: Organize craft drawers. This is limited to the 8 rubbermaid craft drawers I have. I need to sort them and clean them out so that I can...
~Subgoal 4-8: Organize craft tubs. I have 8, yes, EIGHT large rubbermaid tubs full of craft supplies. I don't even know what is in there. Some I'll want to stash for future kid projects, but most can be TOSSED.
~Subgoal 4-9: Unpack the last three cardboard boxes. I have no clue what's in them. Hoping they can be tossed.
~Subgoal 4-10: Sort other tubs. I have something like 7 rubbermaid tubs of misc randomness. I have no clue what I will find in there. I think a few hold smaller boxes within the box just to make moving easier.
~Subgoal 4-11: Goodwill and Half-Price Books. Take the two large garbage bags to Goodwill. Sell the box of books at Half-Price Books.

Bit the Bullet

March 24th, 2015 at 09:31 am

Well, we ended up buying a computer. We got a cheap (but rather decent) desktop for $300 total. I won't have to pay for anything else, transferring over the anti-virus, using one of my Office365 downloads, and re-downloading Quicken. All I think I will move over will be pictures and a few word/excel documents. I want to keep this computer clean.

This expense and an unexpected weekend travel (gas and a little eating out) puts me over our goal of keeping our discretionary costs under $1,000 for the month. We have the room from tax refunds to go over, but we won't have that extra padding for long. I vow in April to keep it in line.

By the way, I'm finding the motivation to save is a LOT harder than the motivation to get out of debt. We have decent emergency funds that I'm comfortable with (a human one, a small pet one, and an ok vehicle one), we have enough for a small down payment on a cheap house. But really, we should strive to hit the 20% down mark. It's easier to spend to "refuel" the things we've put off for so long than to save more, especially since we don't have the flexibility to save at our previous level. Which I'm finding is a motivation buster in itself.

Or maybe it would be better to throw money at our 0% van loan? Trick me into paying off "debt". Although that makes me cringe, because my Capital One 360 accounts make me money. Actually, I don't think I could stomach that idea. Weird... And in all honesty, we're talking about maybe $125/month in the end - significant, but really not life changing at this point.

So, how do you get motivated to save more?

Ouch. Spent.

March 13th, 2015 at 09:34 am

Well, I thought February was going to end on a nice, quiet spending note, and that I was going to start March off right. BUT...

Everyone in the house, plus the kids' daycare provider, was sick. There was two weeks of sickness in my house. It was awful. Just awful.

So, money was spent on medicine, humidifier, caffeine (so I could keep going to take care of everyone else), fast food since we couldn't grocery shop or cook. It was... just OUCH.

And then I had a planned trip to IKEA to get the last few things we needed for the apartment. I think I'm finally done with that task. WHEW.

But ouch. Spent money. GONE.

This weekend we'll go grocery shopping to replenish our empty cupboards and I'm going to a local consignment sale. Not to purchase ANYTHING, but to see how it is laid out/works. The group has a few different arenas - baby, craft, household. And I was thinking about putting some of my stuff up for sale. Seems easier, even if I only get a percentage, than trying to list things one-by-one on facebook/craigslist. They have a choice to donate or pick-up when it's done. I'd donate just to be done. I have soooo much clutter. It needs to go.

So, for the rest of the month, it's tightening up the wallet. Groceries, Diapers, and Gas. That's it. (Really, Tarwalker, THAT IS IT.)

A kink into this idea - our home computer is dying, fast. It's a bad computer to begin with and is band-aided already. I mean, it's so bad, it runs Vista. Yes, VISTA. *shivers*. Plus the fan is dying, the hard drive makes feints as if it won't work much longer, among other things. We're in discussions on what we need for home. It's hard as we both work in the IT arena and are spoiled at work. But we don't use the computer much at home. Not sure if it is because it is so bad, or if it is because we really don't need it at home. So the argument back and forward between a cheapy to do basic browsing and banking or a higher end one to someday be able to work from home and use those heavy programs. Ah, the pros and cons for both.

I'd like to see how much longer we can inch by on it, but we are both yelling at it whenever we have to go on it. Most of the time one or two restarts are needed. That is, if it even decides to start up again. Thank goodness we have everything backed up. It's just not going to wake up one day.