Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Trimming the Fat

Here's a little confession: I don't live by any kind of budget. At all. Until now. Yikes! When you really sit down and put things on paper it blows your mind what you've been spending and what things are costing you month to month. My husband and I have our eye on making a sizable investment in the near future so we're trying to see where we stand, money-wise. It means we will have to cut out extras for a lonnnnng time. We're nixing the fax-only phone line. We're trimming back our satellite service (but I REFUSE to give up my DVR!), and my husband actually brought up SELLING HIS BOAT. Wow. If I had been the one to suggest it, I probably would've caught hell, so imagine my surprise when HE brought it up.

Eventually we may be able to do part-time day care for the baby (which is STILL 6 hours a day) and that would save us a bundle. The hardest part will be to grocery shop on a budget. I like going to the store and getting pretty much whatever I want. I just need to be trained. We also contacted our utility companies to find out about paying a monthly average on our bills. Gas and electric will let us do this.

We also refinanced our house for 30 years, which is really like a knife in the gut since we were pacing into a 15 year note before. I really wanted to have the house paid off before the kids head to college. The real kicker is that our damn payment will be about the same as it is now! Why? We wrapped our annual taxes, insurance and a small home-equity line of credit into the new loan. Ultimately, we'll save about $300 bucks a month with the re-fi. Sigh.

It's a bit stressful to comb over all this stuff, but you know what they say: You can't make money without risking money. Is it just me, or do you ever get tired of being all grown up and shit? There are days when I feel like I'm 10 years old again, but have to deal with real adult responsibilities. Right about now that Algebra homework ain't lookin' so bad!

It is SO scary risking money, but we don't have any regrets on the risks we have taken. I was sick to my stomach with some of the risks we took, but they paid off. We are looking to take even more risks in the coming few years and I just try not to think about it too much. No - not like an ostrich, but in a reasonable optimistic attitude (while I also cut down our satellite bill!!)

Hang in there!
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