Monday, June 11, 2012

Austerity Measures

You may remember that I posted about making a budget in the fall. Well, that only sort of happened. I mean I started it and all that, but then the holidays happened and there were all of these one time/seasonal purchases which made it harder for me to look at our current budget and predict or plan for our future spending habits, and then I had Buster and sitting down with bills and receipts and computer screens just didn't enter the equation for awhile.

But then I had Buster, and...

I know it sounds like I'm repeating myself, but I'm not. Really. I didn't get back to the budgeting because I was otherwise occupied with an infant, but that not-so-little infant also started my anxiety gears turning and that anxiety started to roll downhill toward the rushing river below that is our finances. I kept trying to get hold, and it kept rushing past my open hand. That probably sounds a little dramatic, but that's what sleep deprivation and a crying baby will do to you.

So now, many months later, I have actually done the work and made the budget. The verdict is in, and there will indeed have to be changes.

Budgeting is scary; well, budgeting when you don't have a lot of money is scary. It's not like we're going to be out on the street anytime soon, but we do need to be careful. With a second child, buying a house, me being home full-time, and going back to school, we definitely have to be careful. Careful is fine, careful can be good even, once I see how it all works out, but right now it's still a little scary. The thing about budgeting for every penny is that, well, there are no pennies left at the end of the budgeting. It feels weird when your goal is zero.

I have planned modestly for saving for purchases and car repairs, vacations, restaurants, even parking costs, which we don't regularly have. So zero is fine because it includes everything, even some contingencies, but it still feels wrong. I want slop in the system, but I can't have any slop until I am sure we can afford slop, and I'm not sure that we can for the next few years at least. After that I will go back to work and there will be more breathing room financially or at least that's the idea.

For now I will count pennies and try to remember that not having money in my pocket is fine as long as I know where it is.
Wiggle has the picnic bug. Luckily picnics are fun and free!


  1. Wiggle is genetically programmed for picnics! :)

  2. He is such a happy boy. Wish I was at that picnic. Can't wait to see him.