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Archive for November, 2019

2 steps forward, 1 step back

November 13th, 2019 at 02:14 pm

I haven't touched my Google budget since before my son was born (late March). I've pretty much switched to YNAB full-time. While I'm really happy with the progress, I also still see a ton of leaks in our budget, but I'm having trouble buckling down to get there.

The Good:
- Paid off a bunch of debt!: Without looking at the details, I'd guess 4-5 credit cards and got off the float on the ones that I still do use.
- Will continue to pay off debt: Just made the final payment today on one card. Will make the final payment by the end of the month on another. And have a plan in place to pay off my huge student loan (originally 16000) in December.
- Last Month's Income: We've been living on last month's income all year. These next few months will be tight, but the goal is to make it through DH's at-home period still living on last month's income.
- Paternity Leave: DH doesn't have to go back to work until the end of January. With all the work we've put in, we should be able to let him stay home almost the full period, so that he can bond with his son.
- Daycare: I'm still on the fence about daycare, but we're going to try it out. My first choice was near my work and would have been $1800/mo for 3 days/wk. We decided to check out some places near our home, and it was considerably cheaper. We found a place we felt comfortable with that is $1450/mo for 5 days/wk. With DH's military discount, it's under $1400 and includes meals.
- Sinking/Emergency Funds: While these are still a work in progress, I have made some good progress. This is the first year that our Christmas budget is fully funded before Christmas shopping. Our EF is at $1500 (and hasn't been touched since I got it back to $1k). Our life insurance budget has $550 and counting (I really need to get on this...). And our home maintenance fund has almost $500 (this can be wiped out at any moment by one home emergency, but it's a start).

The Bad:
- A New Car: I'll just put it out there. We leased a new CR-V. I don't regret it in the lifestyle sense, but I do regret the financial side of it. While we can afford the payment, I basically worked all year to replace a bunch of small minimum payments with one large consolidated minimum payment...That said, I do really enjoy driving it - the self-driving features are phenomenal in my traffic-heavy area and make the commute so much more bearable. We got an incredible deal. And I should still be able to budget $200/mo towards either buying this car out or paying cash towards a new car when the lease is up.
- 2 Credit Cards Remaining: I have 2 large credit cards left. Total balance is just over $15000. I'm toying with the idea of doing a transfer or 2 to minimize the interest since I'm used to those $200/300 payments and the small wins energize me.
- More Student Loans: My school was expensive ($50k/yr back in the 2005-2010 timeframe). Even with no financial help from family, I was lucky to make it out of there with about 40k in student loans total over all 4 years. I still have about $22k left. I hope to make a considerable dent in this next year.

All things considered, I do feel like we're making progress. I started so far in the hole with no financial knowledge and a ton of mistakes (read: family crutches). My hope at this point is to leave my son and any other kids that I may be lucky enough to have with a much better starting position and the financial knowledge to make good decisions from the jump.

Finally got paid

November 6th, 2019 at 12:23 pm

DH is finally home! The really annoying thing is that the bureacracy and paperwork around it was completely screwed up. Long story short, DH stopped getting paid mid-September (even though his deployment ended Oct. 31). After a month and a half of struggle, he finally got a paycheck on Nov. 1, but there's still things missing. The good part of all that is that we didn't need the money immediately, and it'll actually come in handy now that DH is home and will be out of work for 3 months. I feel lucky that we've gotten to a point where we were able to get by without the money coming in (they actually offered to give DH a loan that he could then pay back when he got paid?!?!?).

There are other financial updates including a frivolous, (slightly) unnecessary one, but that's for another day. In the meantime, I'll keep on keeping on.

On a personal note, DH and DS were best buds within minutes of being reunited, and we feel very lucky that DH doesn't have to return to work immediately and can continue to bond with his son for the next few months. (Bonus: no childcare expenses until the new year!)