Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Money, Money, Money, Money....MUHNAY!!!

I feel like I should be doing the wop or the cabbage patch or something....

Anyway....this post is about something very near and dear to my heart.


Money....or maybe I should say lack of money.

A couple of years ago as I was entering my last year of graduate school. I realized that there was NO WAY I could do my mandatory internship AND work full time as a case manager. So, I quit my job (very happily). I would be able to completely devote myself to my degree and my internship would morph into my job. It worked out very well during that last year because I was busy, busy, busy...overworked and underpaid and
I'll admit it was a great distraction until our world fell in with our first miscarriage. Then the internship became my own personal hell. Getting up at 5AM three times a week, traveling on the 6 train...my least favorite train and heading into NYPres to work under a supervisor that could have been the devil himself. Needless to say, when that year ended I was beyond joy.

We have been blessed for many years now that El Hubster has a job that can support us pretty well. And thanks to his awesome grant writing skills, his salary has only increased over the years which means more money but much longer hours at the office.

After graduation, we agreed that I should focus on starting our family. At least for a little while. A little while turned into two years!! Fertility quests are expensive. I estimate that we've spent about $500 just in co-pays (which is probably a drop in the bucket). Paying for and refilling fertility meds...this Crinone is running us $35 every two weeks. Thank God I don't have to take it for much longer.

Me not having a job is expensive. Here are some secrets I'm willing to share....I'm not very good at being a stay-at-home wife. I just can't seem to get my head around it. I've pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom but not so much a stay-at-home wife. I have a tremendous amount of guilt about not contributing money to the household. I want to do more. I want to be able to use my paycheck to pay my own bills. I miss having my own paycheck. I hate asking my husband for money. So much so that I have learned to go without something I might really want or need just to avoid it.

We can't get the quality of food we need by shopping at our local supermarket so we food shop online. Let's not even go there...we do live in the Bronx. Organic is a foreign word in the neighborhood I live in and my myriad medical issues require that I not put extra chemicals into my body. No matter how much I buy I never seem to buy enough food to feed us for a whole two weeks. I need to get better at this.

We live in the cheapest borough so that keeps our rent expenses pretty low. I'm proud to say we only pay about $975 a month in rent...which is unheard of in other parts of  NYC.

But our debts....are killing us!!

Let's list them:
  • El Hubster and I both have 4 credit cards between us...all of which have been paid off at some point but always seem to creep back up to maxed!! He's paying ALL the credit card bills.
  • Student loan payments totaling about $90,000 each!! And we're about to add more school debt as El Hubster begins his doctorate next month. I don't even want to think about how that's gonna get paid for. He is solely responsible for paying ALL the student loan bills.
  • We've added life insurance and car insurance to our monthly debt. Who knew a car would be so expensive!!?? Yep, he's paying for ALL that too.
  • Internet, cell phones (Virgin prepaid), Direct TV, Netflix . This TOO
  • We've got unpaid hospital bills from one malaise or another...$150 worth from the hospital and $400 in fertility related expenses. I realize that it's not that much, especially compared to how expensive fertility treatments can be, but it feels like a boulder when you've got other expenses.
  • Our Electricity bill is through the roof because we NEVER get our meter read and the amount of money we've spent heating and cooling our apartment because it's just inadequate. We have no intercom system in our building. So, Con Ed takes it upon themselves to charge us whatever the hell they want. All the more reason why we have to move.
  • Speaking of moving...we have no idea how we're going to come up with the money to do that...if it happens at all it will be by God's grace.
  • We eat out and go to the movies ENTIRELY too much. It was cool in the past because we felt like we deserved it...We've been through so much this week...we're not pregnant again this month....I've got to have surgery...let's go out to eat and see a movie!!
We are feeling crushed and under the gun...and this requires drastic measures..
  • My husband won't admit that handling the finances can be overwhelming. He likes to believe that he can handle it all. He doesn't need any help because he's the MAN. But, he's not as on top of the bills as I would like so every pay period we've started to sit down together and go through the bills one by one. I think it makes him feel less alone (which he'll never admit), makes me feel more involved and gives me some peace of mind. I may not have a job but I can be CFO of this family.
  • We're putting a stop to our relentless eating out/movie cycle and shaved it down to once a month, or not at all, depending on what's due.
  • I've got to be smarter with shopping for food. I've started investing in buying family packs of meat/chicken/fish so that our food can last a little longer and cooking in bulk as much as I can. This is very difficult because I can eat the same thing for dinner all week...El Hubster cannot and sometimes will not...I blame his mother for this because she loves, loves, loves, to make whatever you want for dinner...a different dinner...every night!

I wish there was more we could do...I wish we could win the lottery (even though we don't play)...I wish money would fall from the sky like manna from heaven....but it's unlikely. I recently started making my list of things for baby on Amazon and I am blown away at how much Little P is gonna cost us just to get the basics.

So like much of Europe....we're adopting austerity measures and hoping we come out debt free (and able to move) on the other side...and I really wanna have my STUFF together before Little P gets here.


  1. I am with you on the money thing, girlie. I try to be as frugal/ cheap as possible. We've been debating on whether to start a section devoted to our journey to get out of debt on the blog. (I'm obsessed with reading money makeover stories. lol)I am trying to get our debts paid off as soon as possible. And I don't even want to talk about student loans!!! I wanted to go back and get my Master's but I was like, who is going to pay for that? I didn't want anymore loans. My hubby started on his Master's a few years ago but it was so expensive, he ended up stopping. Try shopping second hand for baby furniture and really stick to the basics. We get caught up in a lot of cute stuff but it's not really necessary. I wish you guys luck!

  2. Miranda, you should definitely add that section because it'll help keep you guys on track and help other people who are struggling..like me!

    We've had stops and starts on our debt journey. we started using the Dave Ramsey system and it worked very, very well until hubster let it fall by the wayside. He gets really excited about things but then doesn't maintain them..sigh. We had a great spreadsheet and everything. I think I'm going to reinstitute it. Managing our finances just works better when we do it together.

    Thanks for the tips on the baby stuff. We're trying to be as bare bones as possible. Shoot, we should both do a debt section and put it up on the blog!

  3. I started to comment on this before but got sidetracked.

    I know I owe you a post on freezer cooking, it's time saving and money saving.

    The hardest part is staying on track, for some reason getting righted once you've fallen off the wagon is worse than getting started in the first place.

    And I second what Miranda says, some things it makes sense to invest in, carseats and new crib mattresses for example. Other stuff, not so important. Garage sales are your friend. The clearance rack is your friend.

    Also - woe is student loan debt, woe woe woe!

  4. Staying on track truly is the most difficult part for us. I'm gonna do a budget update on the blog to help keep me and hubster accountable. We're regenerating the Dave Ramsey spreadsheet this weekend.

    I went grocery shopping today and was amazed at how much real food I was able to buy for 30 bucks just by sticking to the outer aisles.

    I definitely will be paring down my baby shopping and checking for cheapie baby clothes. I love the clearance rack!!