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Summary and Dreams

January 3rd, 2008 at 07:03 pm

2007 Year End Summary: (Doesn't include July data since I was off that month and didn't feel like keeping track of a darn thing)

Groceries: 3875.77
Household: 2597.09
Car Gas: 1925.99
DH Personal Budget: 1236.68
My Personal Budget: 1110.33
Recreation: 880.10
Medicine/Copays: 1054.16
Mortgage/Rent (bought house in July): 14329.40
Nanny: 11800.00
Electric: 1527.18
Water: 904.20
Gas: 157.74 (old house didn't have gas)
Student Loan: 3629.16
Auto Insurance: 1031.22
Phone: 1117.55

Do these totals strike anyone as odd? I'm concerned most about the household budget, phone, and gasoline.

Well, with a new year comes new goals. We decided to add savings accounts for certain areas that aren't budgeted for and have automatic deductions monthly. (life insurance, vacation, clothing, home improvement, and a new car)

I'm determined to take a real vacation this year. I've got a place picked out in Oklahoma, but DH thinks it's too far of a drive. We'll see.

After CC3 is paid by June, we'll begin looking at more goals. How to pay off those monstrous student loans, how much to allocate to our severly underfunded retirement, saving more vigorously for a new car?

Which brings me to my next more important point. I don't want to work anymore. More specifically, I don't want to work outside my home anymore. I want to be home with my sons and possibly try to have another. DH thinks it's a pipe dream as we can't live off his income. Even if we could cut our expenses so severely that we could manage on his income, we'd have to sell our house that we just bought in July '06, and we wouldn't be able to adequately fund our retirement, save up for a new car, pay off $49,000 in student loans, etc...The only way I got to stay home when the kiddos were babies was because I was in graduate school living off of student loans...hence the current massive student loan debt.

I've racked my brain for ideas. What I would really like to do is live on a remote piece of land and stay home with my kids. I could see myself running a resale shop part time.

Ah, dreams...will I be making this same complaint next January?

7 Responses to “Summary and Dreams”

  1. mom-sense Says:

    I'm a SAHM to a large family and I want more children (another one or two before I'm in my early 40s) I am college educated and have a master's degree. My husband is college educated and has a job making $65K (we live in an area were the median salary is $113K) Our cars are ten years old (we gladly accept our parents' old cars), we had no credit card debt until this past year when DH was unemployed and we had real estate taxes, COBRA insurance, and tuition for our children who go to a parochial school). If you were to stay home,
    you would save $11K a year on the nanny
    you could probably save a lot of on groceries/household
    do you need personal allowances that high? If it meant you staying home with the kids it might be worth it.

    Round up all of the items you don't love, need, want or use. I have never used ebay, rather resale. Simplify and save the money.
    Entertainment - you can save a bundle by using the library and community events (local theatre, etc.)
    When dining out, you learn which places have 1/2 price appetizers on what days of the week.
    You will probably end up in a lower tax bracket.

    We don't live on macaroni and cheese or beans (though I plan on making progress in this area) and I am planning on reducing the grocery allocation of the budget.
    My children participate in sports at the park district - though my daughters are Irish dancers who compete and perform and that is a lot of money each year -
    I fund my DH's 401(k) at 6% and put 4% into my IRA. My kids college savings usually comes from gifts from grandparents and my odd-ball contributions.

    Can you stay home and babysit? You could easily make a few hundred a week with one or two extra children (check into state licensing).

    I believe that anything is achievable given the choices that we make. Best of luck to you! Staying home with the kiddos is the best job in the world for me!

  2. always_sunny Says:

    Nanny fee seems a lot to me, but we don't have kids so I wouldn't really know.

  3. db1974 Says:

    mom-sense: Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I'm always looking for specific strategies like you've suggested. I feel like our expenses are cut pretty low, but I fail to take into account how staying at home automatically reduces your expenses in every category.

    I despise the nanny fee. But it is slightly less than we were paying when they were in day care and they are MUCH happier. Nanny likes to remind me how I'm getting such a good deal. I'm not convinced it's such a good financial deal, but rather a good deal in that my kids like to go to her house.

  4. sagegirl Says:

    We paid about $11,200 daycare/after school and summer care for our kids. So the Nanny fees aren't off, at least from my perspective. When I divide it out, most of your categories look pretty good. Your household expense-I am curious what that covers? Maybe you could reduce there? Your groceries weekly is pretty darn good for a family of 4. I think it may just be those student loans that may be hurting you.

    I have a friend that got her Masters in education and decided she wanted to stay home with her kids so she does private tutoring in her home a few days a week for extra money.

  5. db1974 Says:

    Anything I need for the house I buy out of the household budget. Basically anything that is needed but is not food related comes out of that category. This does exclude clothing and any other category I've already budgeted for.

  6. monkeymama Says:

    Look at your payroll taxes and income taxes. At those to the nanny fee. Do you really make that much once you take all that out?

    If you quit working and drop to a lower income, you could probably squeeze more out of your hubby's check as well (will lower your overall taxes/tax bracket, etc.)

    It's not always so marked when it comes to 1 kid, but when it comes to 2 or 3, it makes all the difference. My dh made around $40k. We would be paying $20k/year for 2 in daycare, in this area. $3k to payroll taxes. $10k to income taxes. So he was working 40 hours a week to bring home $600 a month.

    Look further and that was eaten up by gas, working expenses, and a lot of meals out.

    We did that math before we had kids. Never made sense to me.

    Anyway, so we worked and he tried to scrounge up extra money with a lot less time and effort.

    We save so much money on groceries and not having to pay for convenience.

    We used to look at this as very temporary (he could work part-time while kids were in school maybe). But now, by the time we get there, I don't think he'll even have to work. The few extra dollars he makes here and there are more invaluable than him having to work full-time.

    That's always been my perspective.

    mom-sense said it very well as well. My dh hasn't been so keen to give up his luxuries. we could really do it on much less if we all REALLY wanted to. If staying home is that important to you, you may find other things are not.

    I roll my eyes at the people who tell me they are jealous of us and then buy SUVs and go on $3k vacations every year. Not getting the sense you are one of those people. But sometimes I wonder what people are thinking. The things we give up to be home for our kids were very few with advanced planning. But if I had the will I could give up a hell of a lot more. You just got to look deep into your heart and think about that. (But yes we have given up a lot according to those who are too jealous to see. LOL. One second they are jealous, the next second it is horrid we drive used cars and don't really eat out. All well worth it though...)

    & do the math with your paycheck. You may be surprised. Maybe you could work nights and weekends to make something similar on a net basis. Always alternatives...

  7. Ralph Says:

    db1974,

    You could be my daughter fast forwarded about 15 years with all that college loan debt. Knowing what you know now, would you have gone to a cheaper school or done anything else differently? We've already started down this path and it is giving me the willies big time to think of her starting out under a mountain of debt.

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