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Time to celebrate the small things…

December 31st, 2007 at 06:01 pm

Time for 2007 to draw to a close and not to soon. What a wild ride it was. I have had my ups and downs, both financially and personally. We had our second son born in August and he had some medical issues (he is fine now, but now the bills need to be paid). My wife had a little depression afterwards and we had some help around for her.

The first half of the year, things were tight but manageable. Then August came, and WOW … just wow. My insurance was just horrible. But hospitals were great both BI and Newton Wellesley. In fact, a case study was written on my son (alas no royalties).

Then things went from tight to “oh no”. And this has caused me to get serious about budgeting. I had to switch insurances (about $1,260 a month) and start repaying the hospitals ($500 a month). With things being tight, I starting asking for more hours per week. I am a contractor and am paid hourly (no time and a half). No big projects start before Christmas in my field. Well, I could always work at Target, Wal-Mart, Cosco, etc.

So that’s the catalyst that pushed me to take a serious look at budgeting. December was the first month for me to try this budgeting thing. And I survived it. It is 12/31 and I have not spent more then I take home. I also have money set aside for preschool and other classes for my 3 yo son. I have money set aside for car and home maintenance.

I have 2 furnaces in my house (no, it’s not a McMansion, I don’t have a servant’s wing). The one in the attic failed to start. New England gets awfully cold in December and with a newborn, I had to get it fixed. I called the gas company. They said they would have someone over in 2 weeks. They gave me a name of a local company. I called them and they were out that day. There was some sort of lose wire that was causing the furnace to think that the door was open.

Old me (or pre-budget me or November me) would be thinking how am I going to pay for this. Put in on CC and hope I have the money after Christmas to pay for it. Well, good luck with that plan. New me had budgeted about 200 in House maintenance and funded that envelope about a week before the furnace failed. It was already paid for in my mind. Awesome feeling!!!

Awesome feeling 2 came this last week. The wife was “encouraging” me to make January’s budget. She needed to know how much she could spend on groceries, diapers, etc. So, I put the budget together, we reviewed it and revised it together. She started talking about a weekend trip in February that need to be budgeted and a baptism in March.

I have really started feeling like a team with my wife. There was no yelling about money, just this is what is coming in, what do we need to spend. We work on the problem together and form the solutions together. I do feel closer to my wife. I understand her prioritize a lot better now.

So even with my monthly bills going up $1,750 per month, I feel I have the tools to make a run at this added expense. I also added a couple of other goals (pay of $6k in cc, one car loan, and save $10k). It will be an interesting year and I am looking at attacking these goals with my wife.

7 Responses to “Time to celebrate the small things…”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    This is really great that you have worked together and can handle an extra $1750 a month and also see the way to paying off other debts!...I really like your second to last paragraph. Smile Really, facing a financial challenge together could tear some couples apart, and some it can bring together more closely....Good luck in the coming months.

  2. fern Says:

    That is the best thing i read in your post, that you and your wife deal with your tight budget "like a team." That's great.

    As an aside, i always thought it would be a good idea to have 2 oil furnaces in the house. That way, you can take advantage of lower oil prices in the summer and buy an entire season's worth of heating oil, or close to it, at the best price.

    Do you try to do this? I had a little sticker shock this a.m. as i filled my tank in August at $2.19 a gallon and decided to fill it up now, tho i still have a 1/2 tank, as i'm starting a new job next week and will be commuting longer and no longer able to pay COD as most of the suplliers want if you don't have a contract with them. Stikcer Shock! The lowest price i could find was $3.15 a gallon. Good god almighty.

  3. nance Says:

    You are doing very well! It will be so much easier that you and your wife are working as a team on this.

  4. merch Says:

    I use gas her in the Northeast. And have seen the sticker shock. So, I can't have an additional oil tank, but the gas company does offer this system wher you pay the same every month instad of like $30 in July and $250 in February.

    Joan.of.the.Arch - I found $1,750 this month. I'll have to see if I can find it going forward. One month at a time. Smile

  5. Ima saver Says:

    Sounds like you two are doing great!!

  6. scfr Says:

    They don't sound like small things to me! Keep up the good work!

  7. koppur Says:

    Very impressive! Keep up the great job!

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