Monday, May 2, 2011
The first part of the year is always tight for us financially. We have certain bills that come due only around this time or semi-annually - health insurance for the girls, life insurance for us, car tags/property tax, car insurance, etc. It's usually just a month or two, but it seems like every paycheck this year, DH has said we can't spend money on any extras, only the essentials.
This has been frustrating, so the other day I thought about it and had a forehead-smacking, shoulda-had-a-V8 moment. After I wrecked the car and we bought a van, we knew the amount we spent on gas would go up a bit. Not to mention the car payment. But, add to that the fact that the price per gallon has gone up - significantly - and both DH and I are spending $200 more each month on that. Plus we started putting Baby R in part-time daycare in November. That's another $500/month. Yikes, people! That's $700/month we're spending on essentials.
I'm a low-maintenance gal. I haven't bought new clothes since...since...well, at least since we moved to our new house a year and a half ago. I get my haircut at Great Clips when we have a coupon. I get a massage/mani/pedi/some extravagant beautifying done once a year or less (total, not each). And though I tend to go overboard with gifts for holidays, when it comes to everyday items, I haven't bought much. Baby R has hand-me-downs from her big sis. And I haven't bought big sis, S, much since, thankfully, we have hand-me-downs from another friend. Though we are going to have to buy her a summer wardrobe because S is now in the same size as our friend's daughter.
So I may not be able to play sports this summer or scrapbook or do some other things, but at least we have our needs met. I feel very blessed that we were able to tighten our belts and make it work. I feel terrible for many others who were already struggling and are now dealing with these kinds of issues.