Monday, April 20, 2009

Budget - Part 2

I never posted my budget findings (it was way too nice of a weekend - we were outside and not on the computer much!).

The main answer is that if we want to continue to keep our standard of living, I need to keep babysitting over the summer. :( Otherwise, it's down to +$5 at the end of the month, and that's cutting it a little too close.

It's frustrating at times. We used to live off of one income with little problem. But we cut our bills as much as possible and truly lived a VERY frugal lifestyle. Over the years, as our income increased, we changed our lifestyle. Some things, like eating out several times a week, bother me very much, and I can't wait until I am not working 6 days a week so that I can cook my family healthy and CHEAPER meals. But things like our $150-cable bill bother me to no end. My husband is a media guy - it's what he does for a living. I saved up money and (finally - in his opinion) bought him a big screen HDTV this winter. Of course, that increased our cable bill substantially. My husband does not go out with "the guys," golf, drink, or anything like that, so I guess I can't really complain too much about his HDTV cable package.

Back to the budget - I kept it realistic, which means I probably over-budgeted for a few things and we would have a little more in our pockets at the end of the month, but it's still tight.

So my first thought was that I really need to keep babysitting. Even the extra $100 a week (although far below what I should get paid for a full 48-hours of care each week) pays for the groceries (and then some!).

But I just can't stop that nagging feeling that I am missing out on time with MY kids, and I really want to see if this will work. The reality is, by the time we get home from our big vacation, there are only 9 weeks of summer left. "K" will likely go on vacation for a week (usually 2) as well - leaving only 7 weeks that I would actually get paid. Is $700 worth not being able to do things with my children?

If I would quit, our budget would be tight. BUT - it's only for 9 weeks. Then I would be back to work int he fall (just on Saturday mornings, but the money is good enough to pay for the groceries) and the budget would not be as tight. So we may have to tap into savings for 2 months. Is that worth it?

Craig and I need to sit down and talk about this in more detail. I am really not sure what the best thing is to do.


  1. I understand what you mean about the cable bill. We cut ours about a year ago, and never missed it. I was very hesitant to at first, but looking back it was probably the best decision we made for our family. During the summer, it's usually just re-runs anyway. We tracked which channels we really watched, and were surprised to find out that they were all broadcast stations. Mark installed an antenna (in our attic), and we get them for free! It saves a ton of money, but the key is to find a way to do it so your hubby doesn't feel deprived. I found we had more time together as a family, and we spent a lot more time outdoors too. Hang in there, and keep us posted with what you decide!


  2. Thanks Valerie - my husband actually watches quite a few cable channels, so I doubt we'll be able to get rid of that. I also need to remind myself that our cable is a bundle package - so our high speed internet AND phone is also included in that $150 bill, so it's not as bad.

    If it were just up to me, we'd have an antenna and get network tv (and maybe ask Grandma to DVR a few kids shows and burn them onto a DVD for us! LOL).

    I guess it's good to know that we can cut out cable if there truly is a need. For now, it's just a nicety.

  3. I say give it a go! You can do it... and if you have a little savings cushion to back you up, I say it's a nice experiment! :) You might be pleasantly surprised. And if it's too tight, it's only 7 weeks... Not even two months! You've inspired me to look (again) at our budget and see what I can do to put some savings away for a rainy day (otherwise known as a house of our own). Maybe we can play the "no spend" game together :)

  4. I downloaded an excel template for our budget and we are going to keep track of EVERYTHING starting May 1. I guess it's really the only way.

    This is the first time in a long time that we actually have some savings, and I don't want to mess it up now that we have it. But Craig and I have some pretty old-fashioned values at heart, so it may be time to just bite the bullet and become the full-time SAHM this summer.

    Let's be "no spend" buddies together!

  5. hey; thanks for stopping by! Your "situation" is very similar to mine a few months ago! I was babysitting full time for a friends baby, and loved the extra money (since my husband is a teacher and I stay at home!), it was difficult at time to take away from my own kids. Now i'm just doing once a week, and a few extra days when they need it. I really battled with going full time again though. Let us know what you decide! Trust that God will work it out; whatever decision you make.

  6. Lisa,

    I'm praying for your decision, mama. Sometimes God throws a new opportunity to us and it changes the whole game plan. :o) You have your head on straight and your priorities are totally in line with Jesus. You never know what He may be up to for tomorrow. ;o)

    P.S. I hear ya on cable! Ergh! Grace and I watch very little TV. Ed LOVES having cable, our big HD TV, etc. for football. I've told him before that I'm okay with not having cable and paying for all that stuff, but he can barely make it through the football off season anyway, so cable stays, LOL.

  7. Hey Lisa,
    I hope you can come to a decision easily. I know how hard it is! It's been much tighter around here since I stopped babysitting but we are dealing. There is barely any eating out now and we just cut where we can. For example, we wanted to go to the movies and I shopped around for the best deal. We ended up at the one over on Catasaqua Rd. If you go between 4-6 it's only $5.50 for adults. Normally we would have just headed over to the movies and I wouldn't have done all the research ahead of time. It's been worth it though. We are also thinking about cancelling cell phones. I'm tired of paying our cable/phone/internet package AND a cell phone bill.
    We're making it but we do miss the extra money at times.