Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Money, it's a gas

(With apologies to Pink Floyd.)

Just sitting here 'doing the finances' as we call it in our house. There's always this mid-month scramble to make sure there are enough funds to pay all the bills and still be able to, like, eat. And now we are in that really fun time of year when we have to start budgeting for Christmas. Which is kind of a total joke, because there really is no extra money for buying Christmas presents. Luckily this December has 5 Fridays, which of course means 5 paychecks, but even so, there really won't be extra money.

Hub makes a good wage, and we have a roof over our heads, nice cars (I bought mine before we even met), cell phones (his is paid for by his company), and decent clothes & shoes. No one is threatening to turn off our electricity or water. But somehow we really push it to the absolute limit with money and if you saw us you wouldn't think "extravagance". Gas prices are part of it...we quite stupidly bought a house so far from civilization it's practically on another planet, so just to go to the supermarket is a half-day excursion and an eighth of a tank of fuel. To visit either of our parents it's a solid quarter tank. And it turns out we live in the draft-o-rama house so we just got a $309 heating gas bill, which is scary because that's the budget plan amount. So how much are we really losing??

The real kick in the pants is that I have two, count 'em two, degrees languishing in a drawer somewhere that are actually bankable. But my dream is to be a stay-at-home mom and Hub and I are absolutely unwilling to farm out our kid(s) to be raised by anyone else. Plus, dammit, I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom. And I am immensely grateful to have a husband who feels the way I do about that, and I am also quite grateful to be supported, it's just that I wish his company would pay him what he is actually worth. Oh well, maybe he'll get a nice yearly raise at Christmas (ha!).

This is why many, many, many of my knitting projects are made with Wool-Ease, Patons Classic Merino, and Knitpicks brand yarns, or slightly better stuff that I magically discover on clearance, or even (GASP!) acrylic. Yep, I sure do want to make heirlooms, but nope, can't afford Koigu and Rowan and Debbie Bliss on my budget. Plus, babies puke on everything anyway and acrylic is washable. 'Nuff said.

I guess the good news is that the whoring out of my sewing skills has led to another paid project. I will be picking it up tomorrow and posting pics forthwith.


Karen said...

I admire people like you who have decided that the most important thing that they can do in their lives is to raise their own children, rather than allowing a series of babysitters to do it for them. I am childless myself, but my sister is a stay-at-hom mom of almost 3, and I admire her immensely. She has two really well-behaved and well-adjusted children, and something to be proud of. The money thing will level off as you get really used to living on one income and planning waaay in advance for things like Christmas gifts and such. Great blog!

Caren said...

I don't own my own place, nor do I have kids, but I totally relate trying to make ends meet. I walked into my boss' office the other day and said that my interest in another job w/in the department was solely because I do not like have to forgo buying groceries so I can buy a pair of pants because I only own two pairs of jeans, and this job has the potential to be a lot more money. Because he makes gobs & gobs more money than I, I just got a blank stare.

HangerMom said...

I just "did the finances" yesterday as well (that's what we call it, too), and was similarly depressed. My dream is to stay home full time with my girls, and any future children, but since my Husband is still working on the PhD that will someday make him the breadwinner, I can't entirely forego my salary yet. So I do part-time, and we still barely make ends meet. And the gas prices are killing us! We generally roadtrip 7-10 hours to visit family for the holidays, but decided to stay home for Thanksgiving because it would have cost well over $200 to visit the closest fam. Ugh. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that my Hub's thesis defense will not get delayed again, and that gas prices will go down. Those are about as likely!