Real Talk: The Cost of Living

Photo by  on  Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

I hate money. More specifically, I hate the lack of money my family has and how that effects us. Here's a bit of insight into our financial situation: we both work, full-time, with my job having benefits and his not having any; we both do side work for money when we can (; we rent a 2 bedroom/1 bath house in the suburbs because it is cheaper; we have one vehicle, and we are still paying it off; we have one child in full-time daycare; we have a small amount of credit card debt from buying appliances and some furniture when we moved into this house; I am still paying off one student loan; and we have a very small savings that worries me constantly.

I'm the one who manages our money, for the most part, and I always feel like we are living hand-to-mouth. Here's the thing though – we aren't. Mr. LL and I sat down one Sunday, not that long ago, while Lazy Baby was taking a nap, and we really went through our spending, expenses and income. Even with allotting some income for us to have to spend on whatever we wanted each week, we saw that we could still put almost $100 in savings a month. More if we do side work. 

But, I still feel like we could cut costs to make our standard of living better. I've tried to cut our grocery budget to $100 a week, but I don't think this is realistic until Lazy Baby is out of diapers and no longer drinking formula. I include toiletries, diapers, dog + cat food, cat litter, etc. in my grocery budget and I loathe blogs/articles that talk about "$30/week for a family of 8!" and they aren't including that other stuff. Why in hell would not include those items in my "grocery" budget when I buy them when I buy groceries? Uh uh. That's dumb (to me, if it works fo you, great!). 

We don't go out, however, on the weekends we do fall into a bit of a fast food black hole, but that's a post for another day. We're going to cancel our TV cable that we got for my mom when she watching LB, but now that she's in daycare, we could save that $20/month.

We have a few big purchases we want to get in the not-so-distant future, the first being getting Mr. LL a vehicle that he can put a carseat in. Then, we'd like to save up a decent down payment on a house. The housing market in our area is dumb and I hate it. But we aren't even close to being ready to tackle that beast yet.

I'd also like to have the whole "6-months of income" saved up as an emergency fund. I keep trying to tell Mr. LL we need to focus on that FIRST, then save for the other things, but he's a bit more "we have it, let's get this!" at times. He agrees we need the emergency fund, but he's also really tired of not having a car (I take our one vehicle to work and he gets rides from co-workers). I get that – plus I'm tired of him not having a car, too. 

Oof, this is a bit of a rambling post. Anyway, I'm working on budgeting our finances again and if this is something you would be interested in (our system, how's it working out, etc.) then let me know in the comments.