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.

Goal Getter /// June 2016

JUNE 2016

FAMILY (50%)

  • Spend time with Mr. LL's Family (0%)
  • Spend time with my family (100%)

NOTES: We haven't had a chance to hang out with Mr. LL's family yet this month, but I know it will happen.


  • Book club (0%)
  • D&D with friends (0%)


HEALTH (15%)

  • Meal plan every week (25%)
  • Stick to said meal plan every week (20%)
  • Try to work out at least TWICE this month (0%)

NOTES: So, it's freakin' hot in NOLA right now. We deviated from the meal plan a couple of nights because it was just too hot to turn on the oven/stand over the hot stove. I'll be adjusting our meal plans for future weeks to try to avoid meals that need a lot of heat.

 FINANCIAL (49.5%)

  • Pay off at least one credit card (100%)
  • Get to Mr. LL's financial goal (98%)
  • Maintain Mr. LL's goal (0%)
  • Maintain my personal "minimum" balance in my account (0%)

NOTES: I added some new goals because we completed one and are "thisclose" to completing the other one!


  • Keep going with the "chores" (15%)
  • Create a cleaning challenge for myself (100%)
  • Complete the cleaning challenge (25%)

NOTES: Ugh, it's just so hot! Bleah. But week one of the challenge was a success!


  • Get posts ready for the month (66%)
  • Write at least one post A WEEK for LV Book Design (75%)
  • Work on more planner printables (0%)
  • Work on new designs for shop in July (0%)
  • Finish From Side Hustle to Success course (80%)
  • Finish RAVE course (0%)
  • Finish with current client (95%)
  • Find new freelance clients (15%)

NOTES: I really need to get of this funk!

FREE DOWNLOAD! Financial Planner!


With St. Patrick's Day on the 17th, I thought this would be the perfect month to release my FREE Financial Planner download! You know, because who doesn't want more of that "green stuff"–a.k.a. money. Download this FOUR PAGE PDF and get your finances organized. 

Becoming a "Budget Boss" is one of my goals for 2016, so I created this planner to help me achieve this goal. I figured that some of you might need some help, too, so I'm offering it as a free download. Just sign up to get it below.