- 770 - Mortgage
- 223 - Car payment (second car is paid off)
- 575 - Childcare (I work fulltime)
- 125 - Life insurance
- 65 - Car insurance
- 405 - Health insurance
- 100 - Power
- 45 - Internet
- 35 - Gas (heating, cooking)
- 30 - Water
- 145 - Student Loan (Me)
- 350 - Student Loan (DH)
- 100 - Discretionary money (Me)
- 100 - Discretionary money (DH)
- 100 - Medical co-pays
- 100 - Gas for car (Me)
- 100 - Gas for car (DH)
- 50 - Pet needs (Food etc.)
- 500 - Groceries
- 140 - Cell phone
- 4058 - Total
Over four thousand dollars just for the basics! I think all of our costs--mortgage, childcare, etc--are fairly moderate for where we live. Our house is definitely at the lower end of what you can spend, and we put a lot down as well. Too much, I think now, since we have no cushion anymore. The internet and cell phone are absolutely necessary for DH's business, and at least they are deductible, but that doesn't help us much until tax time.
On a good month we might have $4500 in income and everything gets paid. In a bad month...well, it's bad. At this point I think we have pretty much exhausted all alternative sources of funding.
I'm thinking about applying for child care assistance. Based on just my income, we would qualify and the subsidy would pay about half the monthly bill. I don't exactly know how it works with DH being self-employed, though. We don't know we're having a bad month until we're already in the thick of it and it's a bit late to be applying for help.
I've done the math on whether it's even worth it for me to work--if I should just quit and get food stamps and medicaid like other mamas here. But I guess you only get medicaid for your kids? DH has medical issues that make it unwise for us to go without major health coverage, which we get through my job.
We do not fit the definition of poverty in the months we are making $4500 (that's $54K a year!), but we are definitely not getting ahead or putting any money away for things like car repairs, lower-income months, let alone retirement. DH just broke his glasses and had to have a new pair--we got a great deal at Costco, only $98 for a really sharp new pair--but it was $98 we really couldn't spare this month.
I honestly don't know how other families get by and how DH and I can be so smart about some things but so dumb about this.
I think we could do better on groceries but cooking is DH's area and it is a constant fight to get him to make more modest meals. We should all have the problem of a husband who loves to make gourmet meals, right :LOL . It's a very difficult thing to complain about: "Stop buying all that organic food and making healthy 4-course meals from scratch, right now!" It also helps me in not buying lunch to always have good leftovers.
We are changing our life insurance to a different company that will cost a little less. I think we will save about $50/month for the same coverage. It scares the bejeesus out of me to think of having a child and not having life insurance for both parents.
I don't know what else to add...does anyone have any thoughts on our situation?