Jumping back in here. I had a pay cut last February and it seems it took me six months to really figure out the impact and get it under control.
Also in that timeframe were college application and acceptance fees, summer camps with unusual requirements, and some other things that just threw the budget under the bus. I just finished buying the essentials DS needs to take with him to college (he paid for half, but it was still a ton of $).
I figured out my "new normal" going forward, and thankfully the expenses should be relatively stable month-to-month. It is still very tight. I am grateful that I can cover all monthly bills and set something aside for the bills that come up less frequently (not enough for that, but enough to make it work, I think).
Still trying to get things under control so I can get a mortgage. The house is mine whenever I can get that bit taken care of. I already live in the house, and there is no hurry, except that it should
be in my name, my taxes will go down a year or so after I own it, and I heard interest rates are low right now. But I need to amass savings and also up my credit score by paying down debt. Challenging on a tight budget. I continue to pray for unexpected checks in the mail or money from other sources.
For right now, I'm focusing on all of the things we have that are solid, good, and long-term. DS is off to college and the fall bill is paid. All of the kids' school-year activities are set with monthly payment plans and financial aid. Car and house are in good working order (fingers crossed). I could really use a breather with no financial surprises for awhile.
Now, I just need to stay out of the co-op...I'm already in the habit of staying out of others stores and leaving stuff in my Amazon cart for later, but the grocery store gets me! I go in for one thing and come out with five or more.
Good luck, everyone. We can do this.