Hi! Congrats on the house! It can be stressful, but well worth it. We bought our first house almost 2 years ago. We have good credit, but with no deposit we had to take out two mortgages to avoid PMI, which I guess cost less. Our mortgage is really high (in California, Bay area) and we are struggling a lot right now. I know what you mean about feeling like your the only one (well, not the only,but...) a lot of my friends complain about money but drive brand new cars and buy new pretty expensive stuff often.
I am trying to get things under control right now. My husband and I use to both work full time and both made decent incomes. We got very use to eating out a lot, especially after 60 hour weeks, I wasn't about to make dinner and clean the kitchen! Now I am pregnant with our first baby, have changed jobs, and don't make much at all. For several months we have been charging hundreds each month just to get buy. My husband doesn't know that because I take care of the finances. Once our baby is born I would like to be a SAHM or a WAHM. I have to find a way to do it and stop charging. Its mostly unplanned expenses, like my car that we are going to charge $600 to fix this month, our washer that broke last month, and vet bills. OK, I'm really hormonal right now and have been depressed today, so I'm going to rant some more
I am working on writing up a financial plan. Its hard for several reasons. First, there are things like propane that we only pay for every 3 months or so and contact I only buy once a year, stuff like that that is not consistent each month. Do I save a portion of it each month or plan for a chunk every three months? Its also hard because when you look at things individually like: Internet $10, cable $35, netflix $12, it doesn't seam like much, but it all adds up!
One really neat thing I found is an organic farm co-op. We like to eat organic, but it does add up. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a co-op. The one by us cost $25 week for a big box of fresh seasonal produce. Definitely worth it & it will save us a lot. We are going to cancel cable soon & are going to try and eat out 2x a month (just at inexpensive cafes). I have started cooking more, especially things like beans, rice, and grains. Also trying not to waist food is a big thing.
Another very important thing we are working on is getting rid of things we don't need (which is hard to do when stress about $) and getting organized. You might be much tidier then us, but when things are disorganized we end up buying things we already have just because we cant find it & that is a huge waist!
Also, we bought a very old, very sub standard house. Mainly because it is on a huge beautiful lot and the other house in our price range where just as bad. If I knew then what I know now I may have done it differently. Really pay attention to the house inspection report and don't fell bad being demanding! My house it driving me crazy right now! From the mold on the ceiling from where the roof is damaged, to the bathroom sink that hasn't worked from the beginning, to the unpermitted rooms, the fact that the whole house isn't insulated and... I'll stop. I know its a great long term investment, but... and yes, a baby on the way...ahhh... I'm usually not this negative, sorry.
#1 edd 10/29/05