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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We bought a house this month. It's our first home, so perhaps the sheer novelty of taking out a loan in that size is merely freaking me out a little, but it's mostly the dent in our bank account that is ungluing me slightly. The closing costs ($3200), plus getting out of our lease ($1800), moving expenses ($700), hubby taking a break from his second job to help us focus on moving (missed out on $1000 of income) ... the list goes on. We have home repairs we need to do, furniture we're doing without, etc. (I'm okay with all of that - it just stresses me out to think we still have $$ to spend.)<br><br>
Plus, Christmas is coming and DH and I have December and January birthdays, too. We decided to buy a very expensive and quality camera for our Christmas present, but ultimately it's going to be our birthday presents too - $1200. (Just to clarify, we've had a $99 camera for five years and it finally broke. We're tired of letting our dd's childhood pass by without quality pictures. DH is a talented photographer and knows how to use a serious camera. We hope this is a lifetime camera for our family.) Prior to moving, I spent about $150 on Christmas already for our DD. DH got up and went to a Black Friday sale at Office Max and dropped $160 - on an office chair that he needed (his was ten years old and falling apart and got ruined in the move) - but included in that, he came back with two items I would not have let him buy had I been there (they were unnecessary gifts for dd and I. He refuses to tell me what they are or return them because he says they're gifts and he's waiting until I 'appreciate' them to show me what they are!). Thanksgiving dinner cost us $150. Plus other fast food meals that we grabbed while moving, and other incidentals we had to buy after we arrived here. Earlier in the month, I also bought myself a maya wrap since the moby wrap I have is now painful to wear dd in, and I wear her very frequently. But that was another $50. Gas - I don't even want to say how much we spent in gas this month, with all the driving back and forth from our old place to our new (they're over an hour apart).<br><br>
We have never spent so much money in one month - since our wedding/honeymoon. It is SCARING me. We've decided not to get dd a big item for Christmas that I was REALLY wanting her to have - a play kitchen. Her birthday is three months after Christmas and she can have it then, but it makes me so sad that I wasn't more careful with the early shopping I did. (I got some great deals on wooden/natural toys and stocked up.) I would have waited to buy the maya wrap. $50 of the $150 I spent on dd is actually for a Waldorf doll that a friend made and we bought from her - I promised her before I knew all these expenses would come up, and I felt obligated to buy it even when I knew it was going to be tight.<br><br>
Anyway, the major expenses couldn't really be helped - like the closing costs, getting out of the lease and moving expenses. But it's all just so much money and plowed through our savings considerably. Now I feel worried knowing there isn't a lot of money sitting in the bank with our name on it. (Not that there was tons to begin with.) I'm a Christian and I believe that God has and will continue to provide - but I'm being weak right now and worrying.<br><br>
I've decided that one way I might be able to feel better is to really get tight during the next couple of months. I'm worried because I'm wondering if I need to cut out dd's holiday pictures and just send out generic holiday cards, simplify on the gift-giving to others and merely bake holiday platters. My goddaughter turns 5 in two weeks and her father has always gone all out for MY dd on her birthday, so I feel obligated to do something reciprocal. And then there's a Christmas present for her. .............Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.<br><br>
This is the first year it's felt out of control. I have always been a planner and very careful to not let consumerism take over. But buying a home has thrown me for a loop and I feel a little freaked out with how much $$$,$$$ just went out the door!<br><br>
Are these normal feelings after buying a house? Do most people have the recommended "six months of income" in savings? We sure don't. Anyone have any suggestions for money-saving during the holidays?<br><br>
We can afford our mortgage and it's a fixed rate, so I'm not very worried about that (although our property taxes have not been re-assessed, so I don't know waht those will be yet). This was also a great deal - the sellers had to get out asap, and they left us every single appliance in the house, so we didn't have to buy any of those right away. (I'd probably be hyperventilating otherwise!)<br><br>
I should also say we saved and saved and saved for this house, with no help from anyone. (All of our siblings take hand outs from controlling parents and we absolutely do not.) So I know we're capable of reigning this all back in... it just feels like we temporarily are out of our comfort zone.
 

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First congratulations on your new home. I can imagine how you're feeling right now. It happened to us too when we bought our apartment, we seemed to spend, spend and spend some more. It seemed there was ALWAYS something that we need to buy or to pay (and we moved from a fully furnished rental to an empty place!!). However it'll get better, now that you have all you need you can start making it home and start saving again. You sound like a careful planner so I don't think you need to worry so much. It's just that at this moment there are many things which have to be paid at the same time. Just be carefull with decorating budget though<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. Again, congrats!
 

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Welcome to home ownership! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> The other things that seemed like no problem (gift buying, spending on needed items like a camera, etc.) when not owning a home now seem so much bigger, don't they? I know I put these things off when we are working on things for the house. Something that helps is making sure we keep money in the budget for home needs (improvements, repairs, etc.). In the past 3 years, we've saved and spent about $50,000 for the house (a room addition for my mom, brand new Pella windows, a new whole house fan, new basement windows, new fiberglass front-entry doors and storms). It's scary to lay out those amounts, even when you have it. Start building up that home improvement fund... it's going to be expensive! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Good luck!
 

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IMO cut back these next couple of months and explain why to people like your dd's godfather. Everyone understands how surprisingly expensive home ownership is, and sometimes it's good to remember the reason for the season is not just material gifts. Not to freak you out, but IME you will be spending even more these next few months! It's always something...<br><br>
I say try to be frugal in other areas now and relax in a couple of months once you see where you are bank balance-wise.<br><br>
Congrats on your house, btw!
 

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I think you should just cut back. Surely these people who you buy presents for would not want you spending money you don't have or shouldn't have spent on them. The first year of home ownership is especially tough. Everyone has been there. It is better to spend what you can and be able to sleep at night than go all out and be stressed.
 

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I would tell your dh that he may have bought you a trinkett from office max/depot he has also given you <b>stress</b> by spending money you don't have.
 

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I swear I absolutely could have written your post. We are usually so good with money, but we just closed on a house two weeks ago and it needs some serious work. With all of that, the December birthdays, Christmas, and everything else going on, I'm totally freaking out about money right now. We have maybe a week worth of living in savings instead of the recommended six months, and that scares the crap out of me.<br><br>
No advice, just wanted to tell you that I am in the exact same boat and if you ever need to talk I'm here! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You could take a picture in front of your new house and make X-mas cards at Walmart.<br><br>
Give the niece a nice picture X-mas book.<br><br>
Spread the word that you are house broke this X-mas.
 

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The way you are feeling is totally normal for a new homeowner, IMO/IME. It will get better (though, sadly, it won't go away, at least it hasn't for us yet). Just cut back in the ways you can in order to make yourself feel more secure and cut yourself some slack--this is a stressful time, buying a home is just as big a life change as adding a family member or pet or divorcing. Expect it to be weird for a while.<br><br>
And congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you so much for the support, ladies. Honestly just knowing we aren't the only ones to get a little crazy/scared during the house-buying frenzy really helps.<br><br>
Another expense I forgot to mention is that DH and I BOTH had a dental emergency in the same freaking week this month, costing us a total of $900. DH still has to go back for more fun, but hopefully it won't be too expensive.<br><br>
It's just scary. I was telling DH this morning that I sometimes have these weird feelings of disbelief that I'm an adult with all of these adult expenses and responsibilities and priorities. Not that I would ever go back to my childhood! Ha, yeah, never. But it's still a bit freaky.<br><br>
I think whoever suggested I just be honest about our situation right now is probably the best course of action. It's hard because our family is so smug and gleeful about any financial issues we might encounter - we are not actually in contact with either set of parents, but we have siblings who relish repeating what mom and dad said about us, etc. And the siblings we do see on occasion love to report whatever negative things they can find to say about us. .......I guess I just have to let it roll off my back. We moved to a more rural area and they are totally making fun of us with their snobbery. (They don't realize, apparently, that we did it to escape their proximity!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'd buy a cheaper camera for sure. There's a whole lot of grey area between a crap $50 camera and a $1200 one! Unless one or both of you is a professional photographer. Just my $.02 worth!<br><br>
Moving is expensive, I'm right there with you with the fast food. Don't do what I did, though, and keep buying fast food once the need has passed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> It's a hard habit to break.<br><br>
Congrats on your new house!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We bought the camera on sale during Black Friday though. It was on sale for $1200 and actually a great deal. DH does have professional training but it's no longer his profession. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Keep the camera for sure!<br><br>
Have you seen this <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8010941" target="_blank">play kitchen</a>?
 

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I agree that the first year of home ownership can be very expensive! So many things that you suddenly need. It sounds like you are keeping things in perspective and that tightening up for a while to get back on track is a great idea.<br><br>
Another thing to consider....you might try getting some of your household things from Craigslist. If you are patient you can often get good deals on furniture and appliances.<br><br>
I would definitely take your time with the 'big purchases' if you can. When we got our house, we thought we "had" to get a set of furniture for our living room right away because it was so empty and there was no where to sit. Unfortunately, this led us to buy a set that didn't really fit well in the room (too big once it was all in there), wasn't the best quality and now 5 years later we hate it and are thinking of getting a different set (or just pieces, which is what we wish we had done). So, just to say that it is OK to sit on pillows for a while if it will lead you to make a smarter decision for quality pieces you will love by taking a little more time, yk? Same deal with appliances - make sure you at least take enough time to do some research, check consumer reports, etc.<br><br>
Good luck and congrats!!!
 

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You could check on craigslist for a play kitchen or call local consignment stores.<br><br>
Definately cut back on the spending. Get a notebook and write down everything you spend. I tend to think more carefully about spending money when I'm recording it.<br><br>
Do you already have a written budget that you're working from?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>blueberrysprout</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9823816"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We bought the camera on sale during Black Friday though. It was on sale for $1200 and actually a great deal. DH does have professional training but it's no longer his profession. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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No longer his profession IMO = not necessary. You could have gotten a $300 camera that would have been much better than the $50 one you had. A good photographer should be able to make up for a crappy camera (to a certain extent) with his knowledge/skill! That's what makes him/her good, not being able to spend $1200 on a camera, even if you did get it on sale.<br><br>
And $50 on a doll for DD??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt"> Not in my budget and never will be! Waldorf/natural or not! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Sorry, guess we just have totally different priorities/frames of reference... Very different.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mrskennedy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9825538"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And $50 on a doll for DD??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt"> Not in my budget and never will be! Waldorf/natural or not! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Sorry, guess we just have totally different priorities/frames of reference... Very different.</div>
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Not to bash on the OP AT ALL but I was happy to read that comment. I feel like such a grinch at Christmas because I just think, "DS is <b>2</b>--he's happy w/ a box of Kleenex! I could never spend big $$ on gifts for the under 5 set--I just don't see the point!
 

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I could see buying expensive gifts if you have loads of money to throw around and you're buying fair trade stuff. Not if you don't have enough in savings, etc, though.<br><br>
(I plan to have loads of money to throw around)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We have over 12k in savings still. It's just a lot less then we're used to having in savings. I realize this seems like a huge amount to some, and very small to others. That's fine. My perspective is that it's on the smaller side.<br><br>
I don't consider $50 on a Waldorf doll to be inordinately expensive - it's her first and since I came from a family where I often was the sibling who purposely did not receive ANY presents on holidays (while my siblings opened a sea of gifts), I relish the opportunity to have a few quality toys for my sweetpea. She has a 3.99 Target doll that she loves right now, but his head is about to fall off from all her 'love.' I think I would have preferred to wait until her birthday had I realized all the expenses that were going to come at once, before we closed on the house. Also, when I told my friend I wanted to buy a Waldorf doll from her, they were mistakenly priced at 32.00 on her website. Either way, I bought it. I could keep buying 3.99 dolls at Target every six months, but those will add up eventually and not have the lasting memory that one quality doll will provide.<br><br>
I don't feel guilty about the camera either - DH does some extra work at studios using their equipment and makes money that way on the side - he can do a lot more freelance with his own equipment again. It's expensive but worth it on a number of levels. I don't think non-professionals can appreciate the difference between a $300 point/shoot and an SLR. But that's okay. I've never spent that much money on one item in my life, so there was some momentary panic.<br><br>
Mamavegan - I am BEYOND THRILLED with what you posted!!! I am so ordering one!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
Thanks for the support, ladies, I'm feeling a lot calmer about it now!! I just needed to feverishly list out my worries and now the intensity about it has passed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Homeownership can definately be a drain on the budget.<br><br>
However, reading through the OP, I think maaaayyybe your sense of "needs" vs. "wants" is a little out of whack. Or maybe not but as a family you have fallen into the "gotta have it right now" trap (which is easy to do!). We are on a very low income, and fairly frugal spenders, but I know how you are feeling, and I can just as easily bust my budget with a bunch of inexpensive things that I need (but don't really need), as you can with big-ticket items.<br><br>
I am sure there will be a "No spend" thread in January. I will probably join--maybe that would help, to have a bunch of other people talking about what they are desperately wanting, maybe needing, but choosing not to purchase at the moment.
 
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