I know it's been a while. I know I said I was going to blog about what I was doing... but.. crap happens.
Right now, that crap is that we have discovered that the hubby's new job has ZERO intention of doing what needs to be done to retain him. AKA, raise the pay. We feel blind sided because when he hired on, they said that he would be able to move up in pay and position and it wasn't an issue. So, after 6mos., he goes in to have his *ahem* 90 day review. The review was glowing, and wonderful, and hubby felt like YES. After 15yrs. of working, 3 of which were spent going back to college and missing his family most days, and making a HUGE relocation, we were going to be making a step in the right direction. Only... today he discovered his raise... It was a whopping 66cents! I. AM. NOT. KIDDING.
Now, to be clear. My husband is an Engineer with a dual degree and 15yrs. of experience. He took this lower paying job because he was assured that he would be able to move up. And let's face it, East TN was putting a major cramp not only on our health, but our family dynamic. We NEEDED to get out of there. And this job was the right fit at the time. But now, apparently, that time is over and we need to move on.
BUT... now we are in a big cramp. You see, to get our house, we used up almost every dime we had to put down the 20% to get it. Then, we knew we were going to need beds, furniture, to restock food, get the pool up, replace locks, get utilities on, etc. so instead of paying off our card, we kept the cash to do those things. So, now here we are. And we are TIGHT. We aren't big spenders. We are typically not frivolous. But with all of that, my card is at over 3mos. wage. And we have over a $300 car payment. Granted, that is close to being paid off, but it's still there for the time being. We honestly thought this low pay was a short term issue. They made it SEEM like a short term issue. But now... in a matter of very short time, our money will run out.
I'm not trying to be dramatic here. And I accept the blame for not planning better. If I had it to do over, I believe I would have made some different decisions. And right now, we still may have to do that. For one, I don't think we would've bought our couch. For another, I think we would've waited on buying everything to do the boys bathroom. I would've spent less. But at the time... Lets face it, they were bad decisions.
So, now I am left with what to do. I'm sorry to pour this out on here, but I'm at a loss where to go and what to do. My Mom seems to think I'm being silly to worry. I don't think anyone else really gets it but the hubby and me. From looking at the bills, we are short about half of what a typical paycheck is. And so far, we've set to attack it this way:
1) Cut the bills.
-- We turned the cable off, lowered the amount we were paying on the one card, we're trying to change bulbs to LED as they burn out and keep lights off, air high, etc., we switched our insurance to a local and cheaper place, we lowered a thing on our phone and found out that we get a new discount now since our contracts are paid off, and we are trying to eat at home more and shop more frugally.
2) Trading my car.
-- My warranty is about to be out. It needs a full brake job. So... we are hoping to trade. Right now, we are looking at cars and thinking to get a lower payment. I am also thinking that if we get something more basic, I will be able to use any extra cash to pay towards the card. Then we can use our tax return to knock out a big chunk if we don't have something else come up. I had really hoped to use our taxes to 'pad up' our emergency fund, though. But can't have debt hanging over.
3) Hubby working overtime.
-- Hubbs and I looked over the incoming and outgoing and decided that the only option was for him to work some overtime. I'm not sure how other people who work there are doing it, because our mortgage is cheaper than any of the apartments we looked at. Our only real debt is the CC. And we only have one car payment. I don't know how people with rent, 2 car payments, school loans, and all of that would do it.
4) I am considering some type of job.
-- I'm not sure what I can do here. By the time husband is home, it's already late in the day and he needs to go to bed pretty early. I have seen a few places hiring, but I would have to work 3x's as many hours as hubby to make what he makes in one hour of overtime. So, he thinks it is the best idea for him to work. But I am thinking that maybe I could work part time evenings and weekends. I can't work days because one kiddo is still home and daycare isn't an option with it's cost.
So, there it is. There's the scoop. That's the plan. Honestly, I think the biggest help to the budget is what I already have laid out and cutting back more on food. Since I don't shop much, I'm not terribly worried about that. But our grocery bill and eat out bill is HIGH. I've been trying to cut us back from 2 to 3 times a week to 1. Then I hope to go down to every other week. So far, so good over the last few weeks. I am also going to try really hard to get our grocery bill down. We had a high limit before, but I've got to get that down. Because with the changes we have done so far, we are still over our budget. BUT, I have yet to get a job or trade. If we trade, we hope to get the payment down 1/3. So that would leave us over, but not by much. If we can continue to cut our eating out and groceries, that would probably break us close to even. Leaving us a whopping 50 dollars or less each month to put towards savings or debt. That. Blows.
We can do it. People live much harder than us and I have to try to remember that. It just sucks right now. And that's a whiny ass thing for me to say. But it sucks to have forced ourselves to live in TN for so long and went through 3 years of yuck to get down here and not be any better off. Well, I shouldn't say that. Our health is better and we are mostly happier. It's just that we thought at this point, we would get to enjoy some of the fruits of our labor, within reason. That's what I get for thinking! LOL We are just going to have to buckle down and get it done. I don't know what we will do about retirement or building our emergency fund or even Christmas, but we will figure it out somehow. I'm just.... frustrated. Frustrated with his job and frustrated with myself. I should've made better decisions during the move. Shouldn't have spent so much here and there and just waited.
OK. Off I go now before I make myself depressed. I already had a hard time at the car lots because apparently I turned into a car snob when I wasn't paying attention, and I got annoyed looking at cars with no upgrades! I know it's not important! I know it's not the end of the world! I'm just.... disappointed in all of this so far. I... UGH. I don't know what anymore. But I'm going to deal. Nothing else to be done.