Why is it, that when you need to talk, it's never a good time? Like right now, it's late and my mind is bugging out. But... there's no one I can talk to. I could probably call my Mom, but I hate to add to her worry. So instead, I decided to get on here and do some updating.
I never went into detail about the foreclosure, but I know I went into detail about our finances in the last post. So, I wanted to say that we've made progress on that front. I've gone over and over the bills and we made major cuts and adjustments. Especially on the groceries and the eating out. I think we cut over $400/mo. Big change, huh? We turned cable back off and all that jazz, but the big changes have just been from getting everything level. The first few months, bills always seem so much higher because everything is running all of the time! It seems now we are getting into routine and that is working much smoother. We'll keep tweaking, though. Hubby is working 3 to 5hrs. of overtime a week and that is giving us a good buffer. We're working on trading the car. We even changed insurance! Hubby is eating at work and taking a shorter lunch, etc. All in all, it's coming in line. Except for me working. I haven't figured that part out, yet. But a friend of mine gave me some great ideas, so I'm going to go from there. I know if I could pull in just a little each month, that would make a huge difference. I'm also looking into transferring our debt over to another card to cut interest. I wasn't going to, but that card will no longer work after March. You see, it's the Costco Amex and they have severed their relationship. So... I need to get it moved regardless. If I can move it to my other card, that should help a ton, too. Yes, that leaves me with only one card. I use to want to keep two at all times. But I think we will be fine like this. I only usually carry any kind of balance on one card anyways. I just prefer to carry zero.
SO, this means that a lot of things are on hold, but it is what it is. So, today I decided that I needed to start getting a handle on those 'things'. I decided that first, we need to build our emergency fund back up and put the boys savings back in place. I want to open them their own accounts eventually, but for now, their money is in our savings but is earmarked. Then I earmarked what was for future car insurance and future home improvements. Since there are so many improvements, this is going to be for large ones... like the garage door. I'm not sure how many accounts you can have with this bank, but I am going to check into seeing if we can have more than one. I know that many online banks allow that, so I would love to be able to do it with the local. If I can't, I will just keep things earmarked. Otherwise, it would get spent. I do need to find another notebook or something for that.
A good thing is, with hubby working a bit more hours and us trimming the spending, we've had a smidge left over this month so far. We are doing great with eating at home and eating good, but on a better budget. I'm trying to get into the habit of using what I consider longer term and cheaper foods to stretch the fresher foods. Because ya'll, I can't go to eating a ton of processed food. If anything, we're going more basic. We are going to try to stretch our meals by getting back to eating more tubers like carrots and potatoes, adding flavor with onions and celery, and then squeezing a fresh veggie or two in like broccoli and salads plus fresh fruit when we can. We have canned green beans and corn, too. I'm going to try to load up on some frozen veggies when we can and maybe some frozen fruit even though it isn't the hubby's fave. It's a good time of year for stretching the budget, though, since with it cool in the evenings, casseroles, stews, and 'hot pots' are easy to do and wanted. And CHEAP! We are also going to be doing more rice and pasta when we can. There will still be meat, but probably nothing top end. And that's fine. I think we can still eat pretty well on the lower budget. I just have to keep an eye on it, ya know? And I'm going to try.
So far, we've done ok. And I rolled that extra money over into debt repayment and future projects. A big chunk went to fattening the emergency fund. I'm weird about emergency funds, though. At least, I think I am. For a long time, at least until recently, I thought hey, if we had 1k in there, we were doing great. We had a medical back up fund, a pretty good amount going to retirement, etc. But now, now I feel like I need to have at least a few months in there. If I could get a solid 3mos. in there, I would be a happy lady. Because if we had something major happen, we could cut bills even lower by selling the car, turning off internet, and going to one phone. It could get us darn far on that 3mos. worth. But we are SO far away... my goal right now is to build that back up. I'm going to work on 1mos. worth, then worry about the rest after we have knocked out some major debt. The moving expenses really racked up and now they are racking up interest. UGH. Should've waited on furniture! But I let my Mom's upset get to me and instead, bought furniture. :/ Yes, we needed some furniture, but some of it could have waited.
Anyways, I am trying hard to get us back on track. I realize that the next year isn't going to be easy and that the debt isn't going to just go POOF. Even if hubby moves on to another position. I just want to get this knocked out and feel at peace because hubby is an unhappy person right now. I'm doing all I can, but his upset is upsetting all of us. He's not himself, and I'm unsure of how to help him right now. So, I'm doing what I think I can by getting this straightened out the best I can. I feel like we are afloat now; finally. Where before we were just bobbing. It's not going to be easy, and there will be a lot of saying NO (especially with Christmas right down the road). And now I need to add THAT to our Savings earmarks. But we will do it. God has a plan even if we can't see the map.
Ok, off I go. I'm not sure what else I could cover right now.