Thursday, March 5, 2009

Catching Up

Many things have happened since my last “real” blog entry.  I wanted to get some things to settle down and be solid before I really posted anything.

The most significant thing that happened was that we bought a house!  We are very excited about this, but it comes with some trepidation as well.  The monthly payment is well within our means of handling, but there is a lot to a house that isn’t always obvious at the beginning.  The little expenses haven’t really let up since we got in the house, and by now, most of my “extra” savings has evaporated.  This will be a real test of my commitment to only buying things as we can afford them – I put over $1,000 on the credit card this past month, just in miscellaneous expenses (solar screens, blinds, water hoses, sprinklers, curtains, tools, etc., etc., etc.).  Fortunately, I had enough money set aside that none of this will stay on the credit card, but it does squeeze down the amount of money that I had set aside for the pregnancy.

We will get there, but the discipline needs to start now so that we don’t fall back on the credit cards as a means to survive.

I’m hoping to have enough time to sit down in the next few weeks, and get a budget filled out that will be fairly accurate.  As a result of all these expenses and not knowing exactly what our electric, gas, water, and garbage bills will look like, we’ve decided to hold off on getting internet access at the house.  This has been particularly hard on my wife, since many of her friends are spread all over the globe, and online is how she keeps up with them.  On the other hand, it has given us some real opportunities to get things done, rather than spending the time online.

Of course, through the middle of all this, President Obama signed the ARRA into law, meaning that we will qualify for the $8,000 credit as first time homebuyers.  I have mixed feelings about this, because I’m against the philosophy of allowing the government to finance my life, but, at the same time, the money could come in very useful.

We passed the halfway mark for the pregnancy, which serves as a continual reminder that baby expenses are not far off, both birth and ensuing expenses.  In this economy, I am sorely tempted to go back to work with a part-time evening & weekend job to help pay for all of this.

Fortunately, my wife is still working part-time every week, which should allow us to get caught up on everything within the month.

Over the course of the next few days, I’m going to add the mortgage to my debt picture, but I think I’m going to leave it out of my “Overall Debt” figuring, since, although my goal is to be completely out of debt eventually, the current goals are the elimination of the credit cards, student loans, and vehicles.

1 comment:

  1. Mortgage isn't really typical consumer debt. Seems like you have a manageable mortgage but with houses things can break at any time. Also don't feel obligated about the first time home buyer tax credit. This is an incentive put in place for someone who can buy a house and afford to live in it. I thought this credit should be higher, like 20k. Foreclosures wouldn't stick around long if anyone, not just first time, could buy one and receive a 20k tax credit for doing so. The key to solving the economic problems is to solve what caused the problem, real estate. Glad to hear things are working out for you both.