But I'll post anyways, since I'm pretty frustrated about our financial situation! DH works 72+ hours a week, and we do pretty good. Not worth 72 hours a week, but we're ok. The thing is, our bills always seem to exceed our income! I don't know how, but we're always broke and scrimping for money to buy stuff like diapers and wipes. It's like the better DH does at work, the worse our situation gets! It's just so frustrating and what doesn't help is that it's summer and I'm not babysitting right now. During the school year I make about $150-$200 a week watching two girls. But it's summer, so no kids and no income. Also, I watch my 6 year old SIL from about 7 to 6 in the evening, and while my MIL promised to pay me, it's been a month and a half and nothing. She keeps telling me she's so broke, but her boyfriend (who she lives with and wants to marry her) is sitting around buying himself iphones and buying my SIL a nintendo Wii even though she's 6 years old. Also my MIL works for the government, and she just got a pretty big pay raise, and yet she can't pay for me to take care of her selfish little brat. I love DH's family, but they are frustrating. DH is frustrating, and I'm frustrated with myself. I can't work because I wouldn't be able to get a job that would cover the cost of day care for two children and leave something left over to take home.
So...yeah. Our finances are killing me and I don't know what to do! We're barely staying afloat as it is, and if our rent continues to increase I don't know how we're going to be able to make ends meet.
Financial stress sucks big time! Here are some thoughts that I had while reading your post:
Would you be able to get a parttime (night or weekend) with your DH's schedule (so he could watch the kids while you work so no daycare)?
Could you trade childcare with your MIL so you could pick up some other work on the weekend? Oh yeah and why not make her pay? Could your DH get involved with this since it is his mom afterall!
Even if you could work a few hours a week it would help immensely with your tight budget.
Could you clean houses a few hours a week?
There are things you could do and take along your kids, is there a community youth program that needs help?
Do you have a written budget? Sometimes when you write out where every penny is going you can find ways to be more frugal. Cut out cable, cheaper internet and phones, lower the food expenses, etc.
I hope things start to look up for you guys soon!
I wonder if the creators of this board could get volunteer financial experts to help. I'm currently a student, and the support I receive plus my husband's income with the increase of price in everything has us stressed out to the limit. We want the best for our new baby, but we're shocked every time we take a look at the finances, and my husband just gets more and more frustrated.
Does anyone know a website or forum that gives advice and can help get the ball rolling with tips and processes? I am trying to get a quicken file set up, but it's slow going.
I started watching The Suze Orman show on CNBC about 6 months ago and I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned from that woman about finances!!! She's not dry like the other finance people on tv, so DH and I find her bearable. She also has a column on Yahoo! Finance that's really good (well, except the last few months that have primarily been about our stupid, crappy economy).
I agree about the written budget. I'm incredibly anal and have everything down. First, I'd start by writing down how much income comes in every month. Then make a list of all of your expenses - and I mean everything... Bills, groceries, clothes, etc. If DH is buying a coffee every morning, it needs to be on the list. This was a huge eye opener for me!! It's amazing the things we blow money on without even giving it a second thought... Anyway, then you go through the list and cut out spending money on things you really don't need to be spending money on. One of the first items cut should be eating out... It's much cheaper AND healthier (and yummier) to cook your own meals and eat at home. Then you look for cheaper alternatives to things you need to buy - like groceries. Store brands, shop the sales, discount store (like Aldi, my favorite place), etc.
We started doing this a couple years ago and within 6 months we had all our debt paid off (that we'd been stupidly carrying around with us for years) and are now well on our way to saving lots of money for retirement, emergencies, vacations, etc. We are still astounded at the amount of money we were able to "free up" after we simply opened our eyes and stopped blowing our money on junk... And we really did, too.
As far as our permanent budget (after we cut the crap), this is how I put it together:
Mortgage: $---- x 1
Homeowners fees: $--- x 1
Student Loans: $--- x 1
Cable: $-- x 1
Electricity: $---x 1
Cell phones: $-- x 1
Phone: $-- x 1
Tivo: $-- x 1
Netflix: -- x 1
Groceries: $-- x 4
Gasoline: $--x 4
Dining Out: $-- x 4
Pet Food: $-- x 1
Prescriptions: $-- x 1
Household/Personal items: $--x 1
Haircuts: $-- x 1
General/Emergency Savings: $--- x 1
Roth IRA Savings: $---- x 2
Insurance Savings: $---x 1
Vacation Savings: $---x 1
Christmas Savings: $--- x 1
"Fun Money" Savings: $--- x 2
~$----/month (for additional expenses or savings, as needed)
When I found out i was pregnant I started cleaing out the room that will be the baies room, and started selling old stuff on ebay. We made about $115 PROFIT in about 30 days. we sold mostly books, CD's, clothes that no loger fit, etc... It was not a ton of $ but it gave me enough that i could then use the money to buy maternityclothes on ebay...
It is actually find of fun and gives you a little extra cash