Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feelin the crunch

I have been quietly avoiding the fact that we are just not making enough each month for our expenses. We don't have any car payments or debt but have slowly been dipping into our savings. It is the little here and the little there. Business has allowed me to kind of know and make mention to my husband that we need to sit down together and look at everything, but we haven't taken the time to really do it. We have to change it though or we are going to be in trouble.

It is the little things that just eat away at what we have. Buying college textbooks- $450 for this semester. We bought my son playing football two pair of cleats. They had to have one pair for practice and one for games. He came home Tuesday with his practice cleats seperated at the toe and said he had to have a new pair by the next day. He also had to have red underarmor for under his jersey. We went to Hibbets and bought cleats for $40 and two underarmor shirts for $25 each. Big, unexpected bill. But wait! He wears the cleats and one of the shirts the next day and was told that he can't wear them because they are not Nike. If Nike comes and sees him they could lose their contract. This is his practice cleats! So, we have to buy our third pair of cleats for the year. I can return the one shirt, but have to buy Nike. I know we live in an area where most kids don't have to worry about money but there has to be some that can't afford this. What do they do? We had to buy over $200 in practice uniforms- Nike socks, 2 tees, 2 shorts, cleats.

Just the overall increase in each and every bill. Gas for a YukonXL and full size GMC truck. Our water bill was $99 last month. It is usually $75. I have not watered my garden hardly at all. My family looks at me like I am crazy. The kids get out 350 cups a day. I will take all the melted ice water from them and combine them and go water a plant. I have called the kids to take a big bowl out to the patio table to catch rain. Food expenses. I am not staying on our $500 a month budget. Lately, I have not shopped the sales like I was doing. Too busy and too much work. I have thrown out food. I have let zucchini grow into baseball bats. Why? I have to get back on the ball and get all this under control.

We have had medical bills with two oral surgeries and removal of son's aedonoids. Three have gone into orthodontics. I just paid $600 for 18 year old daughter to take the Red Cross certification class to be a nurse's assistant. She can then get a job and start paying her insurance and gas.

We are almost at the end of our remodeling of the house. Just a few things that we can do as we get to them. I know my tone is so negative. I don't mean it to be. I have just been hit with it and need to fix it. But, when all is said and done... God is so good. He gives us all our needs. He has not allowed one thing into our lives that He will not help us through. So, with that spirit I am going forward. I hope to remedy all the overspending in areas without making our life miserable. It doesn't take money to make life fun.


Anonymous said...

Just want to mentiona that and are two places I buy and sell college textbooks for my two sons. You can save a fortune.

Valarie said...

I need to work on my cutting back also. Its hard with all the expenses the kids have, and just life in general.

Dawn said...

We feel the same "pinch" with one in a very competitive band program and the other in competitive cheerleading. As a booster officer, I can attest to knowing that there are some kids who's family cannot absorb all the nickle and diming that happens.

But, you're on the right track. You've seen the problem and are going to address it. It's when you don't know, or do and ignore it, that the problem can grow into a monster.

I haven'et been reading your blog for too long, so forgive me if I'm suggesting something you've already tried... Have you ever read any of the Financial Peace University stuff? Really good. We didn't have debt either, but wanted to be better at handling our money, too, and in a way that is honoring to the Lord.

On a lighter note - wish I lived close. I sure would like some of the fresh from the garden zucchini!!


Tracye said...

I'm feelin' it, too!

Anonymous said...

we definitely feel it- I told the princess that she could only do 1 extra activity this year- Just to cut down on some costs- and I am trying sooo hard to mindful of the food we buy! hard time for everypone now- except the super rich!

Maggie said...

It always seems like everything comes at you all at once. Sounds like you know what to do and putting it out there on your blog is a great way to bring focus to what you need to do. I'm with you on the water, we are in a expensive area for water and I have not been watering except for a couple of pots.

Marcy said...

We are feeling it too and only have one toddler so far! Thanks for your honesty...I too have had many of the same feelings but have not been able to bring myself to post about it. Things definitely are getting more challenging as EVERYTHING seems to be going up...even just a little bit. But it all adds up. All we can do is to pray and to be the best stewards of our money that we can. Blessings to you...I hope that things begin to look up soon.

Anonymous said...


I think everyone is reevaluating their budgets. Food costs are up, clothing costs are up, heating fuel will be higher this year etc. So don't feel too bad, like you said, you know what you have to do...sometimes is just feels like you're the only one...your not.BTW I really enjoy your blog.

Michelle said...

I'm right there with you, it seems that everytime we pay something off, something else comes up. My grocery budget is totally out of control, if you have any ideas to share please post them.

Take Care

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. It seems that everyone I speak to lately is feeling the same pinch. Everything is up in cost from food, gas, to kid's sports. We have been blessed by Dave Ramsey's teachings. They really helped us to evaluate where our spending was out of control. With us, it was our house payment. We solved the problem by selling our home and downsizing--not an easy task. We now live under our means and have more money left over each month for savings and unexpected expenses.

Rhonda said...

I agree with the others who have commented--I think all of us are really feeling the pinch lately. I finally started using the online Pear Budget that Simple Mom suggested and I have been pretty dismayed to see out budget vs. my spending there in black and white..actually there is a lot of red in several catagories! Gas for vehicles is eating us out of house and home so I have to figure out ways to cut other things.

Hang in there! I am trying to look at it as an opportunity to use up, make do, or do without (with style, of course!).

Love your blog!