1 Year

This sunday B and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary.

Wow.

I honestly can’t believe it has gone by so fast. People tell you that your wedding will go by fast and you don’t really believe them until it happens. Then they tell you your first year of marriage will go by super fast. Again, you don’t believe them until it happens.

We are going away for the weekend to the Outer Banks, NC. I’m so excited to spend a weekend alone with my husband.

B. I have fallen more and more in love with you and I cant wait to see what our future has in store for us. Everyday is an adventure. I know things are hard now but it wont be like that for long. I honestly believe that we can get through anything life throws at us. We are strong and in love and that’s all we need. I love you with all of my heart.

 

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Dreamin

I feel the need to dream a little bit. B and I have been having a hard stressful time recently and need something good to cheer us up. I want to talk about our dream home. Our forever home. The one we will raise our children in. The one we will have happy family memories in.

My dream home is a farm-house. It will be a fixer upper, something old but has good bones. One with a lot of history and with a lot of space…both inside and out.

I want to fix up the house to make it everything we want it to be. To make it fit our lives and the lives of our kids….our imaginary kids :0)  I want it to have plenty of room but still feel cozy. I would love to have a big wrap around porch with a swing and a long driveway.

I want a big barn or a garage for B to put all of his “man toys” in. I want space for a garden, where I can grow my own fruit and veggies. I want to learn how to can everything I grow and be “that” neighbor that everyone loves because she brings homegrown tomatoes over. I want a big treehouse where our kids can play for hours. I want a dinner bell on the porch to call everyone in when supper is ready.

I want someplace where our kids can run and get into trouble…the good kind of trouble you can only get into on a farm :0) where they can ride their bikes without having to worry about cars or traffic. Where you have simple fun. Fun from running and playing sports outside…not sports on the computer or tv screen. I want a simple life. Full of family, friends and love.

I want a big farm-house sink with butcher block counter tops. I want a big wooden table that B made with his own hands. I want family game night, christmas dinner and pancake morning around that table. I want big 4th of July barbeques and birthday parties full of family and friends.

This is what we want. This is our goal we are working towards. I know those of you that already own a home or have kids are probably laughing at us right now. I know most people dream of the house with the white picket fence but never achieve it.

But we will. I know we will have everything we ever dreamed of. It may take time but eventually we will have it. I think you have to believe in your dreams or you will never make it happen.

 Pictures found on pinterest here, here here here here here

Paying Off Credit Card

First let me say that I hated the earthquake that happened yesterday on the east coast. It was not a very fun experience. I honestly never ever thought that an earthquake would happen in Virginia so im sure people in California are laughing your asses off at us. Well har har har.

Moving on…
We moved in with the in-laws in February. We had too much credit card debt to be living in a large city paying so much in rent. Since we have moved in with the in-laws we have paid off $4,705 towards credit card debt. We still have $3,114 to go. We hope to move out of the in-laws by November or December. The question is…do we save money or pay down our CC?

We have to move out by the end of the year. We don’t have to, but we have to…get it? No one is making us move but we have to move for our own sanity. I love it there and I love his family. We are so appreciative of everything they have done for us! But we need our own space. We need to feel like a newlywed couple. We are losing so much of the alone time that you are supposed to be spending your first year because someone is always around. It’s hard to get a little night-time nooky when your little sister is banging on the door asking for toilet paper….yes that really happened. Basically we don’t have enough space or time together.

With that said, we are working on painting a house for a family friend. We will be finished by the end of the week and will be receiving a check for $2,000 for the project. What should we do with the money? B thinks we should put it in savings. I think we should put it towards our credit card. In the end we are going to compromise and put half in savings and half on the credit card. Compromising is what marriage is all about, right? I am very pleased with the decision. We will be building up our savings while also knocking down our CC!

Did you feel the earthquake? Or did you and your significant other make a compromise about something you both disagreed on?

Making Extra Dough

Again with the job hunt. This time I need a part-time job. With B starting school on Monday he will be starting part-time. Which means we will really have to cut back. I don’t know how we can cut back anymore than we already do but we will try.

If im going to have a part-time job its needs to be a fun job. I deal with so much crap at work I really don’t want to go to another job and deal with more crap. I also want a job where I already shop at so I can get a discount. I would love to work in a retail place like Crate and Barrel or Homegoods, rather than Macy’s or Ann Taylor. I like to furnish my home more than myself. B told me I should work the streets. He thinks I could get a lot of money…such a sweetheart :0)

When I get a second job I am really going to dedicate myself to making as much extra money as I can. That extra money is going to savings a paying down credit card. Except for the first check. I already said it was going to buy me and him new clothes. He desperately needs jeans and I need fall work clothes. I told him its my extra money and I get to spend it where I want. ha!  I’m going to drop off some applications around the area the next week. Wish me luck!

 

Moving Up And Out

B and I decided to move in with his parents in February. We live in a very expensive city a few miles away from Washington D.C. We had our own apartment but quickly realized that $1,400 rent for two new professionals right out of college wasnt really cutting it. We were getting by but we wanted more than just “getting by”.

It wasnt really the amount of money we were spending. The issue was how little we got for our money. We lived in a 650 sq. ft. apartment. No balcony and no amenities. We were running out of room and eventually felt trapped in our tiny place. We love the freedom but this area was killing us financially. Everything is so expensive…you dont get much for your money.

Over the course of a few months we racked up around $7,000 in credit card debt. I honestly have no idea how it happened. We were always really good with our money, never spent for things we could afford. Until we got that card. I think we used the wedding and the apartment as an excuse. We used that card to book our honeymoon, buy a couch and many other things.

Before we realized it we were 7 grand in debt with an apartment we couldn’t really afford. Moving in with the in-laws was the hardest, most grown-up choice we ever had to make. It was a big punch in the ego. I think B really took it hard. I think it just made us feel embarrassed, like we can’t be a real married couple who can take care of ourselves.

When we decided to move back home our goal was to save money and pay down our debt. In the past 6 months we have paid off $4,046.74 of our credit card debt and have $3,340.70 left to go. We havent saved much at all but we havent added anymore debt. Anything we have bough within the last 6 months we have had the money for.

I think August and September will be really good months financially for us. I get paid 3 times this month and B has some extra hours owed to him from his job. We don’t really have big travels or big expenses so we will hopefully be able to save a lot.

Our goal is to start looking for our own apartment by the end of september. We are hopefully looking in an area 45 minutes from the city. The location is still on the high side but nowhere near what it is where we are living at now. I have found that rent is around $1,000 for a 1 bedroom apartment. Most of these include a balcony and lots of amenities. Our commute will be a little longer but I have been looking for a job in the area we want to move to for a while now. It’s hard to find a job but hopefully soon something will come up.

I feel so much better about where we are financially. Do we have more money than we did then? No. But we have to tools and the knowledge now. 6 months ago I started reading PF blogs and have learned a lot. They have really motivated me to get our finances back on track. We now know how to set goals for ourself. We know how to save and how to spend our money wisely.

I am so grateful for everything my in-laws have done for us….but now it is time for us to be on our own.

July Review

I’m back from our vacation! It was a really great time spent with family. There was a lot of driving (around 1,500 miles) and a lot of fun. 

I’m trying something new this month. B and I have never been good with budgeting. I have tried setting up a budget but something always happens and I give up. I have tried the cash system. Just when things are going good I get an unexpected bill or something else adds more money.

I always find its hard to plan the next month when you don’t know whats going to happen. Some months we are very busy and spend a lot of money. Other months we don’t spend much at all. I find its hard to put a limit on things like gas and entertainment. We may not go out to the bar at all one month. Then the next we might go out once a week.

B and I have never actually added up our monthly spending. I have printed it out and highlighted things and noticed how much we spend on certain items. But I have never sat down to put where every single penny goes each month. Thats where the Monthly Review comes in. I am always very aware of where our money goes…at least I thought. I knew July would be a hard month but some of the numbers completely shocked me.

*See that?…Number 5?…$625 on gas!! Holy cow! We traveled around 2,000 miles just on vacations. I knew we spent a lot on gas but to see that number is outrageous. We used B’s truck when we go anywhere farther than 100 miles. My car wont handle the drive but B’s is a gas hog.

*As you also noticed we spent over $2,000 on B’s School. He goes to Community College so its something we don’t want to take out more student loans for. $2,000 is something we can handle to spend. If it was more than that we might have to take out a loan but we really don’t want to add anymore to our student loan. It doesn’t make sense to add all that interest when we can pay for it now. It really wiped all of our savings but we wanted to get it out of the way.

*Food was also really high. We bought a lot of food for the beach and some fast food for all the travels. We don’t eat fast food at all so it was a change. I packed a lot of snacks and food for the road but we still managed to spend more than we normally do.

*We spent a week at the beach and spent under $350! Now that doesn’t include gas but we did get to stay for free. $350 for a week at the beach is great on my book.
If you exclude the gas, school, food and beach we didn’t do all that bad. The Target trip was right before the beach and so was the clothes. We also spent money for fishing license for B. Those are all purchases we wouldn’t normally spend in a month.

I am really glad that I decided to chart out our monthly spending. I think it will really help us to really think about things before we spend and help us to save.

B and I have decided to try a no spending week. We spent 85 dollars on groceries when we came back from the beach (we had no food in the house). We will also be going to a wedding this saturday so we will need to by a gift. I’m thinking around 30$ range. It may sound cheap but I love finding ways to be creative with gifts to make it look like we spent more.

August shouldnt be a bad month for us. Its B’s birthday!..along with my nephew, my brother-in-law and about 8 other relatives. We will be doing birthdays on a budget. I will either be giving gift cards to dinner along with free babysitting from me or I will be baking things. Other than gifts we have nothing special planned that will have us cost more money!

My main August goal is to spend less than we make. We exceeded our monthly income by almost $2,000 in July and we can’t have another month like that.

How do you chart your monthly spending?

Welcome

Welcome to our personal finance blog. It is a place where we can come a write about our goals, savings and will hopefully motivate us to stick to our budget. We are going to keep our identities private because basically we don’t want everyone we know learning about our finances. I would rather talk about it with perfect strangers…if that make sense?

I work full-time and my husband goes to school full-time. He works part-time so you can imaging our struggle with living off of one and a half incomes. We live in a very expensive city near Washington D.C. and currently living with my in-laws to save money. It is a great experience and we love them very much but we are ready to get out on our own. Hopefully with in the next few months we can save up enough money while living comfortably on mostly one paycheck. Its going to be a big struggle but hopefully we can make it work!