In this post, I told you all the woeful tale of dropping the budgeting ball and getting interest, late fees, and overdraft charges, all in the same month. (Oh yeah, read her financial advice. She’s obviously an expert! 😉 ) I told you how it happened, and what I learned but I didn’t really go into much detail about how I got help reversing these fees when I talked to the bank. I’d like to explain that process a little more clearly now because I’m sure many of you have found yourself in a similar situation or may one day. So read on for my tips for talking to the bank.
So I’ve written before about the budget I set up and how much it’s helped us save money. I love it. Honestly. I never thought I would love having a budget AT ALL when I was younger but I love it ridiculous amounts. And I just got a reminder why. today, I want to tell you about the time I dropped the budgeting ball and all consequences that followed.
The Time I Dropped the Budgeting Ball
It was actually quite recently. I want to write about it while it’s still fresh.
See, we recently bought our first home, moved twice, spent a whole month traveling, had a baby, went through the Holidays…pretty much, had life happen in a big way. Well, during all of this, I was unable to get the printer to work to print off my budget sheet for the month. Ok, it was actually two months…
So I am a little bit of an obsessive saver. You can read all about my budget here. I love to watch those categories fill up! But before I had my budget in place, I used to ask myself one simple question when I wanted to spend money. And most usually, this question kept me from buying things I didn’t really want or need. It also helped me get an idea of “buy prices” for things I did need. Asking this question undoubtedly helped me save money:
“How much time does ____ cost?”
You might have read that and gone, “Huh?” Allow me to explain.
So in the midst of all of the holiday hubbub, I never found a chance to tell you that we bought our first home!! Between having a baby, moving, and the Holiday season, I’ve also had a bit of a lag in my blogging. I apologize for being so sporadic! Whew, what a lot of life changes!
I’ve never lived in a home that wasn’t rented or “loaned” as part of the job description. (Often, housing is provided as a perk of ranch jobs.) Having grown up ranching and then ranching over the past several years, I’ve always lived in someone else’s house. While I would never dream of complaining about free housing! I have always wanted to be able to paint a wall when I felt like it without having to ask someone.
This simple coffee filter wreath is one of my favorite crafts I’ve ever made for the Holidays. It was free to me (because I inherited the coffee filters from someone who used to live in the house I moved into) but would be VERY inexpensive to make, even if you had to purchase all the supplies specifically for this project. It turns out gorgeous, even if you are a terrible crafter such as myself.
Really, I don’t think you can screw this one up.
So lets get started!
Who here has heard of a spatchcocked turkey? I hadn’t. Not until last year at least. I stumbled upon the term in a post about unusual ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey (mostly including things like BBQing and deep frying but there were some other very unique suggestions as well) and had to start researching to figure out what the heck it meant! The video in the post is what piqued my interest because the picture was not the most beautiful bird I have ever seen. In fact, that adorable chef from this video convinced me this was something I wanted to try.
- This is the method we use. In our home, we use my husband’s paycheck to pay for everything. It covers all of our needs and wants. In exchange, it is my job to use the money well (no splurges on $500 shoes for instance) and to take care of the children and home. Now for us, this doesn’t equal no household help from him. But it does mean that I carry the bulk of the load by cleaning and cooking and caring for children while he is at work. Once he comes home, we start sharing jobs. I also put a section in our budget to allot him a little “fun money” to spend on anything he wants. If he wants to go use it all on Mt. Dew, fine by me. If he wants to save it up for horse tack, whatever. It’s his. This keeps him from feeling like he is working all the time without getting to have any fun or freedom or anything for himself. Eventually, I added in a section for my to get a little “fun money” also but it’s a smaller amount…mostly because I HATE spending money.
- Variations of this idea could include:
- Splitting up household or childcare chores. Or perhaps one or the other. If keeping house equals having a full time job, then childcare would be even divided between you both. Or visa versa.
- Finding small ways to either earn or save money that could then become your “fun money.” The more money you save at the grocery store or earn through online survey sites, the more you have to play with.
Two IncomesThere are three main ways that couples can work two incomes: Everything is combined and divided, regardless of inequal sizes of paychecks. It all gets thrown into the household budget and used to cover all expenses, fun money, whatever. There is no smaller fund for you or your husband based on bringing home more or less. Everything is mutual. You kind of live off your own income. This is basically works like it does before you got married but now you would likely split housing costs or divide them up and then use the rest of your paycheck however you want. Or, this is the method we used when I also worked, you live off of one paycheck and save the entirety of the other. We used my husband’s paycheck exactly as we do now and mine got divided between a savings account and our investments. This ended up being a huge blessing to use when we decided to start ranching and were very poor and had a baby on the way. We used that saved up money to pay doctors and the hospital. Of course, this was before I knew how to budget and we weren’t nearly as good with our money. Looking back, we realize we could have lived off of my paycheck and saved his. Eh, you live, you learn!
When both spouses work however, it is VERY important to discuss your roles in home care and child care. The situation will vary based on hours and days you work compared to your spouse but both of you need to agree on chores you will be responsible for. It isn’t fair for both spouses to work 40 hours per week for instance and the wife has to still be in charge of all cleaning, cooking, and child raising. This could easily lead to a cranky, burnt out wife. But in our case, I worked 40 hours a week or less while he usually worked well over 60. It often fell to whoever was the least tired to pick up some slack but I typically cooked dinner because I was home 2 hours earlier and could have it ready when he got home.
The other day, we were sitting around our table eating dinner. I had recently picked some homegrown lettuce leaves that were just big enough to eat with our dinner. My 3 year old asked me,
“Where did this tiny salad (how he refers to lettuce) come from?”
I explained that it was from the seeds I had planted, that we had grown it, expecting him to be impressed. He has previously loved gardening and harvesting. Instead I got this,
“You didn’t buy it at the store?”
“No.” I answered.
So for anyone who doesn’t know about Zaycon – my condolences. For those of you who do, awesome right?
Zaycon is this awesome company who sells awesome products. They only sell in bulk quantities but their prices and their quality is unbeatable. Obviously, I haven’t tried their beef because I live on a cattle ranch and we have beef provided with the job, but the boneless skinless chicken breasts, which I have tried, are unbelievable! You know how most of the chicken breasts you buy at stores are small and then shrink a lot once you cook them? Not Zaycons. No way. They are huge and REAL. Not injected with lots of liquid that evaporates when you cook them. Tender and juicy and wonderful. Now, because they come in a 40 lb box, I can most of mine, which is a post of awesomeness in and of itself. Perhaps I’ll write it once I get my chicken this time… Thanks to my sister-in-law for teaching me that chicken even could be canned! But if you don’t can, dividing them into smaller bags and freezing them works just as well. I just used up the last of mine from the freezer from over a year ago and they were as delicious as when I first got them.
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for which I receive a small commission.)
Dresser Before and After – Behold the Beauty!
So this is a pretty old project but it’s one I still love. (Honestly, let me begin by apologizing for less than amazing pictures. I took them for me, not for the world. I didn’t blog back then.) It was my first time using milk paint and my first time working on a huge project like this. That means, there are a few rookie mistakes (like a less than stellar job of distressing.). That also means I can help you avoid some of those. 🙂