Okay, so this post has nothing to do with driving to Paris. Like, at all. But, seriously, that is in reference to one of the funniest Robot Chicken shorts that Brad and I have ever seen. And I just thought of it because, well, something else has been constantly running through my mind...
MONEY IS HARD!
Seriously, everything about it. The time it takes to earn it, the realization that a wage that was awesome as a single lady who was being billed for absolutely nothing really isn't that much for a wife trying to make a giant car payment, and other bills like car insurance, phone service, gas, medical expenses, car fix-ups... and holy cow, how do you do it? How do we, as adults, make all the ends meet?
Budgeting. Right, of course. I've always been really good it. But, then again, I've always had enough play money to make myself happy in that budget, not to mention that I was putting four times as much into savings each paycheck. Now, not-so-much. It's been difficult, it's not what I'm used to in my budgeting ways. But we're working so hard to get the car paid off by May (for, ahem, a special new expense), so we're putting nearly half our monthly pay to it. And it's been hard, because that's meant that we've haven't been able to put as much into savings, and have far less for anything fun each month.
And that's stressful.
I've always had a cozy egg of money to sit on in preparation for rainy days to come. Nothing huge, but it certainly wasn't nothing, either. And you know what? Those rain days came. And it saved us a lot of financial stress. But I never considered the stress that comes when that cozy egg is depleted! Oh gosh, how does anyone live with barely enough to cover a month of bills in their savings? Living paycheck to paycheck has been painful. We've had to dip into that tiny savings bundle more often that I have in my entire life in these past few months. Doctors visits, medication expenses, car problems, you name it, the savings has saved. And I know that's what it's for.
BUT WHY--why am I withdrawing money just after I've deposited money into there for some next random event? WHY I SAY. I think that's where the insanity comes in. Just as we're getting geared up to building that egg back up, it's shrunk right back to where we started. We're to the point where it's common for us to not even be able to stick the percentage slated for savings from each paycheck, because we're already using it for some expense.
But I know that we're putting that huge chunk of our monthly pay to something that is needed. I know, I know that paying off the car sooner is best. We both do. But it's hard because you really don't see that money until the very end. Savings, you see that money. You have access to that money, and can feel comfort by the money (at least for me... I may or may not be a money hoarder, cough, cough). That money is SO COMFORTABLE to me! Oh gosh. It's like having Batman in my bank account, just watching over my finances. And now all I've got is a kid in a poorly made cape. It's stressful. But I can't only make that minimum payment on the car. I just can't. Because Brad and I know that this can either haunt or help us. And we're just trying to make it a help as soon as possible.
So yep. That's my rant. Being an adult is difficult. Bills are a haunt that I know will never go away, unless I go the hobo route. Which, ew. Even I shower more than they do! (Inside family joke, I promise I shower... sometimes. More than a hobo, that you can know for sure.) So yeah, I'm stuck in the big kid world of people demanding money from me each month. It definitely puts into perspective debt and how much we want freedom from it. The car was a very, very necessary expense. We thought very long and very hard about it. And we love that car. It's a effing Dodge Avenger, for crying out loud! It was made for us, and it miraculously came at a ridiculously cheap price, beautiful and ready for our lovin'! But debt is difficult. And we never, ever want to have it unnecessarily, nor be over our heads with it.
I suppose that's the light in this story, because we are not over our heads. We can perfectly afford everything we've got. We could also perfectly afford awesome vacations (um, Universal Studios Orlando, please!) or fancy things (iPhone, anyone?), but we put that money elsewhere. BECAUSE DEBT SUCKS. It's horrible. We don't want eight payments that we have to make each month because we're out buying things that we want SO BADLY (seriously, I want to buy a wand, people), but that we really don't need (although I've tried to convince myself that a trip to Florida is a necessity... cough, cough. No such luck so far).
We are not perfect. We never have and never will do this whole marriage and finances thing perfectly. We're just working hard not to get in over our heads. Brad and I don't want to both have to work our entire lives to support ourselves. We just want a family and enough to get by. So here's hoping that we can make that happen, and hopefully within the time frame that we're thinking!