In need of a financial intervention. Please help.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ever since I was little, I have always been financially responsible.  I am not sure if my sisters and brothers would agree with this, but I think that I am and always have been the most secure with my finances compared to them.  Maybe it is my seriously Type A Personality or the fact that I have seen my parents and siblings make financial mistakes?  I am not really sure, but suffice it to say that I have always prided myself on my financial self-control.  Even though I have never been the type of person to have a budget, I have always managed to keep everything straight.  I have always been the financier in my house.  Neat and tidy.  The way I like it.

My financially responsible profile looks something like this:

-When I was in high school I babysat all of the time for extra money even though I HATED it.
-I went to a state school for college.
-I bought a car when I was 18.
-While in college, I worked a number of different jobs (and many of them concurrently) including: waitress, hostess, cocktail waitress, coat check, customer service (sports store, jewelry store, ski shop, major department store, family business), ski lift, college dining hall cleaner, bank teller, financial analyst assistant, seamstress, and, yes, a babysitter.
-I NEVER have asked to borrow money from my parents (they actually have asked to borrow from me on several occasions).
-I graduated from college with less than 30k student loan debt (I am now at about 10k of federal type loans, none private).
-I moved and took a job right out of college in a field that had nothing to do with my degree because it made more money and had good benefits.
-Our last car we bought brand new and drove it for 9 years.
-I have a padded saving account.
-I have always had an excellent FICO (credit) score.
-I have ZERO credit card debt.
-I got a nice raise and bonus this past year.
-I have amazing health benefits.
-I have a good start on my retirement plan.

Why do I need a financial intervention you may ask?  Well, ever since I had the baby, I have become totally slack in this area.  I have forgotten to pay several bills on time, I have over-drafted my checking account on 2 occasions, I find myself constantly transferring money from my saving to my checking, I continue to spend like I have no limit, and have contemplated getting a credit card.  This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.  Someone please, cut up my debit card and do not let me get a credit card.  B needs to start going to daycare 3 days a week in June and we need to be able to pay the $1200 a month to send him there...aye aye aye.

My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about moving.  Our house is too small and we would love to put roots down in a place where our family can grow (if we decide that that is the plan).  We have lived in our house for almost 7 years.  We have done a TON of work to it and we love it.  It is just too small.  The main problem is that everything that we are interested is well over our budget.  By over our budget, I mean several hundred thousand over.  Anything that we can afford, you would want to tear down and rebuild.  Wood paneling in the kitchen?  Electric stove from the 1970s ?  Thigh-high weeds in the yard?  1 bathroom?  1000 square feet?  Yes, these are the types of crap holes that we can afford if I don't get my shit together.

Here are some things that I really need to start doing that I think will help to save me money:

-Cancel the bi-weekly cleaning lady who's services started going down hill (DONE).
-Plan out meals and snacks before going to the grocery store, stick to that list, and set a weekly budget.
-Look for cheaper grocery alternatives online.
-Write out all recurring monthly debits from my accounts to see how much money I am actually spending each money because I have no idea (this is scary).
-Budget for clothes, cosmetics, and extras, and stop with the impulse buying (sorry, Lulu Lemon and Athleta).
-Disable my Amazon account because it is bad news.

Having a child should have a person become more financially responsible rather than the other way around.  I really need to start making some changes...and fast.  I am wondering if any other newer mommies feel this way or if this is a situation that is unique to me.  I'd love good ideas for saving money if you have them!

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2 Responses to “In need of a financial intervention. Please help.”

  1. I completely understand. Like completely. We are currently working on paying off debt. I know there is so much I want to give Reagan and we can't do it with the debt load we have right now. Plus to top it off my job just went to bi-weekly pay which is fine but another adjustment to go through. One thing I have found that has helped me is to have a planner where I write down when I get paid and when bills are coming out. I also try and write down how much I spend at the store etc. We have a uphill battle but I am confident we can do this!

  2. I know you said you don't do budgets, but I'd really encourage you to reconsider. I'd set up a budget and then automate as many bills as possible. Best thing I ever did for myself and my sanity!