Friday, January 4, 2008

Own your dream...

This week TheMommyKelly is asking us to own our dream. Here is the challenge:

"Perhaps this Flaunt It Friday each one of us could spend a post reflecting on that one special dream we have for 2008. The one we have been frightened to think of, let alone mention. Certainly it couldn’t hurt that much to hash it out, as identifying the dream is the first step to reaching it. In order to pursue it, we need first to “own” it. So maybe this week’s challenge should be all about owning the dream!"

So--the big one for me this year is finances. We've been a single income family for going on 6 years. I quit work when I was 4 months pregnant with Logan and one month before my husband was to be home from Korea. I had to get things in order for our cross-country move (CA to MD). Once in MD, I was nearing 6 months into my pregnancy and I doubted anyone would want to hire me. Once Logan was born, I truly wanted to stay home with him. As a child, I never thought I would be a stay at home mom. But--becoming a mommy changed me forever!!

When Logan was born, my husband was an E-3 in the Army and we were dirt poor!! All I have to say is good thing for WIC. For months, we only had $60 per month for our food, diapers, gas, and any extra. I got very creative with beans and rice!! My husband even worked a second job for a while as an escort. LOL....he worked at the NSA and when contractors needed to come in and do work, they had to have an escort that had a clearance go along with them. So, the work was easy (hubby just watched them work) and the pay was decent....meaning we could eat more than beans and rice!! Then in 2004, my husband got out of the Army and our income nearly doubled. Well, that made us feel rich, even though we are far from it. We threw another baby into the mix in 2006 and we went all out on him. We simply could not afford all of the fancy things with Logan and with Lucas we got pretty much anything we wanted.

In 2007, we decided to buy a home, and that caused our income to be stretched more. Really, we are only paying $100/month more for our mortgage than we were for our rent, but all the utilities and HOA fees, etc... put us spending a fair amount more than we were in apartment living. On top of that, we did live about 6 miles from hubby's work, but couldn't afford to buy that close to D.C. So, now we live further out and hubby has to spend more on his commute (both time and $$). We are a single car family as well, so hubby takes a combination of the bus and metro to get to work. We are spending close to $200 a month on commuting costs when we were spending maybe $40.

All of this to say, I want to fine tune our budget. It seems we were in two categories. 1. There was no money left to budget after paying bills. 2. There was plenty of money and we just bought what we wanted without a thought about a budget. We don't fall in those categories anymore, so we really need to write out a budget and stick to it!!

Head on over to Taken With a Grain of Salt to join in on the fun!!


Me said...

Best of luck with your budgeting! I completly understand about that..I'm trying to pay off my credit card this year!


Christi said...

I knew all of this - but I love reading posts like this with everything in one place.

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Anonymous said...

Candi, it sounds like you have put alot of thought into this. I am sure that you will be able to work it out. You and your husband have come soooooo far. Most people don't get there. You are already living the dream in ways, so it seems. God bless you for that.

We could all use a fine tuning where finances are concerned. Hubby and I are strapped at the moment, so we are trying to get it together too! Ah! There are days that I can't even stand to look at the bills! Ugh!

Thanks for participating in Flaunt It FRidays. I hope to see you back again!

All the best wishes as you pursue your dreams in 2008!

Tiff said...

The soup looks so good! I think I might have to make that this week!