Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Buckling Down

For a while now, C & I have talked about buying a house this summer.  Turns out, it IS summer now and C is crazy gung-ho about finding this house.  We've just barely started the process of talking to a mortgage lender to get pre-approved and then we'll need to find an agent but in the meantime one or both of us is on a realty website every day.  Not joking.

We are obviously first-time home buyers and we don't know exactly how the process works so it's going to be a huge learning experience.

We're not pre-approved but I'm already worried about taking on a mortgage payment.  I know our rent payment goes away but I'm thinking based on what we want (3-4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2000+ square feet - our family IS going to grow!) our house payment is probably going to be a little bit more than rent.  I'm hoping we can keep it within $300.

So it's time to start seriously budgeting and getting a handle on things.  We're comfortable now but I can only imagine that if everything goes according to plan, we'll have 2 daycare payments by next fall in addition to whatever gas costs and the expenses of 2 children.

Here's my confession: we don't really budget.  Ok, fine, we don't budget at all.  We know when we get paid and we schedule our bills around those things and the rest we just kind of do whatever with.  We are doing fine and we have savings and whatever but if groceries cost $120 next week then that's what they cost and we pay it.  We don't think about how it will affect us and while it gives me pause, it doesn't truly concern us.

I know, it must be nice.  But shouldn't it be different?  Shouldn't I limit what we spend on groceries or our weekly Target runs?  Those things add up!  

So I'm going to work on cutting back.  I always try to buy things on sale but I think I'm going to focus more on actually using the things on sale and not just planning meals based on what recipes sound good.  If pot roast is on sale, we're not having ribs.

My SIL (Hi Sarah) is really good at this.  I follow her blog where she "Cooks the Deals" and plans meals based around what she sees on sale.  I also follow $5 Dollar Dinners for ideas and all kinds of coupon/deal blogs.  It's time to start actually using the advice I'm getting for free!


  1. Lol... Hi Jacque! You should come next time I/we (if Becky wants to after having the baby) do a couponing class! I can also give you my realtor & mortgage broker's numbers/ emails.

    p.s. I think I have to check out this $5 dinners! :)

  2. Dave Ramsey is phenomenal with money issues. Paul and I used his Financial Peace University (the book and CDs) before we got married, and I couldn't be happier. We've been married three years and we have never once fought about money (discussed heatedly, maybe). We are fully debt free except for my car that will be paid off three years early, school loans and our mortgage. All of this on one salary for the last two years (and a kid). I'm not bragging - just saying it really works. And it's not like we eat beans and rice for dinner - between my couponing and being thrifty with stuff like your SIL, we have room for all the extras without stressing them.

  3. I forgot to mention, he's not over-the-top religious or anything in his financial stuff, and it's easy to ignore.