Surviving a Pay Cut

Last November Mr. Money lost his job.  Luckily, he was able to find a great job that paid really well and actually provided benefits. Last week we received the unfortunate news that he will have to take an hourly position for 40 hours a week at a huge pay cut.  I’ve been an emotional wreck for a few days, but I’m trying to see the positive in the situation and try to do something about it.  I feel if I have a plan that will make me feel better.  Here are some of the things I’m going to be doing:

-Going over our budget and getting back on the bare bones budget.  🙁  This bums me out because I liked having wiggle room, saving for retirement, and being able to pay our bills.  With Mr. Money’s new pay, we’re either going to be really close or short with being able to pay our bills.  I’ll know more once he gets that first lower paycheck.

-I’m going to be working more at freelance writing to see if I an generate more income this way.  I could go try to find a job outside of the house, but with the small salary I’d make it wouldn’t be worth it after we had to pay daycare expenses for Penny.  I’m really hoping that I can help bring in some money this way.

-We’ll be making more of our beauty products and cleaning products. I actually used my laundry detergent recipe the other day and made a batch.  It’s been working well. I’ve also started using vinegar in a fabric softener ball to help the detergent.  I’ve gotten used to buying expensive natural beauty products like toothpaste, shampoo, etc and I’ll have to stop that.  I think I’m going to come up with a different toothpaste recipe and start doing No Poo again.  I’ve been using baking soda and vinegar to clean pretty much everything in the house so that won’t really change.

-Line drying our clothes is back in full swing. When it’s nice outside I am able to hang out clothes out to dry.  It’s nice because the sun also helps remove stains.  When I’m worried about rain, I hang dry in my basement. Fun times.  The towels are crunchy but Mr. Money said he actually likes them better that way. Weirdo. 😉

-Stop paying extra on the mortgage and put retirement contributions on hold for the time being.  We were putting an extra $50 a month on the mortgage and it was lovely to see the balance go down more each month, but if we can’t do it right now we can’t do it.  Also, not saving for retirement scares me but I can’t worry about it.  We’ll catch up soon, I’m sure.

Hopefully we’ll be able to make it work on his new salary.  We’re going to do everything we can to live on it and I hope we’re successful!  At least we weren’t used to an extravagant lifestyle so this isn’t going to be too much of a shock.  I’m also very, very thankful that he still has a job!

Do you have any tips for surviving a pay cut?

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Why Does Spending Money Make me Happy and Sad?

Over the past few months I’ve been a little more lax about spending money than I used to be.  I have had a hard time in the past spending money on fun things, and was always beating myself up about it.  I decided to be a little more laid back and it’s come back to bite me in the butt.  It’s not like we’re living paycheck to paycheck as a result of it, nor have we gone into debt, but I have noticed little habits that I’d like to nip in the bud before they get out of hand.

It’s so hard because when I spend money and get fun new things (especially in the mail) it makes me so happy! Then I realize how much money I’ve spend and how I probably didn’t need that thingamajig and it makes me sad.  Luckily, I’ve noticed that this has become a problem and I’m starting to address the issue.

My biggest problem is shopping as a hobby.  I’ll admit, there have been quite a few days where I’ve been bored and to combat that I’ve gone to Target.  Well, Target is like a black hole and not only do I get sucked in to look at all the pretty things, but then I end up buying things that I didn’t plan on buying or need.  I also notice that the more trips that I make to the store, the more money ends up going out that month.  It makes sense: I’ll stop at the grocery store to buy something for dinner and then while I’m there I “need” at tea or a Larabar, and while a few bucks really isn’t going to break me, if I do that every day for a month it adds up really quickly!

I have been trying to keep busy by attending moms’ groups, play dates and other meetings so that I’ll be able to get out of the house.  What’s nice about those activities is that they are mostly free.  The park, splash pads, and library are also great resources for when I want something to do that won’t cost me anything.

I’m really not too worried about our finances, but I do believe that I need to be more conscious when it comes to spending money.  Buying things that we really don’t need is silly, and in the long run will not be good for our financial future.

Are you a hobby shopper? Do you tend to buy things when you’re bored?

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2012 Goals Update

I realize that we’re almost two months into 2013, but I’d still like to go over our 2012 goals and recap how we did. I also need to set up some 2013 goals! 😉

1. Set up a savings account for the baby. We opened a savings account with ING (now Capital One 360) for the baby a few months after she was born.  We put any birthday/gift money into it for her.  I need to research 529 plans and see if that is something we’d like to do.

2. Figure out life insurance. We have some life insurance though Mr. Money’s employer but should probably look into getting more.

3. Change beneficiaries.  Did this!  It was very easy once we got the baby’s social security number.

4. Make more money blogging/working from home. Looking back, this was quite a lofty goal.  I mainly focused on taking care of my high needs baby while trying to keep the house clean.  It was a little crazy.  Although I didn’t quite achieve this goal, I don’t feel one ounce of guilt about it.  I am doing what I love and couldn’t be happier.  I did watch my friend’s 10 month old daughter for a few weeks for her and it was nuts.  I did make a little extra money though.

5. Stay debt free. Yay! No new debt.

6. Finish up all house projects that need to be done. Ha. Who didn’t see this one coming?!  I can’t get any house projects done with my crazy baby.  🙂  I did manage to paint our bathroom though!

7. Learn to relax and not worry so darn much. Having a baby really makes you stop and think about what really is important.  2012 was the best year of my life, and I would do it all over again in a second!  I can’t wait to watch Penny learn and grow over the years!

I do need to work on our 2013 goals and figure out what we want to accomplish.  I’m looking forward to great things! 🙂

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