I Can't Tell You How To Budget....
Cuz I really stink at it!
Haha! I've never been so nervous to read my comments! I didn't think that putting our income on public display would make me feel so vulnerable! I guess that's why most people usually keep it private :) I went ahead and provided that info because I've often wondered about how much money the thrifty blogs are actually dealing with-- I'm nosey like that!
Before I begin, let me say that I am not very good at finances. I make a budget, follow it for a month, and then let it fall by the wayside. Majorly lacking in discipline! But there are some things that I do every month and I think they help quite a bit. In all honesty, sometimes we do have to pull from our savings account just to make it work. At this point in our lives, I'm ok with that. When Nathan finishes school in May, we are planning on moving to a cheaper home and living a bit more disciplined lives. With our hectic schedule I am just thankful to be sane, as the journey from here to crazy seems a short trip!
One other thing... in a previous post I mentioned I was drinking "hater-ade" and not reading some of the blogs that I normally enjoy. I want to clarify that this had nothing to do with their social status or material possessions. The thing that I was coveting was the PEACE. The slow-paced, my husband's home for dinner, my kids play with toys lifestyle :) THAT is the thing that I covet (shame on me!) Nathan sometimes gets nervous that he isn't providing me with enough. I always tell him that I am happy to bargain shop and look for creative ways to make it all work because it's just something I've always found to be a fun challenge. Furthermore, we already have so much and are RICH compared to most people (to the point that I sometimes feel guilty about it). Just wanted to make that clear :)
Oooookay! Sorry that was wordy but I'm just thinking and typing fast! On with the show!
Ok, obviously with what we have left each month, there is very little left for entertainment. Here are some of the ways we still manage to have fun while living in the Big City.
1. Netflix, Redbox, and Hulu~ we don't subscribe to cable so all the movies and tv we watch are through one of these 3 mediums. Even if we did have the money, it KILLS me to pay $10 each to see a movie that I will probably walk away from saying, "Ehhh, it was a-ight."
2. Date Nights~ occasionally we will splurge to get a sitter, but on these occasions we keep the costs of our dates to a minimum. For our anniversary this year, our landlord let us use her condo in the mountains where we could swim, shoot pool, and just lounge. Since we had our kids along with us, we didn't get much time to ourselves so when we got back we hired a sitter. We usually pay our sitter $25 so instead of eating out we decided to take sparkling cider, crusty bread, and gourmet cheese out to a secluded spot in the mountains nearby. The beauty around us, along with some good music and a few candles gave us a much more romantic and enjoyable time than any fancy restaurant I've frequented. I even wore a dress! (For some reason I get a little frantic at restaurants. All the people, noise and distractions steal my ability to converse!)
The other day our sitter was in town and we really felt like we needed some time together so we went out and saw Tron in 3-D (ehhh, it was a-ight), ate at Panda Express, and topped off at Starbucks with a little book browsing on the side. It was fun, but we ended up spending more than I do on my wardrobe for the season!
This month has been really crazy with medical bills and other unexpected costs so tonight we will be keeping it simple. One of our favorite things to do is put Asher to bed early and banish (that sounds wicked doesn't it) Elon to his room with a movie and a snack. Then Nathan and I go into the living room, light some candles, and drink sparkling cider (or wine-- yuck!) while watching an old flick on Netflix. Tonight we will be drinking hot cocoa and eating cookies while watching the last of Lost. It is so relaxing and much more intimate than going out.
This post is getting so long! More on cheap thrills ;p tomorrow...