The wedding, birthday and holiday celebrations are finally over, which means my husband and I are just now getting back on track with our budget.
I kind of let our fiscal waistband go when we were planning the wedding, and then it just snowballed over Christmas. I definitely set budgets for us for both of those events, but I admit we could have done better sticking to them. There were a few too many close calls for my taste (not being able to afford gas until our next paycheck is a problem, for example).
One of our goals this year is to finally buy a house. It’s been our dream for a long time. Our apartment now is a two bedroom, one bath with tiny triangle shaped closets and very little storage space. Our second bedroom is a guest room, library, office and man-cave all in one. The kitchen has a total of three feet of counter space, the radiator prevents the oven from being opened all the way and there is no room for a table anywhere. My husband’s hobbies – salt water fish, rock climbing, ham radio operating, and anything that has to do with computers, to name a few – take up a lot of space we don’t have. In short, we’ve outgrown our apartment.
I planned our budget every month until June, and we are hopefully going to be able to pay off and save enough to be ready to start looking for houses in April or May. We were feeling pretty good about it until our friend’s husband, who is a mortgage broker, gave us a breakdown of what he estimates our upfront costs will be. Essentially we need double the amount of money we will be able to save by summer. Luckily, he told me his estimates were worst-case scenario, and that there were other options we could look into.
So now is the time to start cracking down on getting rid of our debt and saving as much money as possible, which my husband loathes — if you haven’t inferred by now, he’s more of a spender than me. I don’t love it, but I think I see more of the “big picture” than he does, so I know that eventually all these thrifty months will lead to our dream home.
And every time I put money into our savings account, I’ll also be saying a big prayer that nothing crazy will happen that we will have to dip into our savings for – because we are going to need every penny.
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.