For the record, sometimes being an adult is sucky.
I got my taxes done yesterday. I always have to pay something (self-employment has many perks, taxes aren’t one of them), but this year I had to pay a whole lot more something than I was expecting. While my savings account cries quietly in the corner, I’ve been left thinking that it may not be the best time for The Fella and I to buy a home.
If we lived anywhere else in the world (with exception to San Francisco or London) the hit wouldn’t be too jarring, but houses around New York City are insanely expensive. I mean tiny houses with enormous mortgages and taxes. And, well, I would really like to go into home ownership with a decent financial cushion.
To create that cushion and rebuild our down payment funds, The Fella and I are going to have to do some serious downsizing in our life. I think the first unnecessary expenditure is our daily dog walker. Inez has a lot of energy and needs long walks, and when I’m writing getting up for an hour to exhaust her can be a huge hit to my productivity—but at $20 a walk, that adds up.
The second, and most painful, luxury on the chopping block is my cleaning woman. I have some triggers when it comes to mess, and The Fella and I have always made having our apartment thoroughly scrubbed once a week a priority—but I think it’s time I put my big girl panties on and do the cleaning myself. Roy cleans too–we don’t follow gender stereotypes in this family–but I can work a little cleaning into my writing breaks during the day, whereas he works outside the home and gets home super late most nights.
We’re also considering moving to a cheaper apartment/less nice neighborhood. But, real estate prices inside the boroughs have gone berserk in the last couple of years, and I’m not sure if the savings of a hundred or two dollars a month is worth the moving costs. It’s certainly something to consider.
We can absolutely bring our grocery budget down, and I’m pretty sure with some smarter shopping we can save another hundred or so a month.
I’m bummed, but I also think we need to be more mature about the next phase of our life. We’ve only been married for 6-months, and learning to be more financially savvy, especially in regard to a joint goal is an important learning lesson in the life we’re making together.
What are some of your best budgeting tips?
Have you changed your spendy ways to be more frugal?
Homemade whole wheat bread with cottage cheese (and Cajun seasoning)
Salad with mesclun, wheat berries, banana peppers, corn, onion, chicken, pepper jack cheese and hot sauce dressing
Ground turkey tacos. Trader joe’s reduced carb tortillas, ground turkey, lite cheddar, hot sauce, corn