Happy NaBloPoMo Day 14, where my self-assigned theme is Money. As Wyclef Jean would say, dolla’ dolla’ bill y’all! Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post, where I admit I would pay so many big ones to get my daughter to sleep through the night.
Allow me to get a bit inelegant up in here as I crudely discuss my family’s finances. So Hubby and I, we have an MD and a JD to our respective names. We must be rolling in it, right? Well, no, not so much. Not when you consider the fact that I left my high-paying job to be a stay-at-home mom indefinitely. And not when you consider the fact that Hubby is in his first year of residency, and residents are paid almost zero dollars. I’m not even joking when I say his salary is 1/6 of what my salary was when I left my biglaw job.
We’re a family of four living on a pretty meager paycheck. Are we broke or what? Thankfully, we’re not about to be in the poorhouse. When I was working and Hubby was in med school, we weren’t the most frugal people you ever met. But we were careful enough to pay off my loans, cover about half of his education bills, and build a nice little nest egg in a savings account. And now — as we’ve always planned — we’re tapping into that nest egg so we can afford for me to stay at home with the kids for a bit.
That being said, we’d like to have some savings left on the other side of Hubby’s residency. Our lifestyle still has to change drastically. Drastically. When we crunch the numbers, after everything, we’ve really got to be spending about 1/4 as much as we did before I left my job.
So how do you do that? No, seriously, this isn’t a how-to post. I need somebody to tell me how to do that. Here’s what we’ve figured out so far:
- We did ourselves a big favor by leaving the DC metro area. Thank you, Upstate NY, for being about half as expensive.
- We can no longer eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes, I actually have to cook meals. Which means I’ve had to learn how to cook. Which means I’ve had to learn that I’m not very good at cooking. Which is a hard pill to swallow, since I’ve made a bit of a career out of criticizing my mother-in-law’s cooking.
- We have to stop going to fucking Target. WE HAVE TO STOP GOING TO FUCKING TARGET. Sorry, I’m still trying to convince myself of this one. Because I heart Target so freaking bad. I know it is a perilous money pit, but it is my true happy place. Bored? Let’s go to Target. Kids are acting crazy? Let’s go to Target. Need Starbucks? Let’s go to the one in Target.
- Getting paid to take online surveys will earn you about $1.00 an hour. That’s 4.5 hours of work for a Starbucks chai latte.
- Goodbye Starbucks, hello Dunkin’ Donuts. (But really, goodbye Dunkin’ Donuts too, because see bullet point #2).
It’s a steep learning curve, but we’ll figure it out, right?
Until next time,