Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mo Money Mo Problems

I am a money panic worry freak spaz. Money, bills and budgeting scares the shit out of me. I worry about it constantly and I'm not even sure why. We pay all our bills every month. I have some money in a savings account. Our credit card balance is pretty low. Yet, I break into a cold sweat every month when I have to pay bills.

In 2009 we paid off a loan Matt had out and at the end of 2010 our credit cards will be paid off. In all respects we're better off financially now than we've since we got married. We have money to eat out once a week and money to take trips to Target, so we're certainly not struggling. But I don't feel that we have that financial cushion beneath us that we should have at this point. (And by "this point" I mean "FUUUUUCK I'M 4 MONTHS PREGNANT!!!") We don't end up with an extra $200 or $300 in our checking accounts at the end of each month. But does anyone really?

We're pretty sure that 2011 is going to be better financially, yet again. Matt is probably going to get booked more with his show and might be hired on as a bass player for a second touring show. I already have a handful of weddings booked next Spring guaranteeing me a second income for part of the year. Pretty much all of the money I made off of photography this year went back into the business to pay off my gear. Next year I don't foresee any big expenses like that so hopefully I'll be able to make actual income off my weddings. Realistically, I shouldn't be panicking about this stuff. I can't stop myself from it though. It's compulsive and I'm guessing hereditary. This family is chalk full of folks with stress disorders.

I keep looking ahead to having a baby and it seriously scares the financial shit out of me. I'm incredibly lucky to work for a company that has a pediatric health division so all pediatric care is free for my child if I use company doctors. Which I fully intend to. Okay, deep breath there. That makes me feel a little better. Formula is super expensive so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my already giant boobs will serve their purpose (not the purpose of being there for my husband to stare at) for a few months and willfully feed my baby. Another deep breath right there.

Then there's the mountain of diapers that we're going to have to buy. There's no way that I know of to stop your kid from peeing and pooping so diapers are a nonnegotiable. I broached the topic of cloth diapers to Matt as a means to save money but he wasn't having it. Plus, I don't understand the mechanics behind (1) how they don't leak everywhere and (2) how you wash them without getting fecal reside inside your washing machine and (3) what you do when your kid poops in a public place. I mean seriously, you're supposed to put the poopy diaper inside a baggie and carry it around until you get home? Is that a joke? So, maybe $100 a month for diapers. Not the end of the world.

That leaves daycare to figure out. If bookings go well for Matt he could potentially quit his 8-5 job and just tour one or two weeks a month. Instead of full-time daycare we would have to find part-time daycare which is likely even more expensive if that makes any sense. I don't even know how to FIND part-time daycare. I'm guessing it's going to run at least $200 a week for an infant though. $200 a week to feed and change a lump of baby that doesn't move. Does it make sense? No. Do I still have to pay for it? Yes.

It all boils down to one of the biggest stressors I feel, which is not having enough in savings. I wish I could turn back time and live at home for my first year post college and save that $20,000 salary. It would feel so amazing to have a large sum of money like that in savings, just sitting there. I think that would alleviate a lot of my fears regarding unexpected expenses and emergencies.

I guess the bottom line is that I worry about money. All. The. Time. When perhaps I shouldn't. We survived a job loss, a pay cut, 2 busted wheels and 5 new tires, and a vacation to California and came out the other side without any problems. I'm sure we will be just fine.

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