Financially speaking, things have been tight since we moved in July. Taking on a 2nd mortgage on the new house and adding Jonathan and the kids to my employer-provided insurance plan has taken a nearly $1,000 monthly bite out of my previous budget. Each month after bills are paid and food is purchased I’m left with $150 for all of our clothes, shoes, toiletries, and household goods. $150 isn’t much considering there are 4 of us. That’s $37.50 per person per month.
For the first time in my life, I used a credit card to buy Christmas presents. I shopped sales, used coupons, and hunted for deals which kept my total shopping on Christmas expenses for everyone just under $500. It might even be a bit less than $500 but I’m counting the gifts given to extended family, friends, as well as postage for mailing packages and holiday cards. The majority of gifts for Jonathan and the children were things they needed as well as wanted.
Now I have a $3,500 credit card balance which includes a few emergency home purchases like a new range and refrigerator since the ones which came with the house were on their last leg/completely broken. I’m trying to figure out a way to pay this off, but it won’t be easy.
For me there will be no eating out, no dessert, no convenience store drinks, no snacks, no books, and no outings with friends for months to come. I’m not looking forward to the isolated life. I am however, looking forward to couponing. I’m hoping to trim our grocery budget back to $100/week with coupons so I can pay off the credit card faster. The credit card is no interest until March 2016 so I have quite a while to pay in full, but I always pay off loans of any type early.
I just hope work stays steady for Jonathan this winter. Winter is a hard season to be a carpenter and work is usually hard to come by. Please, please let Jonathan stay busy.