Tonight was another bout of some serious let's-crunch-the-numbers-and-guesstimate-what-our-monthly/yearly-salary-versus-expenditures. This has been brewing again since we're (thankfully) nearing the end of my much reduced salary given the amount of time I had off with unpaid maternity leave. My loss of salary and frictions with my permanent sub were the only things that were unsavory about my leave, and my salary reduction was planned, so really, not at all a regrettable choice. But still, we can't wait to stop saying "Well, when Amy's salary is normal again..." all of the time.
So tonight was a short session that left Ben muttering "It can't be...it just can't be like this..." and me offering no solutions. Thankfully in our marriage, the vast majority of these discussions have seemed to be positive whereupon we realize that we're in a comfortable and optimistic place. We were able to save quite a bit despite buying a house and felt good financially before Abby came into the picture. This little kidd-o has put a serious hurt in our bank account, and this given that quite a large percentage of what we purchase for her is used or given to us. This makes me worry.
Childcare is now 10% of our monthly income. This makes me worry.
We have a car payment now in a roundabout fashion because of Abby. This doesn't make me worry, but it makes me...a wee bit anxious.
Grocery bills have gone up. Seriously, just because of a little munchkin. This makes me chafe and Ben worries.
Our savings for Abby's college is established but virtually stagnant. This REALLY makes me worry.
Once my paycheck rebounds, we'll increase contributions to my IRA five-fold per instructions. This makes me sigh in despair. I don't mind contributing toward retirement, but between Ben and myself, 15% of our income?
Ben guesstimates after charting everything out over multiple intricate but clearly notated spreadsheets (because that's what Ben does...for a hobby, I daresay) that we'll be able to save a whopping $67.00/month. This makes us weep. And worry.
HOW is it possible that two adults earning full-time income, albeit teaching incomes which are not maintaining a competitive wage versus cost of living expenses, cannot save money in a savings account? HOW? We aren't extravagant. We haven't gone on a true vacation in 3 years. We don't often buy clothes and rarely if it's not on clearance. We have the cheapest cell phones/packages that we can, which means (gasp) no texting. We don't buy gadgets. We don't go to movies. We rarely eat out. HOW???
We worry knowing that we our current jobs and financial holdings are secure in a societal environment that is still reeling from upheaval. How blessed we are to have such worries.