Well, this is a blog about being a wife. It's about my learning experiences. It's about my failures. It's about being real.
We've been in St. Louis for 4 weeks and I've been looking for a job. I keep applying, but I feel like I'm getting nowhere fast. I did have one interview, and it felt like a bust. I haven't heard back, so I keep applying. When we were in OKC, we didn't have to pay rent or utilities, so that was a financial relief to us. We got a lot of Tyler's school paid off and we are happy about that.
Last night, we put ourselves on a budget diet. With only one income and bills to pay, we realized that we have got to cut back in our spending. Being on a budget isn't embarrassing. Not to me. It's about being smart with our finances.
Being on a budget means planning. It means more planning than usual. I'm fairly good at meal planning for the week, but a lot of times we spontaneously go out to eat. So we called a "budget planning meeting" last night and talked out what we are spending our money on and what we can cut back. Moving to a new city comes with a cost. There are so many things we have paid for up front, so looking towards the future we want to be smart with our spending.
The first thing we did was calculate what Tyler made each month. Then we budgeted our tithe for the month. I think this is very important because everything we own is God's. He gave us life, and all He asks is for us to give him 10%. When in financial crises, I fully believe that when you tithe He will bless you in return. We want to acknowledge Him first.
From there we made a couple of decisions:
- We will not eat out in a restaurant for 4 weeks unless it's planned and budgeted for.
- We will not watch movies in a theater for 4 weeks unless it's planned and budgeted for.
- We will only pay for gas on plastic. Nothing else.
- We will go to the ATM on the Fridays that Tyler gets paid and will get cash for groceries and our allowance for 2 weeks.
- I will plan meals for 7 days a week rather than 5 or 6 days a week.
- I will work harder at getting back into couponing, and will find the best deals on food for the week.
I know that I've been handed everything I could have wanted growing up. Things have come easy for me. I'm not saying this to brag. Not at all. Please don't take it that way. I'm saying that this may be my time to "struggle" a little. It is really stressful because I haven't found a job. I keep getting email replies saying that the company isn't interested in me. It's humbling. It's stressful paying bills: "Hello real life." It's not easy being married sometimes, because there are things to worry about (I'm not necessarily worried about this, just being real).
Things don't always go our way in life. Sometimes we need to plan for the unexpected, and we are trying to do just that. I will update you as we carry on our journey. We will probably re-evaluate in 4 weeks to see how the first month went. :]
Honestly, budgeting doesn't seem that bad. I'll let you know in 4 weeks!