April 15, 2010

After a year…

Filed under: budgets,children,debt,money — by elysianconfusion @ 12:14 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

We started this journey in April 2009, so it’s now been a year.

April 20, 2009: 403,438.14
April 15, 2010:  $367,664.68

So, we’ve paid down $35,773.46 in a year, which is not bad, I guess. It’s down only $1,814.63 from last month, and honestly, I’m feeling pretty discouraged.

We’ve had a lot going on lately and haven’t been able to sell anything on Craigslist. I haven’t even gotten my donations together.

The real problem here is that after a year of budgeting and planning and working it all out, I’m faced with the unexpected. Summer camp requires you to pay 100% of the cost before the child even starts camp, and I wasn’t aware of or prepared for that. Maybe I should have been, I don’t know. So despite saving aggressively for preschool (so I could pay the entire amount in August, thereby eliminating the interest (10%!!!!!) they charge to make monthly payments, I still am screwed. This month I have to pay $1,800 for extended day at preschool (necessary in order to work) for next year. I also have to pay $300 for two weeks of camp so that my younger child will be in “school” until the same date as my older son. I have one week with no plan for either of them, then the following week they both go for 1/2 day for the week.

After that they start camp at the YMCA (116 acres and a pond and lots of activities, I think they’ll enjoy it). We already had to pay a $772 deposit for this last month, and this month $1,496 is due, and next month $1,072 is due. This month I also have to pay my town taxes, about $1,630. This is just overwhelming for me.

I have been saving and saving and SAVING! I am insanely frustrated.

As I see it, I have 3 options.

1) Charge camp. I *think* I will be able to pay that back within the grace period (current balance = 0 so no interest).

2) Take the $1,000 out of my emergency fund, leaving me with nothing in there, so I’d have to charge emergencies anyway.

3) Borrow money from my mom.

I really don’t want to borrow money from my mom, even if I can pay it back within a month or so. I just don’t want to.

The other two options seem more psychological than anything else. Both feel defeating.

The other issue is that making sure I have money for camp and for preschool means I pretty much have nothing extra. No snowflake or snowball at all. I hate that. I wasn’t able to snowball this month, and I don’t think I can start again until August. Unless, you know, we have some kind of windfall. On the other hand, by August I can successfully drop savings for camp and preschool and full-day kindergarten to $440 per month, down from a high of  $1,850 this June. That will significantly improve the snowball at least. Or at last.

So here I am, praying for windfalls and snowflakes!


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