August 4, 2013

the single (income) life

Since I lost my job a couple weeks ago, I've been doing a lot of searching. At first, I was searching for another job. Then I searched deeper to try and decide what kind of work I want (writing, of course - I'm not one of those who can do just anything and be happy). Then I looked for ways to trim the family budget.

And now? Well... right now, I'm letting that toy boat sit in the tub and float by itself.

We really are serious about selling the condo and buying a house. In fact, we've been serious for about seven years but the housing bust had other plans for us (not to mention debt, jobs, infertility, birthing, blah blah blah). Rather than jump ship and start renting, we waited. We've stuck it out in hopes that eventually we'd at least break even and we could move on. At long last, this has finally happened. We're not exactly living an episode of The Jeffersons, but still. The time looks right, we have a teeny tiny bit of equity for the first time in over a decade, and the interest rates are still comparatively low.

Plus - plus, we went to pre-qualify for a new mortgage and found out about a stellar program that has an income limit just barely above what my husband earns. It's based on projected income. And right now, that's not hard to project.

Gee, we're down half our income. Let's buy a house! Bla-hahahahahahaaaa....!

So this month, we're going for it the old-fashioned way: we're using cash envelopes for our most vulnerable (easy to overspend) expenses like groceries and eating out, and saving anything I earn. We've done it before. It's how we paid off more than $30k in debt early in our marriage (thank you Financial Peace University). And it's how we'll figure out whether I actually need to work before our son goes to school full-time. Lord, I hope not.

But we'll try it. If I have to make a different decision, I will. We are both sick of living scared and trying to play it safe. So there. :)  But I'm still keeping him in daycare three days a week. It gives me the margin I need to prep the condo for sale while I look for contract work, not to mention the physical break it gives me from utter exhaustion.