Bah Humbug!

I love the holiday season. All of the gift giving, the snow starts falling, the family get togethers, and the free food. I’m so excited for Ace to have his first Christmas, and want to make it special and memorable. But the holidays are not all fun and games. There are a few of things I dislike about the holidays.

  1. Spending Money – I am a tight wad. I admit it openly. If there is one thing I hate, it is spending money. Now don’t get me wrong. I like to buy gifts for everyone, but I don’t think we should spend as much as we do. The problem is that we go to see so many different places and see so many different people on Christmas and everyone buys for us, so we feel obligated to buy for everyone else. Our combined family is BIG! After buying gifts for visits to my Grandma and Grandpa in-law’s, then to my Mom’s, then to my Mother and Father in-law’s, then to my Grandmas, then to my Dad’s, and finally our own Christmas gift giving celebration…we are BROKEBROKE. Done. Cooked. Burnt!

    broke.png

  2. Preparation – All the running around to different stores, putting things in lay-a-way, paying on the lay-a-way, getting out the decorations from the basement, wrapping the gifts, and coordinating all of the family gatherings so that it is convenient for everyone. Mentally exhausting!
  3. Taking Up Precious Time – There are only two things that I don’t have enough of…money and time. It’s hard enough during a non-holiday month to get caught up with all of my regular responsibilities in order to have some free time to have some fun. Not only do we have to allot time for everything in #1 and #2, we also have to allot time for consuming two full days of the month…the 24th and 25th. With 31 full days in December, after subtracting all of the time preparing for the holidays, it feels like I have five whole days left in the month to be productive.
  4. Pretending To Like Gifts – I know I am not the easiest person to buy for. I already have a lot and don’t ask for much, but why would you waste your money on something totally useless? If you don’t know what to buy for me…buy lottery tickets. $$$
  5. pink-elephant.pngThe Drama – There is always drama somewhere. Never fails. One family member is not getting along with another family member and there is always tension in the room. This kind of things just eats me up! Everyone is usually civil, but there is always that pink elephant sitting on the couch next to me. Pink elephants look cuddly, but are vicious wild creatures! Beware!
  6. The Pass Me Around Game – I personally don’t mind for everyone to want to hold Ace and play with him, but Ace can not stand it. Ace and large groups of people tossing him around the room like a hot potato do not get along. He gets over stimulated, worn out, and downright cranky. No amount of formula, rocking, swinging, tickling, or funny faces can calm him down. The only thing we can do is bear the grumpiness until he runs out of energy and passes out. 😀

Looking back on my list I notice that all six things can be summed up into four broad categories…

  1. Lack Of Money
  2. Lack Of Time
  3. Stupid People
  4. Crying Babies

I’m going to try real hard to not let these things get in the way of everybody having a good time and enjoying the holidays, but it’s going to be a challenge…now where is that egg nog?

Money Matters

A while back I wrote a post explaining how Momma was going to be quiting her job and staying home with Ace during the day. Momma has not worked for a few weeks now, Ace is not going to day care anymore, and we have figured out one very important thing…we can’t afford it!

We could do it if we really wanted to, but things would be tight…really tight! It all comes down to making sure that one simple formula is true…

Income > Expenses

I’m a mathematical kind of guy, ya know, the kind of guy that draws up a spreadsheet to calculate everything. After a few spreadsheet calculations I discovered that if we stuck to an extremely strict budget, had absolutely no surprise expenses, and never did anything fun, we would have like $20 left every month. Not going to work…

So Momma has to go back to work part time. Her income will cover some expenses and all fun activities. My income will cover the bills.

She put in a few applications at some of the local clothing stores nearby where we live. She got a job in no time, and will be working evenings. This is what she wanted and it will work perfectly for us. The money she will be making comes no where close to what she was making before, but since she will be home during the day, Ace does not have to go to daycare and I will be there with him in the evenings while Momma is working.

Our plan is for Momma to work part time until baby number two is born. Hopefully we can get a few bills paid off and get into a better financial situation so that Momma can truly be a stay at home Mom in the near future… Wish us luck!

Two Incomes To One – Making The Change

Well, Momma put in her two week notice at work the other day.  We have both worked since we met almost 10 years ago.  With the birth of our son Ace, Momma has decided to convert to a Stay-At-Home-Mom.

It makes sense.  She wants to be there during the day for Ace instead of taking him to daycare.  Plus daycare costs us an arm and a leg.  It costs us $220 for four days per week.  That is $880 dollars per month.

While Momma makes quite a bit more than this every month it is kind of silly for her to go to work for, essentially, $880 less per month.

This is going to call for some major spending habit changes.  No more eating out.  More cooking at home.  Less going to the movies.  And I’m going to have to consolidate some debt to get our payments down to an affordable level.

Momma is thinking about taking on a part time job in the evening a couple days a week,  after I get home from work. The money she earns will probably be our “fun money”.

It is going to be tight.  Going from two incomes to one is a drastic change.  I’ve figured it up and it will be possible as long as we stick to our budget…which in the past we have not been good at doing.

I’m hoping that since we are doing this for Ace, that we will stick to our budget and everything will work out OK.

It’s funny how having a baby changes your outlook on life.  It’s not about making money and having nice things anymore.  It’s about being a happy family and raising a happy little boy.

Has anyone else out there went from two incomes to one to be a stay-at-home-parent?  If so do you have any tips for me and other readers that are considering making the change?