Tired of budgeting - Vent

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tired of budgeting - Vent
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 12:25pm

Ok, I can't really talk to anyone around me, so you guys get my vent.  Kick me to the curb if you want, I need to get some things out.


As the vets here know, I married my Dh and we are 2nd time arrounders.  I sold my big McMansion in 2006 before the big crash, but it was still a short sale for just the realtor fees.  Before that I always could make ends meet, saved for DD's college, retirement, had life insurance, etc.

Since I married DH, moved into his home (bachelor pad for 9 years) because it was in a better school district for the kids (my DD and his DS are just a year apart,) I just feel like my desires have been on permanent hold.  I saved for DD for her college and use that to pay her bills.  DH did not save for his son, or when he did, he made bad investments that he never looked at and he had $0, so we need over $500 a month to pay our DS's school. 

DH's house is now underwater, due to the fall of real estate in our area.  IT is a 1600 sq foot 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, with a small galley kitchen, the master bath is the main floor bath and you have to walk through it to our bedroom and the main room is small. 

Beyond that, the house needs major upgrading.  I did paint most of the house before I moved in (sages and tuscan gold colors), we put on a deck in 2008, and new carpet on stairs and living room in 2010.  Back room carpet is still bad (pet stains, so we are talking horrid bad), the kitchen needs the floors sanded and refinished, countertops and cupboards are ok (oak and formica) but a backsplash would add some life there, our master bath needs to be gutted, I redid the counter in the kids bath and our laundry room with simple low, cost changes.  Our driveway is caving in on one side, flower beds are now weed beds, and don't get me started on the basement junk heap and backyard disaster, let alone the messy garage.

I have worked two jobs most of the time we have been married and DH does have a stable 6 figure income.  I get about 35% of his gross pay for our household budget, the rest is health insurance, taxes, 401k savings, and his spending on gas, etc.  He does not spend much to his credit.

My recent job change to an independent has made my income less secure, but possibility for much higher income.  We do have emergency savings in place, as well as a term ahead saved for DS's college and the last of DD's 2 years put away. 

We are in the process of refinancing to a 15 year loan on our house at 3.375%, but it will escrow taxes and insurance, so we have to come up with savings for that at closing.  DH's credit is good because we have worked hard to pay off most of his debts except the house, and one small credit card.  Our house payment will be about $90 more a month, but should save us $65k in total interest in the 3 years and we will take 6 years off the loan (now 21 years left on his 30 year loan.)

We paid off a lot of debt so far, and my health payments for my gall bladder will be paid off this month, so we can pay for the extra on the house pretty easily. 

We also have a couple cabins for vacation/recreation.  One is the one DH had he bought in his 20s, he plans to sell to DS when he is old enough, the other we are purchasing from DH's parents and we will have that for the rest of our lives.  So we did not plan on buying the 2nd cabin a few years ago, now we are, which impacted my planning since late 2010, with a mortgage, taxes and insurance on that. 

Car insurance is insane at $2200 every six months, even though the kids have beaters.  Cell phones are $255, and I can deduct some for my business, but DD users hers to connect for school, and Dh needs data when he works remote.  We have shopped it and saved, but it is just insane.

We are getting carpet in the "sun room" this week for $325.  I would rather tile or something, but cheap berber it is.  DH won't consider my glass tile backspash in the kitchen (another $225 plus install ?) I know, I know, one thing at a time.  But I found the tile I want and wish we could get it before the holidays.

We have paid down a lot of debt, DH is driving his truck another year, our kids are getting educated, we do go out and have a nice log cabin on a lake...

BUT I just wish I had $25k to redo this house and make it a place I WANT to live in, instead of a place I dread coming home to.

Arggh, like I said, a vent!!  Sometimes this road is so hard and we have been on it since 2008 - 4.5 years now.  I just wish for a time when I don't have to worry so much - will that EVERY happen?






iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 12:51pm
Marie, You know this, but it is all about choices. Many kids in school do not have cars. You could define cell phones as just for emergencies and buy the kids trac phones with limited minutes. You could let them go into more debt for their education. You could teach more classes. You could rent the cabins out. You could borrow the money to re do the house. If the issue is junk and need for a big cleanup, you could insist that you get a dumpster and stuff be thrown out...that people help with the yard and flowers...I personally think that you never reach the point where there is too much money...you will always be working and planning for something. But you have to keep priorities in mind...your priorities. I have been wanting to redo my kitchen for the eight years I've lived here...but I can't say I need to do it..the cabinets are really cheap and worn out, and an island would give me more work and storage space. I don't do it because I never want it more than I want other things...retirement is never far from my thoughts, and no matter what planning I do, I think we don't know how much money we will really need...what things will cost or how long we will live. If what you want to do in the house will add to the value and increase your happiness, then maybe this is the right time to do some of it...cut back on what you give for the holidays and give everyone a happier you...sometimes you have to put yourself first or no one will. SJ
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 2:04pm

You do have a lot on your plate and and it is important to you both to educate the kids. I detect a little resentment in your post regarding DH not having saved for DS. You need to let it go and move on. The newer truck too. Just let it go. 

It might take us 5 years or likely more to get into a new house as well. We just had an appointment with a broker and I had hoped to consolidate our land mortgage with a new house but that is not an option so now we have to save a hell of a lot of money for a downpayment and scale down what we want for a house which wasn't fancy to begin with so we can even begin to afford the payment. And...I am not even working right now, but that is my choice for a few more months(she is just about 3 months old! time flies!) and the only consumer debt we have right now is vehicle at a great rate that will be paid off soon.  

It is drepressing sometimes but I have started a house fund and we have begun to save to so I may make a ticker with our percentage saved to keep me movtivated. What can you do to keep you motivated for this specific goal? Can you put $25 into it a month to make you happy?



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 7:48pm
LOL Happy, kids having the cars means we don't have to drive all the way to school to get them. They both park off campus, paid for their own cars and we just agreed to help with insurance.
We did rent one of the cabins out this summer and that paid for utilities and taxes on that one.
We have cleaned out junk 4 times now - once when I moved in, then again when Dh's grandma died, then again when my X died, then just this summer when my aunt moved into a nursing home. Issue now is that is is NOT junk. Many are the items I had in my larger home that I bought and still like, but don't have room for.
We figure we will need at least a million for retirement and we have another 15 years minimum to work for the lowest retirement and now that we have it invested smarter we are getting a good 8-9%, so I feel more confident about that retirement savings.
I will not borrow to do home improvements, and I am talking minimum things to get the house to decent - not Taj Mai Hal or anything like I had in my past three homes.
Going to consignment again this week to take in clothes and house items - that is the money I use for clothes for DH and I. (Kids do buy their own.)
Just tired is all. Maybe it is the weather.
Thanks for the input and sharing my pain!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 8:07pm
Karen -
Thanks for dealing with the vent. Yes, I have a lot of resentment that DH did not save for his son, or much for retirement, but had a lot of toys. Men will be boys, I guess! LOL thanks for telling me to let it go, I only have expressed it here, not to anyone else, ever. But I needed to get it out. OK, gone now, over it.

A house fund would be great as well. I have pretty much given up the idea of a new house, so fixing things up each year would be great. Wish we could remodel the kitchen, but it is small and between a bathroom and stairway, so no way to increase it in size. Cupboards are standard oak, but I am willing to deal with them and the turquoise formica counter top if I can just add a back splash to pull it a bit more together.

We have paid off $118,575 in the last 4.5 years. $105k outside of the house, which is pretty good, about $2k a month and we have had new bills since, like medical bills, my car and just a lot of Murphy we paid in cash. All while kids go to school.

Taxes I figured were $60k+ alone last year, which means I worked my two jobs for 9 months just to pay taxes. Bright side is at least we pay less interest now $1191 a month ($364 outside of house) but we used to pay $1896 in interest alone in 2008. It will be a lot less after we refinance, but $705 a month less in interest is a huge savings.

We will be rich in a few years, when kids are gone, I just know it!! LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 10:51pm
It is amazing that you do all this for your children. I've been completely on my own since I was 17 yrs old. Yes, I probably *could* have asked my mother for money but she worked SO hard for us as a single mother, I would never burden her like that.

I know how you feel, I just had my own vent :smileyhappy: I had my children late in life so I won't have the "just before retirement" time to enjoy the fruits of my labour...but I did enjoy a lot more life than most in my 20s, thankfully!!!

Honestly, you have a lot in life to be thankful for...you have 2 children that made it to college (YAY)...you have not 1 but 2 cabins (Dh and dream about a cabin!)...you have your own business (your own boss, your own terms)...you have a DH that makes $100K (mine makes $28K and we live in the 2nd most expensive city for housing in the WORLD - but I've nudged him to change that he'll have that fixed in 5 yrs).

But at the end of the day, if you look around your home and are not happy - I can TOTALLY understand. I feel the same way about my home. After 12 hour days and 2 kids under 5, I don't have the time & energy to paint or organize like I should. But it's a roof and it's home :smileywink:


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 8:53am
Oh, Dee, I am not saying I am not blessed with a wonderful husband and great kids. They not only made it into college, but selected good public, state supported school that are highly ranked, and they have strong (math science) majors. My daughter got her 14th 4.0, she works 3-4 days as a waitress, pays all her own expenses aside of car insurance and cell, which includes food, utilities and books and she has student loans too.
I had my daughter in my late 20s, after I had finished college and had gotten a secure job and had a house, oh and was married. I tried to do things the right way and don't take on obligations I can't afford.
DH's son works summers and also has student loans, so our kids don't get everything.
It is my own stupid comparison. I am just tired of always putting needs before wants, as it has been 4.5 years like this, and then I hear hour house is under water. My last 3 homes were just larger and really nice. This layout just stinks more than anything else. And I love being comfortable at home, especially this time of year.
My issue is taxes and I just read an article I will post. People blame those well off for the ills of the world, but so much of our dang money goes to taxes it is not funny. We are not eligible for most deductions, student aid, or any other thing. We pay over $60k in taxes!! Well over!
In my little company I bought a computer - well the darn township taxes it every year as equipment, cost of the computer was $500, but we pay $20 each year in taxes on it, along with taxes on the printer, and any other equipment I buy. That is beyond sales tax at 6% when I purchased it. Why do I want to buy anything to support my business?
The one thing about your DH's $28k is that he gets most of it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 11:15am

Wow.. I read your post and I am not even qualified to answer this or how to respond but I will say that I am tired of pinching pennies and budgeting also since 2008... It is truly driving me bonkers.. I lost major income in that crash of 2008, got divorced and lost job and since then did some freelancing and have been looking for work for a bit now.. and nothing is coming through..

I had to move in with my sister which I hate with a passion into a tiny beach house . I used to live in a huge gorgeous four bedroom house with an acre of land and did stuff because I had money.. Now I live on a small pension and some savings and I have to watch every penny.. I truly hate it and I have even cut my food portions into half to afford gas and going out sometimes..

I am 58 so feeling close to retirement but I might have to go and live in low income housing or something as I wont be able to afford much as I age. If I make it I will have my pension, social security and some money if I dont spend it all n ow with living expenses..and I am truly frightened some days as I have no medical insurance and I go to a clinic which I also hate.but I have no choice right now..

some days I am truly scared and other days I am truly greatful.. I just wonder about how long we will live so take one day at a time and look for the blessings and graditude in each day..

Take Care

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 12:10pm

I am not saying I am not blessed with a wonderful husband and great kids. They not only made it into college, but selected good public, state supported school that are highly ranked, and they have strong (math science) majors.

My issue is taxes and I just read an article I will post. People blame those well off for the ills of the world, but so much of our dang money goes to taxes it is not funny. We are not eligible for most deductions, student aid, or any other thing. We pay over $60k in taxes!! Well over!

Not sure how much your kids' tuitions are, but tuition and fees alone in the Ivies run from $35,000 to over $50,000 a year.  So at least you are getting something back from your $60,000 of taxes.

I cannot speak for others, but I never blame people who are well-off.  (And actually, a household income of $250,000 and under is considered "middle-class" these days).  And while I do not always agree with you, I have a lot of respect for your work ethics - not many people can or will work the hours you did/do and tackle the debts head on without laying blame on an ex or circumstances.

And yes, I feel your frustration.  When I was trying to pay off my student loans, I could not deduct the interest.  I am paying local taxes to support the schools when I don't have children.  It is not the truly well-off, but the middle-class who are being squeezed.  But at the end of the day, you just have to keep at it because the alternative, giving up, is not an option.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 1:03pm

Oh, Marie... vent away.

Debt and budgeting fatigue happens to EVERYONE.  It's not like you're here with a daily pity party.  You'll be where you want to be at some point!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 3:00pm
Isn't it wonderful to have a place to vent!

We all make choices. Period.

I also go up and down about my house. I am fine for a while and then one day I get up and notice every flaw the house has.

Our household incomes don't even compare, but I think we can all still relate.