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: 10-01-2008
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 3:26pm

I feel & hear your pain load and clear.  I have several updates too that I would love and NEED to do to our house.  But you know my story and the mess we have bailed ourselves out of since late 2005. 

I guess you'll have to look at this is small packages Marie.  At least you are getting a new floor for the office redo.  When hubby ask you what you want for Christmas.....mention backsplash tile!  Redo that little office area with found things around the house. Maybe that will perk you moral up a little bit.  The back slash will be next on your list.

{{{HUGS}}}  kids are eating up a lot of your money right now, but that too dear will come to an end.  Spoken by a mom who's 30 year old son has her car borrowed for the past 6 months because his broke down and he cannot purchase one now........



"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 4:18pm

Thanks all! This is truly the most wonderful forum of really supportive people.

You know somedays we just get tired and need to vent, but we trudge on. Today I paid a mess of bills, and at least had money to pay them (mostly utilities and insurances - how fun!! )

Somehow I am going to find money for the carpet and backsplash.  I had budgeted $500, but I did have $500 left in checking after bills are paid (and yes, I have an Efund too.)  Carpet is going to run $365 installed, leaving me $135.  I figure the backsplash tile will be $190, minus a $25 HD gift card I have which should cover the adhesive, so basically I need less than $100 to get the backsplash too.   I think I have some more clothes for resale I can take in - we are not looking at that much, so I am going to try to scrape it up somehow! 

Guess I just needed a challenge! 


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 8:00pm


Add me to the list of people who are very impressed with your progress and "stick-to-it-ness".

You've paid down over $23,000 annually (not counting your mortgage).  That is really, really good!

I understand it gets frustrating . . . I especially understand being a bit frustrated with house repairs that are lagging (for me it's been more of a time constraint than a dollar thing since Dh perfers to do all of the work himself) . . . but I promise - with your laser attention to details, you'll get through this stuff soon enought.

Hang in there.  You are doing great and are a great inspiration for the rest of us to follow.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2009
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 10:17pm

Dear Marie.....

Im so sorry your feeling frustrated.

As you know I am not a model for a debt free life.  I will be contrarian here and say....spend a little....fix up your house so that your home becomes a refuge to relax and enjoy.

You are resourceful and hardworking so you really need to make your house a home that replenishes you and brings you joy.  This debt will too be paid.

Let's live in the present as tomorrow is unknown.

Big Hug,



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 1:47pm
Liz - Thanks for noting the sacrifice, my parents both worked hard for me to attend a great university (even though I did pay a lot myself and got some scholarshipsand had loans as well) and I feel I owe an education to both our kids. We didn't have them so they could mooch off of the government dole, I wanted to breed productive citizens and this is college is a part of that. Fact is that our government tax system assumes we will educate our children, which is why there are so many college tax programs out there.
We only pay $6k a year for his son, $500 a month toward tuition, R & B. - the rest is on his son, not us. DSS works summers and has a college savings from his graduation party, and grandparent gifts, and some bonds he is using a bit at a time. If Dh is more responsible, where would he get that money from? He does not really spend that much.
Dh will not get a new truck until we get a good deal, but it will be new as we do feel we need one really decent vehicle at all times for security, and trucks do hold value much better than cars. The new model is due out in 2014, so we will try to buy before that model year, probably a 2013 with as many discounts as we can get (family of auto workers for really good discounts too.) He saves 50% of his old truck payment a month, so he has more to use on top of a trade in. Again, we don't see this for at least 6 months, but we are watching deals now in case some great discounts come up.
He used to buy a new truck every 3 years, now it is every 6-8, which is good since he puts 25k a year on it and honestly they start really costing money after 150k miles. But worse is the issue of reliability. He has to have something he can rely on.
I don't know, we are both really hard workers. He has gotten 3 promotions in 5 years and is line for another one. His firm is pretty stable, and they said they would at least get a 3% raise first of the year. He is also on a huge project for the next 12-18 months, and manages one of the largest teams in the company, that and he works on call 24/7, right along with every member of his team. He is a truly great technical manager, and it has been noted several times by folks above and below him. They are even sending him for a high level training next month.

I think I am just tired is all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 1:51pm
Thanks, Kassie.
I guess DH and I too thought we would get a newer house one day after we married and that is the hard part, it does not look like we will be able to. So it is like someone took the air out of my balloon, and all Iam saying is just let me have a little balloon, just fix this place up so it is reasonable. A couple projects a year (small) or one big one, will help me get this house in shape so I might be able to live here.

I wish I could put a home repair company on a permanent retainer for 3 years and get it all done a bit at a time!! LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 1:54pm
Aww Duke, you and Liz both get my mindset! The last homes I have had all were a refuge. This one is just WORK. It is on a dirt road, so the dust is HORRID, besides the fact my car is always dirty too.
And that would be OK if we owed a bit on it - but we owe over $235k on this thing that is not worth that much.
All I want to do is a few fixes, so at least I feel I am moving forward. And the fixes I want are low cost, but will add to the value of the home if we ever do sell.
Going for that backsplash though!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 3:05pm
Marie, I am glad you are looking for a way to afford the back splash...you do so much for everyone else that I think it is important to do something for you. I saw that you said some of your clutter was stuff that wasn't the right size for this house...but you still liked them. As someone who struggles a lot with attachment to things, I know how hard it can be to part with them. But if you do not see yourself moving to a new place and your retirement plans are to live in the cabin, what is your long term plan for the things you are saving? If it is for DD to take them, will she really want them? Would it be better to sell them now and free up some money and space to make your home what you want it to be? I am slowly working through my mother's things...we are not immediately selling her house so I have a lot of time. It is very hard to let go of things that I will never use but that mattered to her. But ultimately, I cannot keep everything...my home is essentially furnished...with stuff that matters to me...and yet each decision feels like a struggle and a victory at the same time. Some things, when I give them to people, I say 'I don't care if you throw it away, just don't tell me'. Perhaps a selective review of what you are holding on to would let you make the present more pleasant. Maybe you will even find a way to integrate somethings into your current life and let go of things that don't matter as much.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:52pm
So this was your DH's house, is that right? I feel for you, that must be tough if you really don't like the layout. Kind of hard to change that with paint, KWIM?

Getting a bit OT, but I have a fear of me and SO buying a house together, married or not, and finding myself in a similar situation. Our tastes are so different.

The house him and his xW sold in their D was a house I would have NEVER purchased. I would rent it if I was desparate, but never choose to live there, let alone make a purchase. The house, the neighborhod, the street, the schools....I disliked it all.

Anywho, again, I feel for you. I don't know, I would be tempted to go into a very small amount of debt if it made my house feel like a home.

On a side note: I read something a while back about a couple who chose to stay in their small "starter" home instead of buying up as their family grew. Although she had moments of envy when she went to visit friends, her and her DH chose to spend their money on other things.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2011
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:53pm


I am glad you are going to find a way to get the backsplash done.  You have been working really hard, and it just doesn't make sense to have two cabins, but not feel completely happy with the home  you live in day in and day out.    I can so relate to where you are, in that you are spread thin as I am right now, and that is an awful feeling no matter how much money is ultimately involved.  This will pass!!  Good luck!!