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: 12-31-2010
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 12:59pm

Happy, Heather and Serenity -
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, this was Dh's house he lived in since his son was in kindergarten, complete with (and I kid you not) cammo sponge painted walls!! I repainted, but it took a lot of sanding to get that texture off.

Our home is in the woods on a dirt road. Community is great as we are close to Ann Arbor and can reach all the major cities around here in about half an hour - so it makes our area pretty desirable adn the school system is one of the best in the state. There are also 3 lakes around us - people across the street and down the street all live on lakes. We live across the street from lake access, but can't even see their homes the lots are so large. Also, I am 8 minutes to work, backroads or freeway access available.

I do see myself here for about 20 years at least, or in the area due to my job and DH's. I do not see us retiring completely to the cabin, the area is too rural for us - DH's parents have a cabin and their house and they are in their late 70s.

One cabin is paid for, the other will be paid off in 4 years, renting one pays the taxes on both. These are nice places on a lake, we do like to spend time there and Dh's entire family is there along with the hunting land his family owns. In fact he wants to buy more land up there before we retire (40+acres.) One will be sold in our retirement to DSS, unless he does not want it by a certain age (thinking 30, or 10 years from now) then it gets offered to DD. She likes it up there too, but we are helping her with grad school, so that is the trade off with the cabin as DSS is not going to do grad school (he is going to be lucky to do undergrad the way he is going.)

DH and I actually have the same vision for a house of our own. More of a rustic place, with a great room, large fireplace and big kitchen on some land here.

If I was forced to stay here all I would do to this house would cost about $30-35k- includes:
- Gutting master bath, new shower stall, tile, cupboards mirros, paint, fixtures
- Backsplash and applliances in kitchen
- Sunroom carpet
- Tile floor in kids' bath
- Carpet kids' rooms upstairs
- break out fake window gables in attic to attach to kids' rooms and make them real gable windows with window seats for storage.
- Blinds in dining area and sunroom
- Change fireplace to real wood burning from useless gas (we have tons of free wood)
- finish basement (it is subdivided) needs bathroom, flooring, ceiling
- lanscape back yard
- add a used hot tub on lower deck
- re-landscape, clean up, front yard
- Fix driveway
- paint garage and add pull down stairs
- reside the house in sages and brown siding
Actually even if we sold, we would probably get almost all of the $30k or so back.

So I am on to one project at a time!