It’s been too long friends, too long since I’ve posted. I feel bad, but at the same time, sleep is of short commodity these days and ranks numero uno on my list. I’m still holding my breath at my luck, at the luck of my little family, that I found such a great job, that my babies have such a wonderful nanny that they love, that my husband is back doing what he’s passionate about. There are of course small challenges that have popped up, such as finding the time to blog, for instance. And cook. Quite literally there was one night that I got home at 6pm, said goodbye to our wonderful nanny, turned on the TV (because she doesn’t let them watch any) and started dinner. I made Kraft Mac and Cheese. It was not a highlight of my mommy career, that’s to be sure. After that night, I’ve tried to make sure I have something healthier readily available – and finally understand the appeal of Rachael Ray’s 30 min meals. I haven’t gone so far down that path, but I have started to put a little more thought into meal planning than I had before. My husband says I should start a weekly “One-Hand Meals” column on my blog…because that’s what I have to cook with. One hand. The other holds the baby and tries to keep him from getting burned (which pretty much limits my repertoire)…while I keep one ear open for the menacing sound of silence from the toddler. I love nights that my husband is home.
We finally refinanced our tiny, little house and will be paying $1150 rather than $1400 a month. It’s a pretty sweet deal, to be sure. Given that we pay $420 a week for our nanny, we are spending $21,840 a year on childcare. It would be nice to be able to save that money for a downpayment for a house, but for the quality of care we’re getting I’m not going to complain. To pay that for the care of 2 kids, one of which is an infant, is quite a bargain. My cousin is paying – albeit FT rather than 30 hours a week – $24K a year for one child. I think we’re getting off easy peasy.
I finally redid our budget. The problem with what we’re earning is that my husband’s is sales-dependent: He draws an hourly and a percentage of sales after that. I’m not quite sure what he’ll really be making, therefore I’m not sure if we’ll hit the “before-tax” salary requirements we need, but I like wishing big.
|$2,860.00||total set monthly expenses|
|$420.00||nanny per week|
|$21,840.00||total childcare annually|
|$56,160.00||necessary (set expenses + childcare) annually|
|$600.00||life insurance policies|
|$78,156.00||Total Annual Needs|
|$93,787.20||Total Annual Needs before taxes (assuming 20% tax rate)|
My budget is ambitious. I also did what I always do – Allocate all the money out so that I don’t feel like we have extra to spend. Obviously extra does get spent – I don’t really have “fun” money in the budget like I used to, but then again I didn’t used to have to spend $20K a year on childcare. We are building our Emergency Fund back up again this month due to a refund on our refinance and the “free” mortgage month you get when you refinance. It’ll be back up to $10K, which is not my ideal comfy spot, but decent for right now. Also, we’ll be able to throw in a couple thousand to our IRA’s to help ensure we can max it out again this year – make up for the time lost. We’ll probably end up dipping into the emergency fund to max them out completely by April 2013, but hopefully we can save, save, save and that won’t have to happen. We’ll see.
While we’d love to save on childcare by utilizing family help, we realized that my husband’s family could not devote x time to watching our kids, as much as they wanted to. When they tried to commit to certain time periods – one 4 hour stretch a week – we quickly realized that their availability changed from week to week and we needed more stability than they could offer. It wasn’t fair to a nanny to keep switching their hours around, and wasn’t fair to us to have to freak out each week and scramble to find last minute care. As much as we would have loved saving that money, the option wasn’t really there.
So we’re left with this budget. What do you all think?
I’m really going to try to post at least once a week, if not more. Now that we’re gainfully employed, I’m looking forward again to tracking our money, building our eggs, and letting them hatch.
But for now…it’s time to go to sleep.