Welcome to another edition of personal finance confessions — a totally irregular recap of how I’m managing my money lately.
This round features five confessions. Much like the first three posts, calling these confessions is likely a little dramatic.
Here we go.
Five personal finance confessions
Like the previous post, the idea behind these personal finance confessions is to share about things that might not fit into a budget recap. Some of the “confessions” for this round are big picture, while others are more time specific (and one is only sort of related to personal finance).
Maternity leave killed our emergency fund and refilling it has been harder than I expected
Our emergency fund is in rough shape.
It’s not shocking to me. Pairing reduced pay with new expenses, it was bound to happen. I’m grateful we were able to save enough to double our emergency fund before baby was born, otherwise we would have added more debt.
The surprising thing for me has been how difficult refilling this account is proving to be.
I reached a point during maternity leave where I accepted it just was not going to happen. No amount of adjustments to our budget was going to make up for the fact that we did not have enough money coming in to meet all our obligations and save money at the same time. It didn’t add up and there were other things that were more important at that time.
I figured it would be easier when I got back to work. And in some ways, it has. But the progress is so very slow.
We’ll get there. I know that so I’m not too stressed out about this (even if it seems like I am). I’m just trying to be real about the current situation.
We will be adding $10k+ to our debt — on purpose
I’ve touched on this before, but we have the final quote so it’s official: we’re putting a new roof on the house in May.
And we will be paying for it with our credit line.
I have mixed feelings about this.
I hate that we’re going to be adding more debt after working so hard to pay it back. Taken on its own, it feels like a massive step backwards.
But we knew the house needed a new roof when we bought it – and we know we don’t want to put it off too long. The reality is, after a year on maternity leave, we don’t have $10k sitting around.
I am grateful the interest rate on my credit line is on the lower side (6.44 as of April 2022). Plus, thanks to our focus on paying off debt over the last few years, we are still in a pretty good financial position overall.
Benefits and drawbacks, right?
Our miscellaneous budget line is not working anymore
I wish it was. I truly do. But between the crazy high price of gas and the reality that basically everything at the grocery store has become more expensive, keeping groceries (and household stuff) and gas in the same budget line together just is not working.
Yet, I am still so resistant to the idea of separating them into two different categories.
Variable expenses are so strange to me. Even though these two particular expenses have been in our budget, well, from the start, I find them hard to plan. What I liked about the miscellaneous line is that it was a set amount of money that could go to either. I thought it worked well, but I have come to realize that’s only because we did not spend a lot on gas.
It’s time to split these two up.
My Starbucks spending…yikes!
I am working on this.
When I started back to work in March, I went to Starbucks daily. Coffee is cheaper when you make it home, yeah, but I love takeout coffee. And thanks to our personal spending allowances, I can go every day.
If that’s how I want to spend my money.
So I’m back on the “make coffee at home” grind and it’s all good. I have a cold brew maker, some syrups and creamers…all the stuff I need to make a nice iced coffee at home. I’m not swearing off takeout coffee but I am going to try and get back to having it once or twice a week instead of every day.
I am struggling with writing
That’s obvious, right?
Here’s the thing, though: this isn’t actually a writing problem. I thought it was. For a long time, that was how I approached it.
But it’s not about writing. Not really.
It’s about thinking. And the truth is I really just have not had a lot of time for that over the last several months.
I love being a mom.
My kid…I adore her. There isn’t a thing in this world I would not do for her. She has been worth every single sacrifice, every hard moment, every struggle. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
But there have been hard moments and struggles. And there have been sacrifices.
Becoming a parent for the first time was going to be tough regardless. I would be lying if I said becoming a parent for the first time while the whole world was on fire was harder than I expected. People always say it takes a village to raise kids and I believe it. Going through maternity leave (and the early stages of year one) with very minimal physical support has been hard. I’ve had to accept that I can’t do it all – and as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, writing has been one of the things that had to go.
Hard to create when you can’t think much beyond the things that absolutely need to get done during the day, you know?
I’m trying to get back to it. During Q1, I did a freelance piece for Curl Magazine and, at the very end of the quarter, I had a piece published at Her View From Home. I’ve started posting a little more on Instagram again. And I’m hopeful as we adjust to our new routine, I’ll be able to carve out more time to…think again.
There you have it — some personal finance confessions from the first quarter of 2022. I’m still not sure “confessions” is the best term to use for these little snippets about our finances but I’m going to go with it (at least until I find something better).
How’s 2022 going for you so far? Have you ever had to do a major home renovation?