I’m ready for a vacation

The last few months I’ve become painfully aware of one truth that I had, for years, denied myself from believing. It’s the truth that unless something drastically changes in the lives of my family, we’re going to forever be owing money to other people. Mortgage loan servicers, credit card companies, auto financiers, utility companies, insurance companies, etc.. The list goes on and on and anyone living the “American Dream” is painfully aware of how difficult and out of reach that dream really is. I’m far from being uncomfortable right now, in fact, I think we’re living just inside our means as I’ve consistently said “No” more than I’ve said “Yes” for the last year since moving into our current home. The problem is that we’re in a home where we aren’t certain what has and has not been properly maintained and it seems we find out when its the most inconvenient. Murphy’s Law in full effect for our household. In the last year, we’ve repaired or replaced:

  • Main water line (inside the house)
  • Water softener
  • Hot water heater
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Front door
  • Garage doors and openers

We’ve also had the back yard fenced in with post & rail with green goat fence stapled to the inside. We really didn’t need a fence, but the dog was getting bolder in going after rabbits and would make it much farther into the field before deciding to listen to our screams to come back. She’s a good dog, but damn, that girl is determined to get a rabbit in her mouth. We paid cash for the fence, cash that I had saved up rather painfully for several months to establish a cushion. One bank statement a few months back that the wife looked at saw the money and was like “we have money, we’re getting a fence.” Who am I to argue. My back thanked me for not having to sleep on the sofa if I said anything other than “Yes.” I’ve since converted our statements to paperless and they’re emailed to my account now 🙂

The wife isn’t working through the summer, it’s school break time. We have very little cushion at this point and it’s started to irritate my normally pragmatic approach to finances. I should have held my ground firmer and explained what the savings were for, like the hidden problem that will cost a few hundred or more that we’re not aware of yet for example. I know the air conditioner is too small for the house and it’s only a matter of time before the thing overloads and burns out. Internet and air conditioning are two necessities that I rank higher than anything else in the household; only the mortgage is higher priority. She doesn’t get it and is rather impatient with the whole waiting to replace things aspect of having a house that wasn’t built to our specifications. I have sometimes questioned why we moved in the first place when a few changes could have made our previous house workable. Hindsight is a bitch.

I’ve made so many changes and cuts to our monthly budget with very little difference to show for it. Every time I think we’re backing away from the edge some unforseen repair or payment pushes me back to the edge again. The most depressing part about all of this is that I’m nursing pants, shirts, shoes and other items to their bitter end before breaking down and buying some new stuff. Not because I want to, but more because I know that the daughter needs them more than I do. That girl grew almost 2″ from November to now and she is in the same size shoe as my wife……the daughter is 10 by the way. I’m not growing that much and can handle a few stitch repairs to extend the life of a shirt, but she literally is growing out of her stuff every 6-9 months.

What to do, what to do. The summer is going to be really tight and with me doing all the finances, I’m the one that worries and bears the burden of making sure there’s a roof with utilities for us to live in. I may just have to swallow my disgust and start letting people know I’m doing computer work on the side again to bring in some extra cash. I can only take so many “I don’t know how that malware got there” excuses before I get cranky with people’s attitudes towards security, or lack thereof. I need a vacation.

6 thoughts on “I’m ready for a vacation

  1. everybody needs a vacay….but remember it only gets worse with retirement….get away if you can if only for a day or so…..it helps clear the mind…good luck….chuq

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  2. This is a refreshing point of view, and I try to imagine my husband in these situations that I have indeed put him in. He’s is easily the frugal one of the two of us, but I handle all of the finances. I pay the bills, coupon, make cuts, etc.
    Funny story… One day we were sitting on the couch and a popular airline boasted some huge sale. Flying to LA to see his mother would be fairly inexpensive for our now family of four. I asked him, “if I can make $1000 extra dollars this week, aside from my pay check, can we go?” He agreed. But to our surprise, the next day we got a check owed to us for roughly $1500. We didn’t fly to LA but we dropped the kids off at my parents and spent the night in a nice resort. We drank at the bar, and stayed up most of the night. IT.WAS.AWESOME!
    But reading this, we live very much the same way. We bought our home on the cusp of 12 years when every appliances slowing starts to give out. Between our inspection and the day we closed on the house (less than 30 days) our hot water heater quit. The A/C is on its last leg, the sprinklers might need a complete overhaul. Thankfully the washer and dryer went out the day after Thanksgiving and I got an awesome Cyber Monday deal on new ones.
    I hope you and the fam get your vacay soon.

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  3. Offspring are remarkably expensive… our lack of them may explain our current lack of financial worries. I really hope that you can find a way to build up a little financial buffer – it really does make a big difference to peace of mind.

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  4. Hang in there. I get it. I often regret buying a damn house which needs a new roof and AC system within 4 months of each other. I still have a kid in daycare, which is a 2nd mortgage right there. We’ll get there!!!

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  5. I feel for you. The bills never stop coming. It seems like everything is made to give out within a few years, that way we’re continually buying something. I hope’re able to get away soon.

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  6. I have been in some pretty drastic financial situations myself over the years … some of them pretty near destitution … but I discovered that we always managed to get by somehow. It wasn’t always comfortable and it wasn’t always easy but we seemed to make it from month to month and year to year and somehow .. do not ask me how … time changed things and we got back on our feet and stayed there. I am sure that as time goes by you will find your own situation improving too. I learned one thing when we were living in the roach-coach apartment in the derelict flooded-oput community for a year … there was always someone else worse off than we were and knowing that helped us get through sometimes. I feel what you are describing here.

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