Money Matters
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Saving..ridiculously hard...

Argh. Frustrated. DH and I both contribute to our 401k's, so I feel that we are saving for our future, one thing that is very important to me. Then, we save throughout the year to get through the summer, because he's a teacher and doesn't get paid in the summer ( I work, but we still need my earnings plus the $5k). So we save more than $5,000 for the summer. Between saving for our 401k, and saving for summer, it's so hard to save in an emergency fund, which I try to, but always fall short, or end up using. I just feel like I have so many pots of money that I need to save up, and there's not enough coming in to save!!! Then, don't even get me started about saving up for a down payment on a new house, and saving for the kids college fund. HOW on earth do people save for all of these different things while still living a life and paying monthly bills?!
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Re: Saving..ridiculously hard...

  • Could your husband tutor kids afterschool and in the summer to bring in more money?
  • He does an after school program and works part time during the month of July, but then we need him home in August to save on daycare costs, so he watches the kids all of August.
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  • Why is daycare different just in August?

    Is it not an option to have his pay spread out across 12 months?  I am a teacher and we have the option of doing a 10 month pay schedule or a 12 month pay shedule.  Then you wouldn't have to worry about that pot of savings.

    Is there anything extra he can do to bump his pay up at school a little bit?  I coach which brings in an extra $2K and I am a sponsor for 2 different clubs which brings in another $1K and I used to mentor other new teachers which pays $18.50/hr on top off my teaching salary.  Although coaching takes a lot of time for the few months of whatever sport it is, the other two things take me very little time.

    If you want to post a budget we would all be happy to look at it and see if we can think of other ways to save.

    ETA: just saw that you said he does an affter school program.  sorry!

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  • Daycare is different in August because DH is able to stay home and be with them. He teaches summer school which ends at the end of July. He's never been able to find a part-time job that pays well just for the month of August, as he starts back to school on August 28th, and has a few inservices and trainings that he had to be free for, too, so it's hard to get a good job just from August 1- August 28, thus the reason why he has choosen to stay home with the children during the month of August, which does save us $900 per month on daycare costs.

    It's not just the summer schedule that gets to me, it's everything combined as a total, and trying to figure out how we can save for all of these things can be overwhelming when you look at the big picture.

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  • people save by cutting their monthly costs and putting that money away. if you post your monthly budget then the ladies on the board can help you find ways to lower/cut costs so that you'll have more money to boost your savings.
  • I have created a spreadsheet for my budget with my savings included.  It helped me to get a handle on the big picture when I had hard numbers in front of me.  We always put the money in savings just like it is a bill we have to pay. It has helped us to get a handle on it & pay off way more debt then we had been able to previously. 


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  • DOes your DH have the option to receive his pay over 12 months rather than 9?  Most school systems do offer this option.

    Track your spending and you might find areas to cut back and add to savings (eating out, clothing, vacations, gifts, etc.  Look at your insurance plans and see if you can get them for less, cell phone plans, cable and internet as well.)

    Summer job for DH?

  • I am a teacher and actually makes more money than my husband. We live well below our means for starters. We spent a year put all our extra money at the end of the month on our debt, and was able to pay off our second mortgage, a student loan, and build up 6 months of expenses. I spread my 10 month paycheck into twelve months. If I work full time,over the summer,  I make a lot more money than daycare would cost.

    If we had to, we could live off of one salary. I am expecting in two months and have saved enough money that we are expecting to be able to handle me being on maternity leave for four months and go back part time without having to take much, if any, out of our emergency fund.

    Twice a year we purge and try to sell some things on Criagslist. If we need a big ticket item, we will look on Craigslist  first. I also shop at Goodwill often and have gotten nice stuff. I also get free stuff off Craigslist all the time (I live near NYC, so people literally throw away brand new stuff all the time). If we have to buy something new, we buy what's on sale, or a floor model, and we install and so all our home repairs ourselves. 

    We have a low cell phone plan and cable plan. We can cut back more if we choose, but we aren't paupers and don't want to live like ones unless we have to. 

    In the words of Dave Ramsey "Live like no one else (now), so you can live like no one else (later)" It's so true and it's working for us. 

  • I can relate. I am a teacher in a charter school with a master's degree that we are still paying off. Charter schools pay much less than public, however I am happy to have a job. My husband is a videographer but makes a salary comparable with a cashier. We both worked 2 jobs this summer plus photography on the side, and we are just now getting caught up. We are paying student loans for both of us, 2 car pymts, a personal loan, and daily expenses. We don't have kids, and realistically I know we can't afford them right now. We have made a lot of progress by working extra jobs, babysitting, tutoring, etc. and by living very frugally-as in not buying things we don't absolutely need. That being said, there is always something that could be cut back on. For instance we are both guilty of going out to eat at work, throwing food away (because it goes bad before we use it), wasting electricity, buying clothes we don't absolutely need, buying things just because they are on sale, etc. I am going to start making a projected monthly budget and then figure out the actual budget and go from there. It may help you too if you can see the numbers and plan to save for specific things.
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  • I suggest making sure you pay yourself first.  That is, decide on an amount you want to save, and make sure you put that into savings right away.  If you wait until the end of the month, I feel it's less likely you'll have it.

    I just returned to work this week, but before I went on maternity leave, we put over $900 in savings every month.  We make it happen by transferring first thing on pay day.

    I second the suggestion to post your budget.  People can help you find areas to cut. 

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