Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Income Home...

So when we found out I was pregnant we discussed multiple times how long I would be off of work for.  Ryan and I have never, unfortunately, been that couple that has a ton of nice things and can live on one income.  We have always wondered how people, with what seems like lower paying jobs, can be so well off.

What are we doing wrong?  How can they have that gorgeous house & new vehicles on one income?
Must be nice to be able to go to those concerts all the time, we have a mortgage to pay for.
When will we be able to afford for only one of us to work?
Don't get us confused for jealous or ungrateful people, we live a really nice life and in order to maintain all that we want, we choose for us both to work.

Well the time came where I was going to be off work.  We are so lucky that here in California we can get paid a maximum of $409/week while on disability for pregnancy and baby bonding after birth.  I ended up being off work before Caleb was born for 5 weeks and have been home with him for 10 weeks already.  Although the $409/week is fabulous and we are extremely thankful for it, it isn't the same amount that I would be bringing home if I were working full time.

So to say it has been a struggle for the past 15 weeks is an understatement.  Money is a huge stresser to me.  Money and financial stress is probably the thing that will kill me one day after the build-up of 60+ years of worrying. LOL.  I have gone back and forth, since August 1st when I went out on Maternity leave on when I should go back - 6 weeks PP, 8 weeks PP, 12 weeks PP?

Before I went out on Maternity Leave I made printable calendars for our fridge that mapped out when we would be getting paid and when all of our bills were due.  ::I love to plan things out - especially financially::  Since I've been home I have tried to spread out our bills and payments to when we get paid but relying on the state to send you half of your income is super frustrating.

My state income goes directly to our mortgage which means that we have Ryan's income to pay the rest of our bills with and live off of.  Ryan works in a sales job which is scary - to me, but luckily he is salary plus commission.  We make good money, but with me not working we have built up more debt in the last 15 weeks than I ever thought we would.

Ryan and I have had many "discussions" about our finances and to say that they end with smiles is not the direction I would go.  Like I said above, money is such a stresser for me.  I have taken on the responsibility of paying all of our bills so Ryan doesn't always know our financial situation unless I tell him.

I hit a point last month where I didn't know how we were going to make it another 4 weeks of me not working.  We had a long conversation about what needs to change for the next month and I set a plan in motion.

Ways We Are Not Building Debt In The Next 2 Weeks:
Eating at home - I went through our freezer and we have enough food in there for 12 meals.  I wrote them down and will be making one every night until we are out.
Packing lunches - Ryan drives all day so it is hard for him to eat lunch most days.  I will be finding ways to pack him lunches that he can eat on the road.
Traveling only when necessary - We live 30-40 minutes from our parents and they all want to see Caleb as often as possible.  We plan our trips South strategically and make sure that we utilize our gas accordingly.
No Shopping - We aren't too guilty of this, but I did just go and buy new clothes for work and I always want to buy things for Caleb so this has got to stop, for a while at least.  I plan on not buying any clothes for the next 4 weeks if possible - wish me luck!
Use gift cards - We get gift cards all the time, birthdays, holidays, etc and we always forget to use them!  I have stuck these babies in the diaper bag and will be using them up whenever possible.

I am still using Mint to help keep our budget in line and highly recommend it to anyone, whether you have financial stresses or not.


I know that I only have 2 weeks left at home with my little and as sad as I am to leave him and go to work, I know that it is for the best.  We want our less stressful life back and a two income home again will be one step in the right direction.

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  1. We've recently been discussing how we would like to be a little more financially stable before taking the leap into parenthood. While a year of maternity leave in Canada is great and all, I think I forget that that's a year away from work where I won't be making the same salary. These are great tips, thanks for sharing!

  2. I know money is super stressful! We live off of two, and make more than enough, but it always seems like we're having to pay SOMETHING. Some bill, some this some that, so we've seriously pared down and acted like we can only live off his so we can get rid of some of my student loan debt and be debt free in a few years.