Day 1: Favorite Quote #NaBloPoMo

(I’m going to quietly come back to this space as if I haven’t been gone for six months.  Babies, amiright?  Time sinks.  I’ll let you know all about everything in the world in the next couple of weeks.  I’ve missed this little space so much lately.)

Day 1: Tell us your favorite quotation and why.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Khalil Gibran

 If I could I’d have this whole poem tattoo’d on my person.  It was incredibly powerful as I started my relationship with my Hubs, a reminder that I didn’t have to give up myself to be in love.  Mike was the first person I ever dated that I felt like myself throughout the “falling in love” process.  I didn’t mold into the person I was dating; and he loved me for it.  I knew I was, he like who I was, I liked him as he was.  Pretty fantastic place to begin.

Then came baby.  (A new tagline for my blog perhaps )  Lately, with an almost one year old, I find myself coming out of a daze.  It’s not that I’m not happy, that’s far from the truth.  What I can say is that I’m not quite “myself”.  At the end of the day, after giving all of me to a job, a baby, and a marriage…. I don’t have much left for me.  My job, baby, and marriage have thrived under this model, but I’ve become a little less sparkly.  I miss being sparkly.  Sigh.  Tell me that’s totally normal for a first time mom.

My life is full of so much amazing things, but to be the strongest pillar I can be, I need to carve some more time out my day for my self.  I think that writing again could be the first step.  (Followed by some bubble baths and regular baby-free friend time.)family photo

 

Money and Marriage

Before getting married, I was never very good at money.  At my best I was budgeting to the dime to get by, at my worst I was overspending and using credit cards to bridge the gap.  (Not advised my friends.)

After my horrible, no-good, very bad, break-up in 2009 I was fully on a spending spree.  It filled the hole.  I deserved it!  I would fly places and buy things like Anthropolie quilts and lovely dinners out.  By the time I had worked through all of those emotions and stopped over-spending I was left with some pretty serious debt and a severely defeated opinion of my ability to handle my own finances.

Then I got pregnant.

Mike had a savings account, which I took to mean he was SO GOOD AT MONEY!  What was actually the case was that he had no real expenses so he didn’t have to pay attention to his spending at all and his savings account would just grow and grow.

When I went on maternity leave, we had to dip into his savings a lot.  When I was only working part-time we had to dip into his savings a lot.  One night, before I found my new job and after my non-profit had declined my request to come back full time, we sat on the couch and had the real conversation that we could not keep going the way we were… the savings account was getting smaller.  We could go on for a month, tops.

That was one of the hardest nights we’ve had since we got married.  I cried a lot.  I felt really helpless and guilty and awful.  Mike felt powerless and frustrated and like he wasn’t properly providing for our new family.

Then I got a new job.  It pays way better, but I was still finding myself needing that next pay check so much.  I had a nebulous idea of “Hey, I’m making so much more money, now I can spend all the money I want!”  (Spoiler alert: This was false.)

We knew that we wanted Miles to start at a new (much more expensive) day care in the fall and Mike needed a new car.  It was time to budget and get our whole financial plan into order.

So we started a budget.  We started tracking.  And it’s been the MOST liberating experience I’ve ever had.

We still get to have all the fun we want, we’re just aware.  We have successfully finished out second month with our budget, and it’s been amazing.

We can confidently start Miles in his new school in the fall.  We can confidently buy Mike a new car, while not being afraid we will run out of money for diapers.

We have money in our savings account.  (We have a joint savings and individual accounts.)  For the first time in my entire life, I am spending less than I am making.  I have a savings account that is growing and making me all kinds of happy.

I have shared our tracking with some people, and wanted to do it here too.  We use Google Drive to track our spending.  We have categories that we’ve budged amount into, and each time we spend and enter that category, my sheet automatically sums up how much I have left in each category.  I made a generic version of what we use.  I hope it helps someone too!

Google Doc