Please don't get me wrong, I'm not a begrudging tax payer. We will pay what we owe, if only because we are nothing if not rule followers to a fault. I just feel helpless when every single thing that I can possibly do to help my husband is going to throw him over the cliff of insanity and turn him into an even grumpier mess.
Dealing with money does this to us every time. This year is especially hard for us. We are attempting to scrimp and save every little bit we can so that whenever I finish my dissertation and wherever I find that big paying job <insert laugh here>, we can actually go buy our first house there. This year is also hard because last year we were actually forced to try to spend all of the money that we had budgeted for the year because it was grant money.
Yes, somehow we made it into our mid-thirties and have never purchased a home. Surprised? You shouldn't be. We didn't want to buy a house in Cleveland partly because we knew we'd have to leave for a year and partly because we weren't sure we would want to stay there after my 7 years of graduate school were up. I suppose the joke is on us in this category, because we actually LOVED Cleveland and miss it fiercely, and not just for our amazing friends that are there. The second part of the joke is that it is actually going to take me 7.5-8 years to finish my PhD, though to be fair I also finished 2 master's degrees AND had two babies for those of you keeping score. Anyway, we were trying to be smart by not buying a house there, and we really lucked out in the rental department there too. Our landlord in Cleveland was the nicest lady and she loved us, because we paid our rent on time and took care of the house like it was our own.
We miss that house, where things like this happened:
So this is our year of learning about money. I always pick a theme for learning instead of a New Year's Resolution, and money seemed like the most appropriate thing to focus on this year. We're learning to make do with less, and to move money around to trick our budgeting program into thinking that we have less. That of course then tricks us into thinking the same thing and spending less. I highly recommend doing this if you need a little reality check for money.
Do you have any budgeting software you would recommend? Do you have any personal finance reading you might suggest? We're looking forward to becoming more informed about all things money, because informing ourselves about stuff that scares the bejeebus out of us is the only way we have found to make it any less scary.