Sunday, May 11, 2014

Now vs. Later

I had a minor meltdown Friday morning complete with crying on the phone with the Lowe's customer service rep who had no idea what hit her. Poor lady. LOL. Somehow last month I accidentally put my monthly payment into the spot labeled "Recurring Payment" rather than "One-Time Payment" so I woke up to an overdraft notice Friday morning. This month has been extremely lean with the hail that destroyed my roof, A/C that had to be fixed and re-doing the front yard. I had $70 in my bank account to last me until the 15th (4 more days to go!). Thankfully money was automatically rerouted from my savings to my checking and I wasn't charged a fee, but it still spent me into a tailspin.

Came home Friday night and opened up an Excel spreadsheet to see just how much I spend each month that is constant, compared to my fluctuation spending, where I expect to be 2 years from now, and then estimated baby costs. I did two baby cost comparisons. One that was on the lower side of what I've seen quoted for daycare and one in the mid to high range. A reasonable guess for diapers and formula (should I need it) based on Amazon prices. I can afford the lower end of my estimations but it only leaves about $150 left each month. It's doable, but a bit close for my comfort. The high range is not possible. If my paycheck wouldn't change due to increased medical insurance I could swing it, but my insurance through my school district (which is state subsidized) sucks and just for the cheapest plan for one adult + child is $300/mo.

I've already been trying to cut back on things to help contribute to my long term saving, but if you see my "Baby Dollars" post, it has been a bit ridiculous the past few months and I've actually gone backwards. But I got everything paid off including the stuff for my sister's wedding. So I at least have that behind me. More good news is that I cancelled my cable a few months ago (hooray for Netflix), so that's saving me $70/mo. I'm doing a good job of meal and grocery planning and have gone from spending $100-$150/wk at Target just for me down to about $40-50/wk. I've temporarily halted my retirement contributions which is another $250 extra each month. My HOA and car insurance is paid up until November so this is prime time for me to start saving.

Best case scenario, I can save around $800-$1000/mo from now til November, nothing in December because my HOA, home warranty (if I renew) and car insurance will all be due at the same time. Then back to normal in January. Worst case scenario it's more like $400-$500/mo. Well actually, worst case scenario it's like it has been these past few months... but I'm trying to stay positive here.

My biggest struggle right now is when I take the plunge. Up until Friday, I was ready to start next summer.I'll be 31 next summer so that is the best thing I have going for me is that I am still considered "young" in regards to most people who are SMC. My worry is that if I wait another year to get everything more in order that I'll hit some invisible fertility time limit and have all these struggles that may not have been the case had I been just one year younger. I don't ever want to regret anything. If I had to choose doing it too early and being in debt or planning everything out, having tons of extra money but not being able to get pregnant then I'd choose debt every time. Bring on the bills.

That's why I started freaking out. I don't want to be unprepared and stressed about money the entire time I'm pregnant or a mother. I understand it's probably an unavoidable situation in general but there is no need to set myself up for failure. I read on another blog that one mom had saved up like 16 months of daycare which helped her "afford motherhood". Prior to having bought my house a few months ago, I was in such good financial position that I could go ahead with my plan now if I wanted to. But that's not my reality right now. If I can stick to my best case scenario in this next year, I'll be set to have about $250/mo extra to supplement my income for 2.5 years. That's a decent cushion on top of whatever else I can manage to save each month once a baby is in the picture.

I keep telling myself that things are going to happen no matter how much I plan and save for them and that I will find a way to make it work no matter what. Which is true. I would, it's just extremely scary to think that something I want more than anything in this world is dictated by things that are out of my control.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Emotional Intensity

It has been a crazy week for sure. Ever had to keep teenagers engaged in learning with only 4 weeks left til summer? Yeah, it's as fun and easy as it sounds.

Had to go to my OBGYN today to pick up a refund check that got lost in the mail the first time they attempted to mail it to me. In hindsight, I should have seen it coming but even though I didn't, I'm glad that today played out as it did. It has pushed me to think about some things in a different perspective.

An excerpt from an email I sent to my mentor tonight.

"I was a bit blindsided today going into Dr. Mac's office. I knew it was a bit ironic to be going so unexpectedly, but I didn't expect it to be emotional. I mean, I was in there all of like 60 seconds. But as I was walking out I got this overwhelmingly strong feeling, sort of like déjà vu, but more like whatever term there is for seeing in the future. I just felt in my heart that I would one day soon be walking out of those doors having just seen my son or daughter on a video screen. It is so wonderfully exciting but at the same time so unbelievably terrifying that the emotions just became too much that I just pushed it aside.

It has been so fun to think about so many aspects of this dream of mine coming true, but so often they are things that have emotions involved only as a secondary effect. Every now and then, the emotional side becomes the leader and it is insane how intense the feelings are. This was one of those times. It’s hard to stay in that moment and feel that intensity full on.

Never before have I had something in my life that has brought out so much emotion in me. I’m not used to feeling so much and so often. I feel like one giant nerve. I can talk about things that don’t call on the super emotional feelings but there are still things that I can’t even bring myself to say because just the thought of saying it brings me to tears. Gosh. When will that get easier?
Part of me is starting to understand how unbelievably huge of an emotional undertaking this whole motherhood thing is and that no matter how much talking and prepping and thinking I do about it, I will never reach this place of being fully prepared. There will always be some other feeling or worry to contest with. So trying to gauge when I’m ready to move forward by that factor seems pointless. It’s too fluid. I will forever be a work in progress in that area and realizing that has brought me some peace. It helps me to feel more free to listen to myself about when I’m ready as opposed to feeling like I have to follow this unwritten, non-existent emotional checklist of things before I can move forward."