Knit Together

Let one who wants to move and convince others, first be convinced and moved themselves. If a person speaks with genuine earnestness the thoughts, the emotion and the actual condition of their own heart, others will listen because we all are knit together.
--Thomas Carlyle

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Egad, We're in Trouble

Tonight we crunched numbers for last year’s income and expenditures. We hadn’t done that in a long time. When both of us worked and with Husband’s extra income from his little software business, there was enough money for basics and extras. But it’s a new reality we are facing, and it was sobering.

The places we are looking at run from $2,100 to $2,500 (and believe me, they run much much higher too). The 3-bedroom homes we find less than $2,100 are often in poor condition and in neighborhoods we don’t like. If we were looking for a 2-bedroom abode, we could find nice ones for $1,700-$1,900. But we hope to start a family and still have room for guests for visit. The latest house — which we really like as it has been immaculately maintained, is spacious (1,600 square feet), and in a lovely quiet neighborhood, is $2,300 per month, not including utilities. This would be a 40% increase in rent for us.

I am not working, and we don’t plan for me to work while we pursue fertility treatments, and assuming I successfully bear a child, I’ll be a stay at home mother. So we did some math to see if we could afford this. Yes, Husband works in high-tech. Even so, most people here live on two incomes and that’s how they afford it. We can no longer count on the income from his software business, as this may go away (it’s been decreasing steadily over time).

I don’t know what we’re going to do. We either need to reduce the size of place we’re looking for and accept this, or we need to drastically reduce our hobby, entertainment, gift expenses, or I need to work, or some permutation of these. We tend to be really generous with charity and presents to friends and loved ones. And of course I spend more than I should on yarn and craft supplies. It’s got to stop. Especially if we have a child; our research shows it costs about $27,000 a year to raise a child from birth to 18 and then pay for 4-year public college. Time to simplify, pare down.

It’s really frightening, though, to have the kind of income we do and still learn that it may not be enough to live on.

[cross-posted at A Mindful Life]


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