Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So overdue!!!

Ugh... These big balances are slow-moving, but I'm chipping away. Baby steps...

The girls and I moved in with my fiance and his son a few weeks ago. The kids are all settled in. The girls are looking forward to painting their room. My old apartment is the only place they remember living, so choosing wall colors and having a small yard is a lot of fun for them.

I started talking about my methods of handling finances before we were even engaged, so this hasn't been a shock to him. We have decided to keep our finances separate until after the wedding, though we may open a separate joint account solely for wedding saving and spending. Our current challenge is that my fiance is unemployed every July (he works for a local school district), so in our first month living together, I am the sole wage-earner. It's a challenge, but we held a garage sale one weekend and raised a good chunk of change in the miserable Minnesota humidity. I also had a nicely-timed bonus that helped us out and I have been working as many extra hours as I can without sacrificing family time (or my sanity). We're going to get through the month just fine and I think our emergency fund will survive unscathed.

The next challenge is going to be the school year. We've decided to put the kids in full-day kindergarten rather than continue daycare. Kindergarten tuition is not tax-deductible, nor can it be paid for using my FSA (don't get me started on how backwards this seems to me). I had a short mental debate about whether or not we should opt for half-day kindergarten and part-time daycare given these facts, but decided that I'll pay taxes for the kids to be in an educational environment all day. The cost for our local public school for full-day kindergarten is about $4,000 per child per year. We have to work that into our budget as well as saving for our wedding and continuing to pay down debt. This will be a challenging year, but we're a team and we're going to make it!

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