Wedding Woes

I'll brag on myself for a minute

We've been making some big changes.  Basically, we lost about 53% of our income with DH's job.  While I would love for him to find another one (and he could) the opportunity for him to go to school full time and still receive unemployment and qualify for the Pell Grant is one of those opportunities that is too good to waste.  I'm still uncomfortable with taking the unemployment, but I pull out my tax returns for the last 7 years and look at how much we paid in and remind myself this is what I helped pay for, I just always thought of it as a security net for other people, not myself.

Anyway, I decided we needed to cut our basic living expenses.  So far:

Netlflix reduced down to streaming only:  Savings of $8/month

Phones reduced to regular phones (no data, limited texting, no smartphones): Savings of $120/month

Car insurance reduced to minimum (I don't particulary like this one, but in all honesty, the car is 13 years old with approx 125K miles on it and valued at $1250, carrying all the other stuff wasn't worth the money paid in vs. value if paid out): $39/month

I"m working with the student loan people to see if I can get a reduced payment, so fingers crossed on that one

Internet company changed: Savings of $43/month

Total saved off monthly budget: $210, with student loan still pending.  $2500/year.  

The only thing I haven't been able to change is the mortgage (of course) and utiltiies.  We're on level pay for that one, so I'm hoping our diligence in water usage and electricity usage will pay off.

I'm hoping I can at least halve my student loan payment.  They actually have a repayment option for 25 years now.  I was physically ill for a moment thinking of paying my student loans for 25 years.  I don't even know how long I have left to pay on mine since everything was screwed up when I was unemployed and I had to make some changes to it.

ETA:  Spaces, since apparently the bullet option is just for a joke.

Re: I'll brag on myself for a minute

  • Snaps for Varuna!
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  • Varuna, that is amazing.  I know it's painful, but honestly, it's probably like when you stopped cable, you don't notice it after a time.  Then you wonder how you ever wasted money on it. 

    *happy dance*
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  • 6fsn6fsn member
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  • Excellent!  Another area where you may be able to trim, depending on your current spending is meals.  Cutting way back on eating out.  Buying cheaper cuts of meat (or trying other proteins), buying in bulk, couponing, etc.
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  • We're pretty good on our groceries and meal planning, but we are trying to be better.  I'm considering going to a cash envelope for groceries and just saying, This is how much we have.  Buy whatever you want, but that's what you got.  Right now, I meal plan and buy what I need, so sometimes it's only $20, while other times it'll be $70 (usually when I indulge in shrimp).

    O-face, I almost cried over my smartphone, seriously.  It's so much not a necessity, but I can't tweet or check facebook or be all self-indulgent as much as I was.  Texting is a PITA now too.  That was the only one that really hurt.
  • I still feel like the smartphone is a waste, but if you tried to take it from me...I'd cut you.  Yep.
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  • great job in finding savings!

    don't feel bad about taking unemployment - it will give you that extra cushion until your H finishes his program and gets a new job.

    what is your H going back to school for? How long will his program take?
  • Barbie, he was going to just finish his Computer Science.  He's changed b/c he took a geology class last semester and loved it.  Like career finding love.  He talked to a bunch of professors in the geology department and his older brother, who majored in geology and now makes a crapton of $ doing surverys for a construction company re: jobs.

    Basically, geology is moving into a very computer oriented field (being able to take field data and create databases/algorhythms that will turn raw data in significant information for scientists), with a complete lack of computer knowledge.  After discussing with various profs and his brother, he decided to major in both, rather than just picking up the geology minor.

    He's already getting great feedback from his geology professors and they're already giving him outside projects to work on for them, which will hopefully lead to good connections/referrals down the road.

    I told him I'd give him 2 years of full time, balls to the wall, schooling and reduced budget.  We've planned it out and he'll just squeak by, going at least 16 hours/semester and summers.  Then, he has to sell his soul to an oil company for five years (one of the majors clubs he's joined is sponsored by Exxon) for $.  Then he can do whatever he wants.  :)

    I'm already jealous.  He is going to the Grand Canyon over Spring Break next year for class.
  • That's kinda funny V, I have a friend from high school who's husband and she JUST moved to Columbia to follow up on his field of study, very close to Geology.
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  • Has he looked at anything in the civil engineering area? My sister is a CE, and works for a consulting firm doing a lot with modelling on drilling sites/soil composition/construction.

    How will the job market be? She has a friend with a Geology degree who was having trouble finding work (although i'm sure the double major with CS increases his marketability significantly) - would he consider a CE field with the focus on geology?

    it's cool that he found something he's enjoying - and the geology/modelling would be great for companies in the oil/gas industry (especially with all of the shale gas possibilities)
  • I don't think he's interesting in the civil engineering at all.  Basically, his interest is the dirt.  Also, civil engineering here (I had looked into it for myself at one point) is complicated.  It's a dual program with another university in the state that is one of the best in the nation.  But competing with that university's graduates in the engineering field would be very difficult.

    The job market here won't be great.  We'll probably end up moving to a bigger city.  But his brother pulled up jobs avaiable just in his company that he would qualify for and there were like fifteen, including one in England.  So, I think that part will be fine.
  • My cousin's husband does this. He has a ton of work. His plan was to be a SAHD and contract on the side, but the contracting work quickly got out of control so they ended up getting some part time help. Apparently, in WA especially, there is a real need for geologists. Good luck to him!
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