Tuesday, August 23, 2011



I have said it so many times, and I know I will say it thousands more: I hate money.

Okay, that’s a lie. I love money. I just hate not having it. Or trying to save it. Or feeling jealous when other people have it.

Most of the time I don’t think I have much right to complain about money because I feel like it is a slap in the face to the lovely fate that has befallen our household that allows me to work out of the home part-time and be at home with Natalie even more of the time, all while somehow paying our bills at the end of each month. You don’t have to remind me: I know that there are people in much worse financial situations than the MooHoos, and, I know, if I am really going to complain about money why don’t I just work full-time and bring home a bigger paycheck. Yes, I know. We have it pretty good.

But sometimes, oh, sometimes, I feel myself turning green from toenails to fingernails when I see what other people have. What other people do. What other people seem able to pay for. I don’t know what their bank statements look like at the end of the month, but I always imagine that they are in better shape than mine.

We have let our budget slide way beyond the shoestring range this summer, and as fall approaches we are tightening things up again. Pulling back from the fun of spending and doing and having? Is not fun, people. Forget living like it’s Shark Week (I don’t really mean that), I want to live every day like it’s summer vacation! Trips! Visitors! Meals out! Souvenirs! Dropping everything to go do something as a family that is not free! Those are the things our summer has been made of.

Yes, summer has been kind. It’s the hangover of impending autumn that I’m feeling a bit sad about. Autumn will be the season of refinancing our house, doubling our daycare costs, paying our property tax bill (ouch), and watching my savings account drain directly into our furnace. This whole being an adult thing sucks sometimes.

Is your family on a tight budget? Do you find yourself jealous of others who appear able to spend, spend, spend? How do you save money without going bonkers? Share, please!


  1. I totally feel you!! Shawn tells me all the time that this is a woman thing and that I shouldn't waste time envying others because you never really know what's going on. For instance: I have a cousin, we are the same age and have been married roughly around the same amount of time. However, they live in a brand new, granite everything house, both drive $40,000 SUVs, are always going on big vacations, dressed to the nines, expensive everything without a care in the world. Or so it seems. And here we are, not exactly going without but we are so conscious of everything we spend, budgeting and saving and paying things off every chance we get. We have a food budget with weekly menus and we take the smaller car whenever possible to save gas. I search for deals before buying things and we discuss every big purchase to death. So what's their secret? How is this other couple so capable of living it up? Well, I'll tell you how my husband explained it: they probably aren't! They're probably totally in debt, living off credit cards like so many other people in this country. They're probably actually super irresponsible. Yes, the way we do it is not as much fun, but it's SMART. We are doing the fiscally responsible and smart thing and teaching our girls to do the same. So, instead of looking at them with envy when they fly to Santa Barbara next week for a just because get away (see, I'm jealous just typing this), I should instead just know that we are better off because we've got a cushion in the savings and possessions we are not stretching ourselves for. It's all about perspective, I suppose.
    You're not alone!!!!!

  2. YES, I'm with you. The post I saw before you on my Google Reader showed the outside of a blogger's house (ridiculously gorgeous), and I just stopped reading. I'm like What Do These People DOOO to be my age and seemingly have everything in place, perfectly decorated, and time to redo rooms that I'd die to have as is! Jealousy and Envy slip into and out of my days, every day...and sometimes I catch myself wallowing in it, and sometimes I stop it upon entering and try to remember all the things I have that, because I'm only seeing what others want to present, others may not -- good health, loving children, devoted hubby, and solid support system. I just try to see what it is exactly that I'm jealous of and see if it's a style or look that I can mimic in my home on a budget. And sometimes, if their life seems too unreal and perfect, I take them off my reading rotation because, to be honest, I feel like they're bragging. Is that bad??

  3. Welcome to life on a teacher's (well, wife of a teacher) salary. I just looked at my bank statement a couple days ago and promptly texted Jon to say, "Don't spend any money until September!!!" We've all been there. :)

  4. girrrrrrrl, you nearly took the words right out of my mouth. now with little elliot here and me not going back to work makes me a tad be worried. i mean we've figured it out and we'll make it work. but inside i'm a bit terrified. i'm actually thinking about winning the lottery though! oh wait - you have to play to win... hmmmm

  5. I too feel your pain!! As teachers, neither of us get paid in the summer so the when the "summer money" runs out, we struggle to make it to our first fall paycheck. This year that isn't until Sept 16th (after we have to travel to PA for a wedding). Unfortunately we have run up quite the credit card bill this summer and it will take us a long while to pay it off. I feel like money troubles plague most of us, and even if some appear to rolling in the dough based on possessions and lifestyle, they are most likely rolling in the debt!! Most of the time, I do try to focus on the positives of our finances and all we've been able to do but I do sometimes find myself feeling as you did in this post. So- I HEAR YA!! LOL.