Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sing with me now!

...Money, money, money... it's a rich man's world! (I just watched Mamma Mia :) )

Dave has long been holding his breath with excitement for me to finally get a job so we could sit down and create our official Excel-formatted FAMILY BUDGET. Such ideas make him giddy with joy and apt to bounce about from place to place, similar to a wee lad on Christmas morning. I have been decidedly less excited.

I had concerns. Dave is frugal-er than anyone I know. (I choose my euphemisms wisely.) He, for instance, does not buy clothes for himself. Or shoes. Or things. Or, excepting food, anything else.

I am not as frugal. As you might imagine, I have nails that aren't going to paint themselves. As of yet, my sewing skills do not meet my clothing needs (or Pixie's). I like sushi. My future posterity might be quite disappointed if my scrapbooks are lacking in sufficient stylish embellishments. And I don't like to disappoint.

Additionally, Dave is an anxious sort of fellow in general. And when it comes to money, his anxiety might be classified as downright frenzied.

He has a lot to worry about. He owns a house, has renters in said house, has a student loan to pay off, 401Ks floating around, retirement accounts, benefits, insurance, stock options, money markets (at this point I'm making things up, but you get the picture.) When he starts working himself into a tizzy over it all, I generally pat him on the head, tell him it will all be fine, and assure him that if he wants to quit his job I will be his Sugar Mama and take care of him. I usually do this while sipping a soda or leafing through a Cosmo and have forgotten the entire conversation before the reassurances even finish leaving my mouth.

Well, tonight he sat me down and explained everything to me. I saw the spreadsheets. I learned about home owners' insurance. I saw what comes in and I saw what needs to go out. We stared in glum silence at the computer for a long time. Dave squinted at me nervously as normally I talk a lot. But there was nothing to say. If we ever want to retire or have a buffer for emergencies or see a child reach educational goals surpassing high school, we must follow Dave's plan, which is slightly (another euphemism) lacking in material abundance. Luckily blogging is free, or this would be my farewell post.

"So, how was it?" he asked. Would you say you enjoyed doing the budget more... or less than Chinese Water Torture?" Since I didn't have my speaking faculties back in my control quite yet I just oggled him woefully. It was quiet for a long time.

"I am depressed," I said.

"Yes," he agreed. "It's depressing."

For two people that make good money AND PAY NO RENT!!! AND HAVE NO CONSUMER DEBT!!! AND NO CAR PAYMENTS!!! we are sad and poor. The wedding (and one seat-belt ticket I accidently forgot to pay that multiplied itself times about a million) depleted our savings. Nice young people can not be without their savings. Nice young people also have to be debt-free when they start paying their mortgage again in ten months and therefore have to make monthly payments on their student loan in the amount of eleven times what is necessary, if they are appropriately following the FAMILY BUDGET.

Moans escaped me. Dreams of new scrapbook supplies fluttered away on papery wings. Visions of decent clothing danced away in cute skinny jeans. Dave lifted my sagging self from the chair and tried to cheer me up.

"Let's go eat dinner!" he suggested with forced enthusiasm.

"Never again!" I admonished him. "We can't afford it!"


m-a said...

welcome to the club...we just signed our life away in student loans for j-p to finish grad school. you still have to go out every once-in-a-while for sanity reasons, but if you are thinking about/hoping to be with child any time soon you can just forget about sushi all together. if that helps.

Emalei said...

Well, Fabio and Dave would be best friends if they lived closer than like 20 gazillion miles apart. They could be giddy just sharing spreadsheet creations. It's Fabio's favorite passtime. :( Seriously...I am letting Fabio take the financial reigns...and happily! Talking about it depresses me too. Know that you are not alone!

Will and Sandy said...

Money sucks!

Erickson Family said...

You have entered the never ending but quite useful talk. Just remember you are poor for the rest of your life. If that works out, then when you do retire you should have some money.

Erik Isakson said...

that made us laugh so hard! i (jennille) think your writing is fabulous (very descriptive:). this was the highlight of my day. i tend to avoid xcel sheets/finances and think ignorance is bliss.
erik loves to listen to dave ramsey. it's good "common sense" but...enough already!

let's go get our nails done and spend some money sometime!

Julie and Todd said...

I have to read every word of your highly-entertaining blogs. And I suffered with you as you endured that torture! YUCK. Budgets. Cuss word.

JENNILLE said...

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for you sweet comment on my blog. Hope you're enjoying your new job. I just wanted to let you know, if your ever interested, I'd love to come enjoy a Zumba fitness class at the Bethany Club. I could let you try it as a "guest". It's a fun way to mix up workout and burn some calories. It's "dancey" but it's fairly easy for all to catch on. No worries if it doesn't work out. Just fyi incase you want to try sometime: tues and thurs. at 6:30pm and Wed. at 8am.


dana said...

Good for you for making it through the budget talk!
And yes, Casey and I scratch our heads all the time. I'm actually the more frugal of the two, we have no student loans, no credit card debt, we live modestly...and we still can't afford to live in Calif. We're moving next year (when he finishes with his masters. yay!)

Diana said...

Hey Jessica,
It sounds like we had the same discussion. Brett and I are trying to pay the house off in 8 years and that means I have to sacrafice some fun things!!! Now I know what you will want for your birthday and Christmas. Can you last till then?!?!?!?! Good luck!!

Dave Fuhriman said...

To be fair, honey, we DO go out to eat a lot.

Wait, eating ramen on the patio is "eating out," right?

Nicole said...

Gilbert calls it "Financial Family Home Evening" when he wants to update the budget.