I just saw that there were a few comments on a couple of my lasts posts. Thank you for missing me! I really do appreciate it and it motivates me to soldier on.
Just wanted to give a short update on life in general. In 2 weeks we'll be dropping my son off at college. He is going to a very small private military college close to home. However, he'll be living there and we won't have any contact with him for six weeks. They have intense training during those weeks...sort of like boot camp, and there is a ceremony when he is finished. He's excited, but I'm in denial. I am going to miss that boy.
I will also miss the freedom we've had with our finances. Not that we are well to do by any means, and we've always kept a budget, but now there will be additional expenses for his schooling, as well as saving more each month for tuition. After scholarship money and a loan, we will be paying about $15,000/year. We have withdrawn about $10,000 of that from his college savings, which were in the form of mutual funds and stocks, and the other $5,000 to $7,000 will be coming out of our pockets.
So begins a period of cutting even further back on spending.
I recall that last September, my husband and I agreed to stop spending so much money each month on things like eating out (and clothes) and we did well. I didn't feel deprived, because aside from an "allowance" of $140 every two weeks, I was also allowed to spend $150 on the credit card once a month. I managed to stay within those limits for most of the year. It really only went to pot when my son graduated high school (party), we got our bathroom done and I accessorized it, then we went on vacation, and then did a few things this summer, and spent money on college supplies, and well, we haven't saved a dime in months. We both feel like we've been hemorrhaging cash.
We will probably have one more expensive dinner out the night before we drop my so off at school. I've tasted the food in the dining hall at school, and it's not good, so we'll send him off with the leftover taste of prime rib in his mouth.
I'm not sure if I mentioned that I have a dog sitting business on the side, and that has netted us several thousand dollars over the years. This summer looks to be pretty lucrative when it's all said and done, and that helps. It usually provides the spending money for our vacation each year. It is hard work, and my rugs and yard have taken a beating, but I have a bunch of people who rely on me to watch their dogs when they go away, and I love the pooches I do watch. Still, I am grateful at the end of the summer when vacation season is over and I can give my house a good cleaning.
Anyway, in two weeks, when my elder son is gone, my husband and I will have to sit down and go over our budget and set limits. Somehow, it doesn't seem as hard to do in the fall as it does in the summer, perhaps because I am more satisfied with my fall/winter wardrobe than I usually am with spring/summer. Oh well.