Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Money, money and less money

A finance-related post (mostly).

We’re doing this budget thing – the Dave Ramsey system involving a budget and steps and most of all envelopes earmarked for the usual expenses. I think it’s brought our random spending down quite a bit. I haven’t really been paying close attention to our debt going down, though I know most of our furniture is paid off, and the cards and student loans are being paid regularly, etc. It’s sometimes frustrating – I get so sick of cooking/cleaning and want to just go out to dinner (even something extraordinarily cheap) where other people do the dishes, but we budgeted and bought our meals for the week, so that’s a no-no. We’ve been going to my mom’s each week for dinner because we budget that way. Sometimes it’s a productive evening (last week he showed them how to use their website he designed for them, this week she and I are going to pour over her maternity medical books for details she’s long since forgotten about labor and delivery), sometimes not, but overall a good time is had by all and we don’t have to spend $ or clean up dishes.

Because of the budget, we’re able to more clearly see our monthly financial situation and what our options for post-baby are as far as my working and how much and where. Neither of us really wants me to return to my current employer. I’ve been given a head’s up on openings in a national company’s credit headquarters in Tampa. Mr. Moose’s boss’s wife works there as a supervisor and with her reference, I could easily get a job there. It would mean a longer commute (by quite a bit), but more money per hour and really great benefits for me, the baby and Mr. Moose if he chooses to drop his old plan and get on mine. (We would supplement his, but mine and the baby’s would be no cost after the first 90 days. He already supplements his at his current place of employment, and this would be cheaper). But I’d lose 6 of my 12 weeks of maternity leave and I’d be forced to leave work pre-due date in order to not risk the commute if I went into labor, etc. (Did I mention that I’m less than 10 minutes away from the hospital if I stay where I am now? That’s a good 25-45 minutes closer than home depending on traffic. If I were to go to work in Tampa, I’d be close to an hour away depending on the bridges, etc.) I think we’ve decided to not have me go for this job until after the baby is born, if we do decide it’s best.

It’s the insurance that kills us. To add both Kremit and me to Mr. Moose’s plan would nearly cut his take-home pay in half. I have to find alternate insurance, that’s really all there is to it.

I had always assumed that I would have to return to work after Kremit was born – we have too many student loans to pay off for me to stay home, though we can easily get household expenses down to just his salary. (and we mostly do). But recently, in talking about the possibility of not returning to work, or at least not returning full-time, I’m now bummed that I can’t do it that way.

We’re still looking at options: that medical transcription thing is still on the table and I recently thought about seeing if I could return to my current employer part-time for a few months at least (though I haven’t voiced this thought to anyone). I’ve requested that I have the chance SOON to sit down w/ my bosses to discuss my maternity leave details. I also want to see if there is a way that I can convince them, just this once, to allow me to roll my accrued vacation time past December, seeing as we know exactly WHEN I will be using it, early on in the following year.

Wish me luck.

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