Learning to Give In & Give Up (A Post About MONEY)

Growing up, I had so many lofty goals and dreams. I mean, who didn’t? I’m 30 now, and when I was younger and 30 was ancient, I thought that I’d have a large family, have finished college, and be living in a large house with nice things filling said large house.

Right now, my husband and I are living with my mother-in-law. We have 2 rooms – the bedroom and the media room, which is where are big television, movies, computers, books, elliptical, and other random stuff (like my makeup!) are kept. Our bedroom actually has all my purses, our sheets, and books as well, plus other things (candles, etc.). We also have a ton of stuff in the basement – I don’t even know all that is down there, to be honest, because it’s been boxed up for years. My craft desk and where I store my jewelry and odds and ends (you know, sewing machine…haha).

I don’t work (well, more on that later). I’m not a stay at home mom, or wife. I’m a full time student in a nursing program. That’s a heavy load, and I don’t get to choose my class schedule. I can request a certain time, assuming there is more than one section offered, but I don’t get to schedule myself into anything related to nursing. Kalen is almost finished with college (he graduates Saturday, PRAISE!), and works full time. He pays our car payments, our car insurance, health insurance, and various other bills. I pay my cell phone (we have Straight Talk and buy the year long plan as it saves money in the long run), and for my doctor visits and medications., plus my gas and whatever I want (makeup, crafting stuff, clothing, etc.). So, he has a pretty hefty load of financial responsibility on his shoulders with no real relief until I graduate (May 2018….come on time, move quickly!), so he’s pretty thrifty and anti-spending on anything that is not a necessity. This means he gets mad if I buy a ton of makeup (to be fair, I have far more than I’ll ever use), more Jamberry nail wraps (this is their fault, for constantly releasing wraps that I adore), eating out too often, and just spending in general. I get it, I do. I’m awful at saving money when I have it, but I am trying to better myself with that. I plan on reading some books this summer (while I have the time to really focus), and try to curb my spending.

Right now, we’re trying to save for a house. This house won’t be like the house I dreamed of growing up. It will most likely be small, and not at all fancy. Currently we’re looking for around $90,000, 3 bedrooms, or 2 bedrooms with a basement. The thought of buying our own home, even if it’s small, is enough to drive me to save more stringently. I look at the small homes, and I think of how cozy they would be, and how nice it would be to have our own place, regardless of the size. Right now, some of the homes are under 1000 square feet, and that’s much bigger than the 2 bedrooms and shared space. It would be our own space and even if it is smaller than we’d have thought of prior to realizing what we can (or, cannot) afford, that’s okay.

Part of my excitement over a small house is 19 Kids and Counting. What!? I know, but hear me out. The main Duggar house is huge – I mean, it’s home to ALL OF THE DUGGARS (well, 16 kids, 2 parents, and Grandma Duggar). But when Josh and Anna started out, they lived in a small home, which is now Ben and Jessa’s home. It’s small, but I see how cozy it is, and I think “I want that.” And I mean it. I want the togetherness it seems to offer, and I want that feeling of beautiful and cozy and just…ours.

Kalen and I plan on making renovations (within reason) to any house we buy. I’m not like a House Hunter guest, who sees a paint color I dislike and writing off the home immediately. My dream is to have lots of neutrals, and I’d love to have “wood” floors in the main rooms, and a nice tile in the kitchen, which I’d like to have white cabinets and a darker counter (eventually). I can easily paint what needs to be, and we can slowly make it our own, and to our liking.

But all this means that I have to give in. Or, give up. I have to give in to Kalen’s want to save money, and I have to give up my spending habits. Do I need it? Is it necessary? Or do I just want it? Is it an impulse? Those are things I’ll have to learn to ask myself as I put things into a shopping cart. I have about 20 mascaras. I use 2 of them. I have many containers of foundation, and not all of them work (trial and error, attempting to find something that is light enough, and doesn’t accentuate my dry skin). Do I really need another liter of shampoo? Clothing is also another thing I buy too much of. I have a TON of shirts – I’m actually doing the thing where you hang the hangers backwards to see what I am not wearing. Sadly, it’s a lot. I really have to learn to curb what I spend money on, and that way I can contribute more to our meager savings account, and help pay down bills. Once I graduate, pass the NCLEX, and find a job, things will be easier. I’ll be able to contribute, but right now? Not so much.

HOWEVER. I have not had a job since the end of 2011. This doesn’t mean I didn’t apply like crazy for any and everything, but I haven’t worked. Recently I had 3 interviews: one at a water softener company, another at a car company, and another at the school for the Office of the Registrar. It had been almost a month and I hadn’t heard from any of them, so I was resigned to the fact that those were not the job for me, so to speak. Last week, I received an email – I GOT THE JOB AT THE SCHOOL! I was so excited – it paid the least of all 3, but it was also the one that would work best around my school schedule, and where I spend most of my time. I am so thrilled! I’ll be working throughout the summer, and on into the fall semester. I’m praying that I am able to do both school and work, so it will take a lot of time management skills for me to utilize. But, I am finally able to contribute to our bills and savings, and even though it won’t be much, every little bit helps!

Now, if my Etsy shop and Jamberry business would take off, I could REALLY contribute! If you have any money-saving tips (either to sock away into savings, or to save while living on our own), let me know in the comments!

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