Lately I’ve been making lifestyle changes, or at least trying to make lifestyle changes to get my budget back in order. After a job loss in the family, our income has shrunk by about 70%. Then, some poor stock decisions and a tough economy cost us a lot more. Now we are in the process of making changes to our budget, but I have to say. It’s not easy. Not easy at all!
For example, we bought a vacation home and invested three years and a lot of money fixing it up. It is a nice home right on a lake. We decided that we could no longer afford to have two homes, but when we called the realtor that specializes in that lake, it’s clear that the only type of sale we could get would be for a big loss. Apparently, nearly 50% of the homes on the lake are already for sale and there are just no buyers out there. So, financially, we have to ask ourselves, is it worth it to pay for it for another few years until the vacation home market recovers? Or should we take a huge loss and try to dump it now. Personally, I think that it makes sense to hold it for a few more years, even though we’d rather not.
Another attempt to save money was to try to sell our BMW. It’s a very nice car and it gets decent mileage, but the routine maintenance on the car is more expensive than most car payments. I mean $200 for an oil change, $950 for rear brakes and $1800 for new tires! We decided to sell the car but is also isn’t easy. We’ve had dealers offer us $8,000 less than blue book and most other buyers are really fickle and also make ridiculous offers. When we look at the decisions financially, we have to ask again, is it worth it? I mean, to trade the car in for a Camry Hybrid that can save a lot on gas would be nice, but if we lose $8,000 on the trade in and only save $3,000 on gas over the next few years (we don’t drive much), is it worth it?
Making financial decisions like these are not that difficult to make, but are really hard to execute. I found a blog about someone going through a similar issue, and here is what they are planning to do:
Recently , I earned another raise at my job, and this will help a little. My wife is now completely on board with our need to move to a less expensive rental property, and since our lease is up in a couple of months we have given our notice to our landlord and are now actively searching for a new place to live. Currently, our rent is $1,200 per month. We are now searching for a place that is no more than $750 per month.
We are also looking for other areas to cut our expenses as well. We have been with the same insurer for auto and renters insurance for about five years now. After doing some checking around online, we found another company that will give us the same coverage for about $30 less per month. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but over the course of the year we’ll save $360 per year. That is money that is going right into our savings account to rebuild our emergency fund, along with other savings we’ll realize after we move, plus the amount of my recent pay raise.
When you face a “when it rains it pours” moment, it is easy to wallow in your own misery. Don’t. Worrying never solved anything. The best thing to do is come up with a game plan and find a solution to your problems. My family has been in a tight spot before. We’ll make it through this one, too….
Read the rest of this article called When It Rains, It Pours
I have to say, I like this guy’s attitude! Not only is he keeping his head held high, but he is making the lifestyle sacrifices that most people don’t in order to get him and his family’s finances and budget in order.
From reading about people like this, you can often find your own self motivation to manage your money better and to help make your budget work.