Tag Archives: cost of living

living above my means

jeannie has been stressed about our finances for a couple years, it seems. and i’ve been, to be honest, kind of ignoring it. this weekend, we sat down and went through our credit card statements for the past 5 months, as well as our check use, automatic payments, and other stuff. we put things into a spreadsheet with a fixed cost column and a soft cost column it seems my salary, which is good (and i have no room for complaint), is about $1000 per month short of covering our fixed costs (and things like clothes and eating out were put into the soft cost column). this was a bit of a shock to me (and less of a shock to jeannie, who handles our finances). we’ve known for some time that we rely on my outside income (book royalties, speaking honorariums) to cover bills and stuff, when we would love to have that income be truly extra, and for vacations and stuff like that. but i hadn’t realized the severity of the issue.

so… we decided we need to move (locally, that is). we’ve been flirting with the idea of moving for well over a year. we’d put it on the back burner 6 months ago, but have looked casually in the past month again. now, we’re going to kick it into gear; and what we’re looking for has changed in this new reality. we need to significantly lower our mortgage, as that’s the single biggest item on our fixed costs. i mean, our kids private school tuition is a big fixed cost also; but we’re really committed to that, and will need to give up house size to keep things balanced.

i like change, and the idea of moving actually has some “fun” elements for me. but finding a home i’ll be excited about, in the price range we’ll be looking, will not be all fun. there are lots of variables and desires for us: we really want to move closer to the city, but we still want a family neighborhood; we’d love to be in a community where we can walk to a coffee shop, but those kind of communities in san diego tend to be more expensive; i’m not a fixer-upper kind of guy, but new stuff is, of course, substantially more expensive. any anything west (toward san diego, toward the water) is more expensive than where we are.

so, tough reality; but could be a really good thing for our family in the long run. and, i have to face reality, right?