About You #14


30 Comments
Hello My Name Is Beowulf

Lately, Johnny and I have found ourselves putting the majority of our life on autopilot. Wake up. Eat. Wrangle children. Work. Sleep. Repeat. Since moving, we’ve still been trying to find a balance between work, parenthood, and life. Now that we’re doing this self-employment thing, we’d love to have our finances more normalized, so we’ve been putting a lot of our time and attention into that. But the number one thing we’re struggling with is lack of time. This two-kid thing is kind of kicking our butts in terms of time management.

For example, on Friday night, our daughters woke up a combined total of 10 times between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. And our cat woke us up another two times. Johnny and I were laughing deliriously (so as to not start sobbing) and hoping we were both just having the same very bad dream. So most of Saturday was spent in a sleep-deprived fog trying to care for our energetic daughters until all four of us finally crashed at 1:00 p.m. While that doesn’t happen every night, we still have two little girls who absorb most of our time and attention these days. So we apologize if we’ve seemed there but not there on OFB. To restart things a bit, we wanted to do an About You and hear from you and you and you today. For the record, we’ve read every one of your comments, and we’ll do our best to catch up this week.

Before we start firing off questions as fast as a two-year-old unrolls a brand new roll of toilet paper, here are a few other ways we can stay connected: like us on Facebookfollow me on Instagram (mostly Sally and Winnie appearing angelic), follow me on Pinterest, and follow us on Twitter. And we’ve kicked off a super secret email list where a few times a month we’ll show up in your email inbox with budgeting tips, knock-knock jokes, and other stuff you won’t read here. So if you’re into that sorta thing, join our secret email list.

And now, on to the questions:

  1. What was the last thing you listened to?
  2. What is the next check box on your financial to-do list?
  3. What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about?
  4. Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.)
  5. When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit?

We’ll give our answers, and then not another peep from us, for reals.

Johnny

  1. The Martian audiobook. I’m about 75% done and really dig it. I hate when the movie version comes out before I’ve read the book and it premieres this week, so it’s going to come down to the wire.
  2. Finalizing self-employment health insurance. Hate. Kill. Don’t like.
  3. I’d really like to visit North Korea. I’ve watched every Netflix documentary about the country and I find it all really fascinating (and sad). But yeah, I’m pretty serious about making it happen.
  4. Spiders. All day, every day over a clown. I would rather wear a shirt made entirely of spiders than encounter the type of clown that haunts me in my dreams.
  5. Now that we’re giving self-employment a go, it’s wondering if we’ll be able to make the finances of it all work. I mean, we’ve been planning for it for a while and I’ve looked at the numbers a million times. But what if we didn’t save enough? What if it takes too long to get back to my old salary?

Joanna

  1. I have a running playlist that’s become all too familiar since I’ve started training for a half-marathon. It was the only thing that got me through my eight-mile run this weekend.
  2. Getting back to a consistent, reliable income. We can do it, right?!
  3.  I want to make a difference in the world. I know that sounds cliche, but there it is.
  4. Spiders can drop from ceilings onto my unassuming self, and they come for me in my sleep. Clowns do neither of those things, so I choose clowns.
  5. Not knowing what the future holds is hard right now. I’m a planner (and a spender, woo!), so I feel kind of vulnerable during this uncertain time.

Now it’s your turn. We’re excited to hear about your arachnophobia or coulrophobia preferences.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

30 Comments

  • Reply Jana Miller September 28, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Have you read without you there is no us?It’s about a journalist that goes into NK as a teacher for an elite boys school. Fascinating read!

    • Reply Joanna September 28, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Thanks for the recommendation! Johnny definitely needs to read that… maybe it will help hold him over on this particular bucket list item for a while longer :).

      • Reply Jana Miller September 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

        I’t strangely depressing, haunting, and fascinating at the same time. I couldn’t put it down.

  • Reply Zoë September 28, 2015 at 9:25 am

    What was the last thing you listened to? A mix CD made by my husband for a road trip to NYC. I found it last night after purging my CD collection. It made me a little sad our kids will not know the joy of a mix tape/CD. What are they going to do – share playlists?

    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Increase our savings.

    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? Go on an eating tour of Italy.

    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.) I don’t like this question. I’ll go with clowns, because not all of them are scary.

    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Not being able to afford a house before our son starts high school in three years. We were homeowners for almost 9 years, and after our big move and my unexpected unemployment, I still have guilt over living in a rental apartment again (an unexpected medical diagnosis hasn’t helped either). If I can just be more diligent about sticking to our budget, we’ll be in good shape.

    • Reply Joanna September 28, 2015 at 11:09 am

      SO true… the saddest thing about new technology is the death of mix tapes/CDs! I can’t count how many times Johnny and I have reminisced about them.

      What you own doesn’t define you and your success/failure — including homes. What’s important in a child’s home life isn’t the actual house… you’ll get there, and you’re doing a great job in the meantime.

  • Reply kirsten September 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    What was the last thing you listened to? My husband is in a band and just recorded some new tracks that he played for me on our car ride to work this morning. They’re really good but I am bias of course.
    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Getting our PMI off. We’re paying a ton extra principle per month to get it off in 2 years rather than 9. It should be off by this time next year.
    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? Becoming a mom. I’ve been married for almost 6 years with no kids so I think most people think we’re not having any. I am hoping to get pregnant sometime next year.
    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.) after watching American Horror Story last season, I am now terrified of clowns so spiders it is.
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Knowing how much money we have left to pay on our mortgage. Yikes!

    • Reply Joanna September 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

      So cute, and what a great way to start your day… Also, you ride together to work? That sounds amazing.

      And way to go on paying off the PMI so quickly! Major kudos.

      Johnny and I were married over five years before Sally came along, so I think our families were thinking that, too! But it ended up that the timing was perfect, and it was well worth the wait :).

  • Reply Annie September 28, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I like you guys. And pretty sure you will change the world :)
    What was the last thing you listened to? Sacred Cello by Steven Sharp Nelson (The Piano Guys). But I really like my Taylor Swift Radio Pandora station. There. I said it. ::grimace/blush::
    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? We recently started grad school and October marks our first month following the new, tighter budget…eeeeeek! We are great at setting budgets and less great at following them but it’s kind of an absolute necessity now so here we go!
    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? I want to do a photo project in a third world country.
    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.) Spiders. I’m bigger.
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Making it through grad school and the aftermath. We’re trying to work our way through with minimal financial help and it’s a lot. Also the impending need to set up finances and insurance for a growing side business.

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:16 am

      Haha, no shame in Taylor! She’s my go-to running music these days!

      Good luck with grad school and the new budget! It may be tough now, but it will all be worth it in the long run. (Johnny and I still find ourselves telling each other that a lot!) And good luck on the side business!!

  • Reply Kelly September 28, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    1. Balanced Bites Podcast… Im a nutrition nerd so I love to listen to all things healthy and good for you. Helps keep me on track more.
    2. Getting approved for a mortgage ( this Wednesday!!!) and hopefully buying a house in the next few months.
    3.I would love to have a dog rescue when Im old and retired. I think it is a great way for an animal lover to give back.
    4.Ugh, those are both gross. I hate clowns and spiders are high up there so I think I would saw clowns just because they aren’t as creepy crawly.
    5. Having good enough credit, savings and income to buy a house. The culprit is over spending even when I have a budget so I have to be even more self aware. We will see how it goes this week :/

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:18 am

      I’ll have to look into that podcast! I’m trying to help our family be healthier, which has been hard with so little time these days!

      Congrats on buying a house! SO exciting. And good luck on the home-buying process. Hope it all goes smoothly!

  • Reply Dominic @ Gen Y Finance Guy September 28, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    1. What was the last thing you listened to? The Slight Edge Audio Book. This is the 2nd time this year and probably the 7th time since 2011. I have read the book another 4 times. If you have not read or listened to it, I highly recommend it.

    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Life Insurance and Family Trust. We are working on getting those set up now.

    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? That I plan to live in a different country 3 months every year, at the beach for 3 months every year, and then back at our home base for the remaining 6 months.

    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.) Clowns.

    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? To be honest, I don’t ever feel anxiety around our finances. But I used to worry about how every purchase could had benefited our savings rate. We now operate following the 50/50 law. We save 50% and spend 50% guilt free. I highly recommend a balanced approach.

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:20 am

      Wow, it must be good if you’ve relistened to it like that… definitely gonna look into it! Great job on saving 50%. What an accomplishment!

  • Reply Robin September 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    First, I have twin two years. Once likes to play in the toilet bowl while the other one unravels the TP. All of which unravels my sanity.

    What was the last thing you listened to? Ted Talk from Simon Sinek
    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Pay off our medical bills from our 6mo. He was born hard of hearing and the bills are more than what we had saved for. Hello payment plan!
    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? I crave financial security. My parents did not practice that (they had money they just spent more) so I want to be 100% debt free which mean owning our house. We have 7 years left!
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Eating out! With two full time jobs sometime eating out is our sanity savior but to the expense of of our budget

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:24 am

      Bless you… I can’t imagine if there were two of Sally. That whole “please stop growing!” phrase people use for their kids definitely doesn’t apply to two-year-olds ;).

      Congrats on being 7 years away from owning your home! That’s awesome. And we can totally relate with eating out these days. I want to fix good meals each night, but there’s no time! I’m currently just trying to take it one week — okay, day — at a time!

  • Reply Jessica G September 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Long-time reader, first time commenter. Thought it was about time to participate! Thanks for creating and maintaining such a helpful blog!

    1. The Dirtbag Diaries podcast. It’s a good listen if you are a climbing, biking, hiking, surfing, etc. junkie.
    2. Working on finishing up paying off student loans from undergrad. Only $3,000 left to go! Then going to work on plumping up the emergency fund.
    3. I want to visit every National Park in the U.S. And I would prefer each visit to last more than a day!
    4. Spiders. They aren’t so bad until they crawl on you. And even then, they are totally smashable :)
    5. Since I am only recently out of undergrad and currently living on a grad research assistant’s stipend, I worry a little that some major calamity will strike that will force me to drain my savings account. So far, careful budgeting and saving have worked wonders, but my emergency fund isn’t substantial enough for me to feel totally safe.

    3.

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:28 am

      We’ll have to look into that podcast! We really like climbing and hiking, but the two little ones have been preventing it from happening much these days :).

      Way to go on almost being done with student loans. That’s awesome. You’re so close! We want to visit every national park, too! There’s so many out west… we’re just waiting for our girls to get a bit older.

      We remember feeling that same worry right after we graduated, too. As soon as your loans are paid down, you’ll be amazed how quickly your other savings will grow. Hang in there!

  • Reply [email protected] September 28, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    1.What was the last thing you listened to? I listened to some training presentations at work that were required to complete by today. But music wise…I think the last CD I listened to was Paloma Faith Fall To Grace on a long ride home from West Texas to Houston.
    2.What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Well, I just paid off most of my credit card, but plan to have it paid off by November (only $200 left to go) before I get hit with fees in January.
    3.What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? I’m actually about to go live it on Thursday and Friday. I’m going to see two games at the Rugby World Cup in England. Most people know I’m a huge sports fan, but are surprised (especially non-Americans) to learn that I love rugby almost as much at football.
    4.Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.) I would say spiders, but only by narrowly. We have brown recluses, which are a deadly and silent killer here in Texas. Scary. But clowns…hmmm…just feeling all creeped out around them.
    5.When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Living paycheck to paycheck again (usually on the check I have to pay rent), because I’m putting too much in savings. And then, I’m freaking out that I don’t have enough in savings like I like to have.

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:37 am

      How exciting! I hope the Rugby World Cup was all you hoped it would be! What a fun getaway.

      I think a lot of people struggle with that balance between knowing how much to save vs how much to spend. Just keep on keepin’ on… you’re probably doing a better job than you think! Good luck!

  • Reply Mike September 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    What was the last thing you listened to?
    I listened to a youtube podcast a few minutes ago.
    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list?
    Adding a budget for having fun at least once a week!
    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about?
    I want to live abroad for w few years.
    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.)
    Clowns, Spiders don’t bother me at all.
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit?
    When i look at my current debt and start thinking about how i can pay it off faster.

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:38 am

      What a fun budgeting category to add! Johnny and I need more of that! Good luck with your debt payoff!

  • Reply Erica September 28, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    What was the last thing you listened to? NPR. Probably Fresh Air. Love it… So diverse.
    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Pay off our mortgage, pump up retirement savings, put extra aside in case I want to work less while our kiddo/s are young.
    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? We’ve thought about owning a bed and breakfast… Definitely mainly a pipe dream. :)
    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.) For sure- clowns! Spiders freak me out.
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Knowing that we make plenty but seem to spend more! Enduring our son grows up with a healthy/good money relationship.

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:42 am

      I love it! Even if it’s just a dream, just imagining a someday bed and breakfast sounds like so much fun.

      Also, sounds like you guys have a great plan in place with your financials… having those goals will keep you focused on keeping your finances in check. Spending money isn’t bad if you’re still able to meet your financial goals. If it’s getting in the way of achieving them, though, just find out what needs changing. I think everyone struggles with this!

  • Reply Ashley September 29, 2015 at 1:46 am

    What was the last thing you listened to?
    I wish I could say I had listened to a Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s latest historical masterpiece, but I was actually listening to a podcast called Two Gomers Run For Their Lives. Hilarious! Two guys who decide to run a half marathon on a whim because they’re couch potatoes. I love it.
    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list?
    We need to double-check our investments and make sure we’re putting enough away. I know we contribute up to the employer match, and we have a separate Roth for me because I’m a stay-at-home-mom, but are we really maximizing the money babies we could be making?? I doubt it.
    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about?
    I must go to Santorini, Greece. And it may or may not have anything to do with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies. I’m a teeny-bopper trapped in a thirty-something’s body.
    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.)
    The miniseries “IT” from the ’90s scarred me for life, so I will have to vote spiders, as much as I hate both. Seriously – Tim Curry’s Pennywise is the scariest thing ever! I don’t care what anyone says.
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit?
    Our grocery budget. I almost always go over! And I always wonder if I could be coupon-clipping, price matching, store-hopping, case lot-hoarding, and food-storaging much more than I am. I mean, yes, I could grind my own wheat every week and make my own bread, and I could make my own crackers for the kids, and I could never buy European cheeses… but is that a life I really want to live??

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:50 am

      Oh my! I’ve got to listen to that podcast. I need some comic relief while I’m training for my own half!

      The Sisterhood! Oh man, I wonder how many of the same books we’ve read. It’d probably be frightening to find out. I’d like to think those YA books will keep us young and super, super cool.

      Grocery budgets are the worst. The worst. I think every mom hates them. You will find that balance, and it sounds like you’re already figuring it out :).

  • Reply Codi September 29, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    1. Shane & Shane on amazon music
    2. My husband finishing grad school. Most excited about spending more time together as a family but higher income will be nice also.
    3.Hmmm I’d love to live abroad but we’re too comfortable and leaving family would be too hard.
    4. Clowns. I loved Joanna’s response and a ‘shirt of spiders’ will leave me itchy and paranoid all day.
    5. I am easily overwhelmed by our finances & wondering if we’re making the best decisions/being good stewards with what we have, where we’re going, where we’d like to be, etc.

    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.)
    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit?

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:55 am

      Yes, Johnny has a way with words. No one wants to imagine a shirt of spiders.

      It really is a great relief when school is over, for both the reasons you mentioned. Good luck to your husband (and you) as he finishes up!

      I think it’s totally normal to second-guess your finances and whether you’re doing the absolute best. Set your goals, make a plan to reach them, and then don’t let yourself worry. If you’re meeting your goals, the rest isn’t worth worrying about!

  • Reply Nicole September 29, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    What was the last thing you listened to?
    A Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast about the Lady Julianna (a ship that transported female convicts from England to Australia to help populate the colony).

    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list?
    Pump up our savings account, pay down our mortgage.

    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about?
    Gosh, so many… Start my own business, travel, learn to play the piano…

    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.)
    Clowns? Honestly, neither bother me too much.

    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit?
    Thinking about a) if we should have a 3rd kid, and b) if staying home with them is the right choice.

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls October 4, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    What was the last thing you listened to? A lovely song, written and performed by my 7 yo daughter about the Halloween decorations we just hung. Quite delightful!

    What is the next check box on your financial to-do list? Fully funded emergency fund

    What item on your life bucket list do most people not know about? Nothing super fancy, I would like to have a lengthy vacation in Portland Oregon. I have a suspicion that I would like to live there someday. Odd I know!

    Choose one: clowns or spiders? (It’s almost October, after all.). I will take a billion spiders over s clown, thanks very much, Stephen King and my parents lack of judgment in allowing me to watch IT at the age of 12.

    When you feel anxiety about your finances, what’s the culprit? Usually feeling like our safety net is insufficient. I can handle the ups and downs of the market and my long term investments, but I need to know we have cash!

    • Reply Joanna October 5, 2015 at 1:58 am

      Oh my! I wish I could have heard that song! It sounds very entertaining.

      Not odd at all! I love hearing people’s hopes and dreams. I’ve never been to Oregon or anywhere in the PNW, and I’m dying to go!

      Good luck with funding your emergency fund. Just take it one month a time. Your concerns are totally valid, but if you’re doing the best you can (and it sounds like you are!), that’s what matters.

    Leave a Reply