BUDGET

My husband and I had agreed to get together at the end of each month to create our budget for the next month. I have to admit that we’ve been slacking and we generally wind up doing it in the middle of the month, which is crazy because it means we’ve spent half the month without a budget. Anyhow, last night I began to organize my office and realized that we hadn’t sat down to do our budget for February. This happens to be monumentally important because we are currently looking to buy new cars and although we knew how much we had a s a down payment and about how much we could afford monthly, we had not sat down to look at the hard numbers. It turns out we have a nice chunk of change left over at the end of the month, so that takes a little of the stress away where we thought adding two car payments to the budget would be tightening thing up a lot. 

Also, it seems that each month that we are married there are more and more line items in our budget. I know that I used to always forget a few line items when I did my single budget. I think it was almost intentional because I knew those were things I should try not to spend money on. However, it seems like there is a lot of extra in our budget now (ie: gym, coffee shops, alcohol, dates, etc). At the same time, it seems as though we have a nice cash flow coming in form random places. 

REFI

I wish I had a whole post about our refi. However, I’ve let my husband handle this entirely. He bought our house last year before we were married, so he went through the entire process alone (we had broken up at the time). He talked with his dad about the car buying process and fears of budget strains and his dad suggested we refinance at a lower rate to find extra money each month. My husband called up the same lady who did his original mortgage loan and apparently this is a perfect time to refi. Depending on when we finish the process our rate will drop between 1.5 to 2 points, which is awesome. This will bring us a savings of approximately $80/month. Also, she found a different PMI company which will crop our PMI cost by $20/month. All in all we will save about $100/month with the refi. We originally wanted to refi with a non-HFA loan company so that we would be able to do away with the PMI alltogether and according to my husband that would drop the mortgage about $100/month. However, our credit isn’t exactly there yet, so we have had to go with a new HFA loan. We keep all of the house docments together, so the coument gathering process consisted of him grabbing a file folder out of the safe and cleaning his room to find two other documents — pretty painless. 

CARS

New cars. Ok, I drive a Honda Civic which my dad gave me as a graduation gift 5 years ago. However, that car is committed to my sister when she gets her license. My car that I bought is a ten year old Taurus. My husband drove a Mazda Tribute. Two months ago he was in an accident and totalled the car. At that point we got the insurance money and decided to get him a new car. In the meantime he drove my Taurus. We got $6K for his car. He spent about $500 to fix up the Taurus and wanted to use $3K to buy a used car. My first instict was that he would buy a crappy car that would cost us a bundle in repairs and maintenance in the long run. I nixed that idea and suggested he use the $3K as down payment on a quality used car. He wasn’t quite convinced (even though the Taurus I bought 3 years back for $1.8K had already eaten up arond $3K). Then he drove the Taurus to the office one Saturday morning and I had to pick him up because the alternator (we think) went out. Since my sister is close to getting her license soon, we decided we needed to get cars for both he and I now. At that point we decided to use the $6K as down payment for two quality used cars. My first idea wa to get another Civic or a Corolla and call it a day. He, however, wanted a nice car. He wanted an Acura. Iargued that that would be too much car for us. We don’t need large interiors, heated leather seats or wood grain panels. But he insisted. Then he had me test drive one. I fell in love! so then we started to try to stretch the original budget to buy two used Acuras. As I looked at cars in the Acura price range, I found a used Lexus and went to drive it. I ell in love even more! So it stands now, we are looking to buy a used Acura and a used Lexus both hopefully with under $50K miles and both at around $14,900 hopefully less than that. It is possible, we just have to wait on the right deal and pounce on it.

Well now that the budget is all worked out, I just have to post it on Google Docs and then next week we can get started on tax prep! fun times.

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