Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Budget Cuts

Every couple of years, Ryan and I sit down and take a look at our budget.

I know what you're thinking - "Man, they really know how to have a good time at the Rush house! How do they stand all that excitement?"

What can I say?  We live dangerously around here.

Seriously though, we look at what's coming and going through the bank account, taking a hard look at what we spend money on.  Then we decide which of those things need to stay in the budget and if there are some things we can decrease or eliminate altogether in order to save a few pennies.

When we did this a couple of months ago, we decided to take the plunge and drop our home phone service.  We also got rid of cable and invested in a one time expense for a Roku box which is now how we watch TV.  Please don't ask me to explain this - I have no idea how it works.  I just know it does and I no longer have to send $130 a month to Time Warner for internet, phone, and cable.  I started using cash to pay for our food (both groceries and eating out) which always helps cut out unnecessary purchases because I have an intense fear of getting to the check-out and not having enough money.

But there is one line item in our budget that some might consider frivolous but that we consider to be non-negotiable.


One night a week, Julie, our lovely babysitter who has certainly earned more than a few jewels in her crown since meeting our family, shows up at our house.  She hangs with the Bird, feeds her supper, helps her shower, and sends her off to sleep.  Then, if the big girls are around, they move on to really important stuff like watching Project Runway or Castle.  Or searching YouTube for the craziest videos or sharing stuff on Pinterest.

Ryan and I get to go out by ourselves.  Eat supper in a restaurant where nothing has to be unwrapped.  Go see a movie while it's still considered a new release.  Wander the bookstore or the outdoor mall.  Sometimes, we take the big girls with us and play mini golf or wander some of the funky shops downtown.

The point is that this line item in our budget is money well-spent.  I think I would rather give up meat than give up my babysitting money.  And that's saying a lot for a girl born and raised in Texas!

For us, babysitting is more than just babysitting.  It's mental health improvement.  It's marriage enrichment.  It's teenager enhancement.  And while it is an expense, it's still cheaper than therapy.  And Lord knows that budget line item is already maxed out on the Bird!

What about you?  Do you have any expenses in your budget that you never want to give up?  I want to hear about it!


  1. Ahhhh.... "date night." How do I love thee? Lucky for us, we have my mother-in-law who is overjoyed to get some time with her granddaughter. We go out almost weekly (like you). Unfortunately, the MIL does not do bedtime, so we usually only get a couple hours -- but I'll take them any way I can get them!

    So, a budget item I would not give up? I guess that would have to be my Internet service. We use it to watch TV and unwind in the evening, LM gets her Netflix on the iPad (so we don't have to *constantly* watch repeat episodes of Handy Manny) and I get to blog and stay connected with all my bloggy buddies. So, yeah... I'd rather eat ramen noodles for a month than give that up!

  2. What is this "budget" word of which you speak? Is this the item that gets me in trouble with my hubs?! ;)

    I completely understand why you would not give up the date night! Sounds fabulous. Sadly, we live so far away from others that it is very difficult to find a babysitter and our parents are too elderly to care for Toots so we do not have this item in the, as you call it, budget. As far as something I would not give up, I would have to agree with Karla and say Internet service. It keeps me connected and, thus, semi-sane. . .

    Now, may I please borrow Julie?!

    1. Budgets - the bane of so many marriages. Men just don't understand how much money we really save them, do they?? Maybe you can have your date night at home - after Tootles is asleep??

  3. I guess my massage (1 1/2 hr) once a month would be the one thing I couldn't give up. It is more like preventive heath care for me. It is my time to enjoy complete relaxation without worrying about what I have to do next. My life is busy with others within our family and extended family at present, so I need this time to refocus, re-energize, and relax without interruption. I would rather give up something else than this.

  4. There is nothing better in this world than a reliable babysitter.

    I think the one thing I would not give up is my coffee right now. Please don't take it away!

    1. We had to search high and low to find a good sitter and she's worth every penny! And I would never take away your coffee. Hope you're managing to keep it down since I KNOW what's going around your house right now...

  5. I wish so much we could find a babysitter like that. We have family in the area, but they seldom babysit. Not getting out has def taken its toll on our marriage...we get no "us" time.

    We are huge budget people, too. Or, really, my husband is. We actually have 2 checking accounts, so that *I* don't go over budget...haha! Ah well, I guess it's good not to live in a van down by the river ; )

    1. We found our sitter through a special needs school here in town - one Lily doesn't attend but I'm a big fan of. They have lots of college students who volunteer at the school so I asked the principal if I could compose a "job description" that she would email out to the volunteers. I had 4 girls respond and I actually conducted interviews. That's how we found our Julie. It seems silly to work that hard to find a sitter but we can't just call the neighbor's kid....

      And yes, I'm glad you're not living in a van by the river! :)

      BTW - read your post today and so glad to hear all the good stuff going on with K! Proud of her!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...