Fundamental Money: Balancing Time and Cash

by Kevin on June 6, 2013

My wife and I are right around the corner from significant life change. If all goes to plan our son will be here sometime in the next six weeks.

There aren’t words proper enough to display the incredible mix of emotions this has caused inside me. “Eeek!” just doesn’t seem to do it justice.

One of the things I’m starting to notice amidst all the running around to get ready is… dare I say it? … a loosening of my financial iron fist on our budget and spending. There is only so much energy to go around right now. I’m working my job, freelancing at night as a second job for another 20-40 hours per week, taking care of my wife, eating, and helping put a nursery together. Oh and the minor details of learning how to take care of a baby when you grew up as an only child.

The slow reduction of strength on the “wait, we didn’t get the best deal humanly possible?” feeling I usually carry is… odd. It is at odds with how I normally operate.

Frankly, I’m mortified. This isn’t what a personal finance writer would do! Snap out of it!

The Ultimate Money Challenge: Balance

It is as if I am running into the ultimate money challenge for the first time. (That’s not true of course, it is just how it feels right now.)

Balance, balance, balance. The key to successfully managing money for the long haul.

To me balance means give and take. Flexibility. Focus when needed, relaxation when not.

For the longest time we — or mostly I — have been on the focus side of money. I may not be the best at sticking to a workout routine, but staying on top of our spending has come fairly easy to me. And this is with multiple reward checking accounts and reward credit cards to track, too. (The spreadsheet is glorious.)

I’ve never understood why a Mom trying to juggle two kids would go to just one store to buy every single item rather than making a few extra stops to get the best deal.

(The mothers reading this probably just spit out their morning coffee in laughter. He’s about to learn the hard way!)

But I’m starting to get it.

I’m starting to feel the struggle of balancing everything on a blissful but short six hours of sleep. Your energy gets drained while the pile of work seems massive. And that’s just to stay afloat and have a clean house on the rare occasion you are brave enough to have company over. And you’re telling me I need to hunt for the biggest discount and the best deal on top of doing all that?

No thanks, let’s just make one trip and buy everything we need regardless of the deals available elsewhere.

I get it.

Life is Full of Seasons

Thankfully this is just a season of life. We’ve spent the first major season of marriage happily married. We got a dog. We managed our finances. We invested well.

But now we’ve got a little one on his way to join us. The winds of change have been swirling and the new season is practically upon us. Our priorities should change or there would be something wrong. It’s different. It’s weird for the nutty spreadsheet guy.

Yet it’s strangely… good.

{ 1 comment }

Kelly June 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

Yay, Kevin! I’m so proud of you! You’re exactly right. And he isn’t even here yet – that’s impressive.

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