Berry-Johnson — a 39 year-old CPA, writer and mom — shares how she spends her money.
In this series we ask people to open up their wallets.
When we moved for my husband’s job two years ago, I went from working 40 hours a week for a small CPA firm to working at a large firm where the billable hour expectation is much higher. Although I love what I do, I’ve been struggling to juggle my career and motherhood. I thought it would get easier as my son got older, but he started preschool this year and I’m finding it even more difficult to find balance. Recently, I started freelance writing with the hope that I can transition from being at the office 60+ hours a week to setting my own hours. While my salary is great now, as I look toward making changes I’m definitely taking a closer look at my spending, working to pay off a few debts and save up a bigger rainy day fund.
1. T-Ball registration: $109.00
I’m getting my 3-year-old away from the TV and into sports. Living in Phoenix that’s hard to do during the summer heat, but now that fall is here, I’ve signed him up for t-ball. I’m hoping he has fun and it’s not a repeat of this summer’s failed indoor soccer experiment when he spent the entire session crying and begging me to take him home to watch Paw Patrol.
2. Amazon video: $2.16
We cut the cord on cable about a year ago and get all of our TV and movies through Amazon and Netflix. I don’t think it’s saved us any money though because we had to upgrade our internet bandwidth to handle streaming content and I’m constantly buying shows that aren’t included in our Amazon Prime subscription. This was an episode of Sister Wives. It’s a guilty pleasure.
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Although I normally enjoy cooking, I’ve given up on trying to prepare healthy meals from scratch every night after working nine hours, handling daycare pick-up and battling traffic to get home. Rather than spend an hour cooking something my son won’t eat anyway, I’m trying out a few meal delivery services. At least my feelings won’t be hurt when he turns his nose up at his dinner plate.
4. Etsy seller fees: $32.15
I love to cross stitch and I’m a thrift store junkie, so I recently opened up an Etsy shop selling vintage needlecraft kits and supplies. It’s a fun little hobby business and it’s making a small profit now.
5. Craft store: $9.90
I write for a local collaborative moms blog and this month I’m writing a craft tutorial. I was sure I had the supplies I needed somewhere around the house, but I couldn’t find them and ended up running to the craft store. Of course, I found my existing stash a day later.
6. Health insurance: $63.60
My husband was laid off a few months ago. While he found a better job a week later, he lost his group health insurance. The cost of adding him to my employer’s group plan was outrageous so we purchased a basic plan online. The coverage isn’t great, but at least we’re covered if something crazy happens before benefits kick in at his new job.
7. Ross: $253.34
I stopped in to buy new luggage for my husband for an upcoming trip to visit my family in Nebraska. I ended up buying the luggage, a purse and a pair of shoes for myself, and two new outfits for my son. My son did need some cold-weather clothing for since he’s still in shorts and t-shirts here.
8. Networking event ticket: $20.00
I’m a member of a local women’s networking group that always invites inspiring speakers and supports wonderful local organizations. I’m attending this event with a girlfriend I don’t see often.
9. Sandwich and chips: $10.32
I should take my lunch to work, but sometimes I just need to get away from my desk and out of the office.
10. House cleaning: $64.00
Along with a meal delivery service, I’m also freeing up my time by hiring a house cleaner twice a month. I grew tired of feeling like my entire weekend was spent on housework and grocery shopping.
Favorite Purchase? It has to be the house cleaning service. Although I sometimes feel guilty for the indulgence, I remind myself that the amount I spend per hour to have most of my housework taken care of is considerably less than I earn at either of my jobs.
Any regrets? Paying to watch Sister Wives, for sure. But my sister and I both watch the show and like to laugh about it, so I’ll just say it’s an investment in our relationship.
Click here for more stories from our Last 10 Things I Bought series.