So it’s been a few weeks since our last update and lots of things are happening. Job searches, interviews, planning, financial fun, outdoor weather, a baptism, and a busy lifestyle are keeping us at bay. Pair that with neither of us being big writers and having little motivation to do anything and you get some downtime from blog posts.
Also, we’re not seeing much in the way of traffic movement either. Despite trying to churn out blog posts, being active on Twitter, and some SEO, we’re getting maybe 1 visit a week. It’s difficult to be motivated when you spend hours writing blog posts but get no traffic. Our main concern is quality and content and we know it was going to be awhile before we built up any traffic. We’re not here just to get a bunch of visitors and call it a day. We want to product quality content, get our names out there and start building a good brand. We also committed to ourselves of at least 6 months – 1 year of quality writing before we got discouraged.
On top of having a 5 month old son who’s now starting to become more vocal and active, I’ve also made it a bigger commitment to be more active with our family and spend more time together. Mentally, with everything that I have going on, I’ve been distant lately since I’ve prioritized things differently. I’ve been prioritizing other things ahead of family in the short-term but I’ve since re-prioritized family as my #1. Really, family will always be #1 to me but I had to focus some of my energy away from them so as not to hinder them. Long story and I’m not making sense now but some of you may understand where I’m coming from.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking to decide what’s best for my family. Often times I feel like Walter White in Breaking Bad…trying to make sure my family is prepared in case anything happens to me. No, I won’t resort to manufacturing drugs or killing people. But I do spend a lot of time thinking how I can make life better for my family and how that aligns with my life. I want to make more money to pay off debt and help us better financially so that we can plan vacations and spend more time enjoying things. But how to make more money is another task. I won’t pick up a PT job again since I worked 6 days a week and all day Sunday the last time I did that. Sure I’d love the extra grand it gave me each month but not at the risk of losing family time and not seeing my son grow up. I quit the PT job earlier this year to give Mrs. RR support in her final month of pregnancy and to also make sure that I was there for her (and baby RR) when they needed me.
I’ve also been agonizing over how Mrs. RR can get down to PT/no work at all, another correlation with how we can make more money. I’m trying to set things in place to build a better life to get more money (see: priority issues above) but still have more thinking to do. Previously, I’ve always been against having someone be a SAHP (Stay At Home Parent) but I can see how much she wants it and how important it is for her. If there is some way that we can swing it then I’d love to do that because it would not only make her happy but also give us a better work/family life balance. But again, this comes with more money.
I let her know that she can do whatever she wants as long as we can make X per month (with a reduced budget). Unfortunately, with our set expenses (mortgage, insurance, student loans, hospital bills, utilities), that figure is kinda high. We’re paying over $700/month alone in student loans (go me!) so that we can have them paid off in 4 years. But if she wanted to go to school or do something which would be a short-term setback but long-term gain, I tell her to go for it and we can swing it. We can always make it work because we’re investing in both of our futures and happiness with such a decision.
My ultimate goal is to have student loans and other big expenses cut back a lot along with a higher salary which would cover our household expenses. That doesn’t mean making $120K a year (although it would be nice) but enough to cover our expenses and allow us to do family things together while also investing in our long-term future. We’d also love to retire earlyish. My goal has been to BE ABLE TO retire at 55, although I’ll always be doing something once I retire from the “real world”. By aggressively paying down debts and simplifying our expenses, I’m hoping that early retirement will be feasible for us both.
In other news, Baby RR is doing quite well. He’s putting on even more weight and no one can believe that he’s only 5 months old. He’s becoming more vocal and active and is always kicking his feet and moving his head up and down. He’s also inherited Mr. RR’s appetite and likes to eat everything in sight so I fear I may be homeless in 10 years due to our ridiculously high grocery bill.
We also had him baptized recently which was fun considering that neither of us had a church until last week (long story). Between the multiple phone calls to find a church, talking with a pastor, answering the faith questions, and scheduling the actual date/time of the baptism, that’s also been a fun experience as well. But at least now he’s baptized and we hope to start visiting church more regularly so that Baby RR has a good foundation for himself.
So that’s everything in a big nutshell. We’ll do a better job of posting more frequently and keeping the quality content but it’s been a crazy month here for us. I’d also like to start doing our monthly expense reports again although the past couple months have been embarrassing. We’re also doing a “no spend August” month so it’ll be fun to chronicle that. Until next time…