future = scary.

Note to self: Don’t ever again try to calculate your net worth on one of those online calculator things. It’s just too, too depressing and scary.

How can 2 people with college educations and great jobs and who work CONSTANTLY it seems, have close to a negative net worth? How is that possible? What are we doing wrong?

We don’t overspend. At least, we have zero credit card debt, so we’re certainly not spending more than our means allow at this point. All of our debt is in our education (totalling over $40,000… and that’s after paying $500 a month for nearly 5 years now.. will these things EVER be paid off??!?!) There is also our cars (although one is paid off and the other one will be in a few months- HALLELUJAH!), and of course our house. Which will never be paid off by us because I don’t think we’ll live there long enough, maybe another 5 years or so. And I don’t think we’ll make any kind of a killing off of selling the house, since we’ll still owe quite a bit- probably just enough for a decent down payment on the next place.

But still. How do we just barely break even? Our savings account is pretty much the only ‘positive’ in our net worth ‘assets’ column, plus our piddly retirement at work (since we’re only 26, I suppose that’s not necessarily anything to panic over though) And those 2 cars we own… heh. Boy we’re living high on the hog aren’t we?!

I think I’m just freaking right now. It’s tax time, and we’re gonna owe a nice chunk of change thanks to someone’s bright idea to start a freelance business. (Damn extra income, heh) And we got our bill in the mail yesterday for our trip. It’s not due until March 4, but a month ago when we booked the trip, that seemed much further away than it does now. EEK! All of a sudden, that savings account? Gonna take a big hit.

I think the thing that’s scaring me is that we are starting to seriously have discussions about me quitting work this summer. And trying to have a baby. A BABY PEOPLE. HOLY CRAP. Thinking about changing everything in my life in one drastic motion is causing a bit of panic in me. Not that I don’t WANT to do it.. but.. wow. As crazy as things are sometimes with all of this work and busy-ness and stuff, at least I know what to expect and we have a (sort of) routine. A routine that involves microwaved dinners and laundry piling up and piles of cat hair in the hallway and overflowing trash cans… but it IS a routine. And taking the plunge into changing that routine, and going from 2 comfy incomes to 1 sorta manageable one and 1 unknown, unsteady, unpredictable one. And will I be able to handle a baby AND keep up with freelance work during the day? What if I can’t do it? I can’t go back to work… my salary certainly won’t pay for day care, at least not enough to make it worth the hundred bucks I’d end up bringing home when all is said and done.

I know I’m probably focusing way too much on the financial aspect of things… I always do. I’m a worrier when it comes to that stuff. It took DAN to convince ME that we should just book the Rome trip, and he recently had to convince me to buy the floor tile I WANTED for the bathroom floor rather than the stuff that was a little cheaper that I didn’t like as much. I suppose it goes back to growing up without a lot of ‘STUFF’ and having to watch every dollar and knowing that 1 bad month and things could be REALLY bad.

Anyway. I’m rambling. Basically… the next 6 months or so are going to be incredibly exciting for us, but incredibly scary as well. Which shouldn’t be surprising I guess. But I don’t handle change well, I’ve learned. I used to think I did (I’ve also learned I can be incredibly delusional) When I changed jobs this summer, it didn’t work so well for me. I didn’t let on of course (I don’t even think Dan knew it was hard for me) There were quite a few days where I ended up in tears or at least close.. and I don’t even know why! After a few weeks, I was fine though. Such a GIRL.

Plus, bottom line: I’m a planner. I have to know what’s gonna happen; it drives me crazy not to. And I know that’s bad, because that’s life! But I hate not knowing how something will be. I want to kind of test it first. But for this.. I don’t think I can do that, and it’s probably a good thing. I think it’s something you just have to close your eyes, say a little prayer, and jump in head first. And know that it will all be worth it in the end.

But it sure is damn scary.


  1. Sunshine

    January 25, 2006 4:18 pm

    I’ll agree with you that it sucks to be an “adult” and have to worry about all these things like bills, retirement, being a parent…especially when you’re a planner (or borderline control freak, if you’re me!) and there are so many variables you CAN’T control. But, (and I realize you already know this) you just can’t let it hold you back….you still have to go on trips to Rome, and have babies, and trust that it will all work out AND be totally worth it.

    Yeah, so there’s my life-affirming post for the day!

    Oh, and while I’m here: GO STEELERS!

  2. Jen

    January 25, 2006 4:43 pm

    Yeah really… I’m so glad I’m not the only planner/control freak, hehe ;) I do trust that it will be worth it, I just have moments of total panic where I’m like WHOA! I did the same thing when I was getting ready to leave GCC, when I started a new job, when I got married… any big change really. I know everyone goes through it… but of course when it’s your OWN problem, it’s much more dramatic and feels like the worst thing in the world EVER. heh

    Thanks for the life-affirming post! And for the Go Steelers! (Can you BELIEVE it!!!!!!!????)

  3. Melissa

    January 25, 2006 6:08 pm

    There is a saying that, once you truly commit yourself to something, the universe conspires with you to achieve it. I believe that. When you put numbers down on paper and look at the calendar and there are so many unknowns, it DOES look scary. You just have to trust that there is always a way to do it. I think that it might be scarier NOT to do something and then always wonder “what if” or have regrets.

    So I agree with Sunshine that you can’t let it hold back. You and Dan will worry sometimes, of course, but I bet overall you’ll be really, really happy. :)

  4. Laura

    January 25, 2006 7:11 pm

    You just wrote my life story. I am so anti-change that it’s ridiculous. I cried when I moved out. I cried when I moved in. I cried when I got engaged and I cried when I got married. I cry when I get new jobs. Maybe I have attachment problems or something. :) But I feel everything you do. In fact I think I said your exact paragraphs to my husband the other day. Hehe.

  5. Priscilla

    January 25, 2006 7:12 pm

    I can tell you from experience, that you will be fine. When Chuck and I had Jada, I quit working and Chuck was making peanuts at the time. I don’t know how we made it through that time period but we did. And you will too. You will still have Inksplash as a second income and I’m sure you will be able to juggle both motherhood and that. You’ll do great…you always do!

  6. Stefanie

    January 25, 2006 9:58 pm

    My husband and I don’t have much life experience yet… but we just recently got our own place (first time for both of us) and expected to struggle for a while. Plus we also have so many plans… I want to finish school and we might get a second car. Yet my husband just recently got promoted and I just found a part-time job besides going to school. So life is looking good. I know you and Dan can do it – especially because you have your own business as a backup!!! :) Good Luck!

  7. Stefanie

    January 25, 2006 10:00 pm

    Oh, and by the way, I don’t know if you read the other comment… but I am from SEATTLE! *hint hint* :) SEAHAWKS!

  8. Corrie

    January 26, 2006 1:14 pm

    When you have the baby you can hang out with me and freak with me…I tend to freak out about financial issues ALOT.

  9. Jen

    January 26, 2006 1:33 pm




  10. Jen

    January 26, 2006 1:34 pm

    haha sounds like a plan! We can have a big freakout party every week :)

    Thanks to all of you for your comments and support in my moment of freaking. Today… so much better. I think I was just having one of those days :P heh You guys ROCK!

  11. Elisabeth

    January 26, 2006 8:29 pm

    You sound exactly like me. We are starting to think about babies, too, and I keep trying to plan it. Can I work part-time? Will my in-laws be willing to care for the baby during the day? Can we afford for me to stay home altogether and if so will I go nuts being home all day?

    Yep, I am a control freak.

  12. C

    January 30, 2006 7:50 pm

    ” And trying to have a baby. A BABY PEOPLE. HOLY CRAP. ”

    As long as I’ve been reading (a looong time) I think if anyone could do this – it’s you.

  13. Jen

    January 30, 2006 8:53 pm

    Thanks for the vote of confidence :) It’s not that I don’t think I can’t do it, of course.. it’s just scary to think about sometimes! heh Although any change is scary…!

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