Thursday, August 2, 2007

House Poor

That's what we are right now. And I know I shouldn't complain, because we are homeowners for the first time. But we bought at the very top end of what we could afford, and are just barely squeaking by as we come to the end of our first full summer here, having had to stretch my husband's 9 month academic salary to cover the summer months. Unfortunately adjunct teachers aren't paid very well in this area, so my paltry income won't do much more than allow us to sock away our cushion for next summer. In other words, we're going to be house poor for awhile, at least for the next year.

Oddly, we are having to live on a tighter budget now than we did in California as graduate students! We didn't have much, but we somehow had enough to cook great food and drink wine without fear of breaking the bank, and occasionally go out to a nice meal. Now we're counting every dollar, scrounging change, planning every meal down to the last ingredient. All things we really should have been doing as grad students, I now realize!

I'm just not very good at budgeting, or sticking to a budget. Kaza, my dear readers, was meant to be wealthy. I've never been wealthy, but I seem to have a fine knack for the lifestyle. For instance, I believe that a glass of nice champagne should be a daily right (and rite), not an occasional luxury. As should a beautifully creamy morning cappuccino, made by a barista trained in the true Italian art (which simply cannot be learned by reading a corporate manual, as anyone who has had a cappuccino made by an experienced hand, in Italy, will agree). I also believe that one's food should be made with the finest, freshest ingredients, and that one should be able to go out to eat at least once a week in a restaurant run by a chef who knows food and loves feeding. I could go on and on, but my little reverie is beginning to depress me, alas.

Returning to reality, the good news is that we're making it, and not adding more debt. And we have a house. Although, I have to tell you, this homeowning thing is not quite all that it's cracked up to be. But that's a topic for another post.

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