As our income increases I am realizing how very expensive it is to live in the Bay. I am also realizing how great God is because He has taken great care of us, no matter our income.
In L.A., we were building our business and Mr. A was the primary income earner. My earnings typically paid our nanny. Back then the nanny was a lifestyle perk, it allowed the kids to get out and mingle with other kids, build relationships and have fun and it gave me time to relax. Now I realize the nanny also gave me an opportunity to build the foundation of a business that can fund our life in the overly-costly Bay area and now employ 5 people (with 2 being Mr A and myself).
Beyond the cost of housing, utilities are a drain. We cancelled cable because its a luxury we learned we could do without. Our cable box kept breaking and AT&T would send new ones that would also pause while we watched t.v. and would not allow any t.v. viewing. After more than a month of broken cable receivers we realized the kids were satisfied watching Netflix.
In the Bay there are many opportunities for exposure for kids but most of these things cost. Gymnastics is an expensive sport and has gotten more expensive because TR is on the elite track. We also like to stay at hotels close to the meet, when she has a morning meet more than 20 miles away.
QT is doing club track and apparently the club we chose is the most expensive in the Bay. His team has at least two travel meets a year, to Southern California and Phoenix, so that is travel expenses. The team is set to have meets 2 hours away so we will stay in hotels for those as well.
QT is now in football and that is an expense for team fees and gear.
QT has found a love for tennis. Fortunately my father is funding that but we have to prepare to fund it in the future. QT's tennis lessons are over $100 for a hour lesson. He is scheduled for lessons once a week.
This summer was costly because the kids did multiple camps that cost between $400 and $700 per week, plus we took a few trips.
The cost of living is stressful. I don't believe moving would be a solution unless we moved and kept working in California. I don't want to do that because hearings and trials would take me away from my kids.
We're continuing to increase our income and to me that is increasing my frustrating. We would have to make probably $30k a month after taxes to be comfy. With the economy the way it is I feel a duty to save at 1/2 of what we earn because I know that rainy day is in the horizon. I feel like I should be able to relax some but I continue to realize I need to work even harder to move out of what feels like lower middle class in the Bay.