Home > Feeling a bit overwhelmed

Feeling a bit overwhelmed

September 26th, 2007 at 06:05 am

I thought I was doing pretty well. In June, I was pretty flush with cash.

***warning - long rant***

Then I got engaged and I'm paying for everything having to do with that, except he bought my ring and his parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner, oh and one bridesmaid is paying for all of her dress...I had offered to pay for half of all the dresses. I think that everything I've bought so far has been either on sale or I've found something less expensive than what I originally found, but I've still already spent $1600 on that. I still have a lot to go...big items include my dress, reception hall, DJ, dinner for 200 @ $8 a plate, liquor for the open bar, honeymoon, flower girl dresses, gifts for bridal party, etc.

I also started a new business. My fiance and I started thinking about how we were going to get the farm up and producing more, and we thought the best way for that to happen was for us to take over some of the cows that my dad has been taking care of. My dad currently does all the work with my cows and when we sell calves every spring, he gets 2/3 of the money, I get 1/3. That has worked very well. But now that I am going to have a farmer husband, he might as well be working for us instead of working for another farmer. So, our plan was to take around 20-30 head over this year if we can find the grass.

But, my cows have their calves in February - April. If we move them to a new pasture and mix them with any other cows, we need to get them together early so the different diseases / germs from the different herds and the new pasture will allow the momma cows to get antibodies before the babies are born. Think of a daycare. All those kids around spread germs to one another. But if the momma cow has time to make antibodies, the baby calves will be more protected. (This is one of the reasons why people say to breastfeed. In fact, my older sister had chicken pox when I was nursing, and my mom gave me the antibodies so I didn't ever get them. I had a test when I was thinking about becoming a teacher to make sure that I couldn't get them, and the doctor said I wouldn't ever get them.) That means that we would need to take the cows over in December or January.

Another reason we need to take them over before February is that the hardest part of taking care of the cows is feeding them in the winter and helping them have their calves if they need help. So it wouldn't be fair to my dad for him to feed them and calve them out and then us to take them after that was over. But, the calves we have this Feb - April we won't sell until the next January, so we didn't want to wait until next year to get started.

Oh, and during the winter, the grass doesn't grow (ok, duh on that one) and we'll have to feed them. My dad had bought a used baler that the dealer couldn't ever make work. Dad and the dealer went round and round about that, the dealer saying "I'm going to come take it back if you don't pay on it" and Dad saying "come and take it, it doesn't work anyway". My fiance looked at it, and he thought he knew what was wrong with it, and asked my Dad if he wanted him to look at it. Dad was disgusted with the whole thing and offered to sell it to my fiance if he wanted it. We decided that because my income was so much higher than my fiance's, and we won't get married until January, for tax reasons, it would make sense for me to buy the baler as well as a small tractor and pay my fiance to run it. My fiance got it running perfectly - after a few weeks of broken parts, which cost quite a bit. So, technically, I own a baling business, with a baler and a tractor, and I pay a guy (who happens to be my fiance) to run it. When we bale feed for someone else, we get 1/3 of the bales. So, either we can sell those bales or we can feed our cows with those bales. Either way, it is a good investment, but it is at least a year long investment without any income from it for a year and lots of expenses.

I got a loan for the tractor and baler ($12,500 for both, a little over $5000 every year for three years) but wanted to pay for the operating expenses myself. I didn't want to go into debt to run the business, only to buy the equipment. I've spent about $1400 on it so far, with another couple hundred this week I haven't paid for yet.

I had to knock my emergency fund down from $3000 to $1700 to pay some of that, and right now I have just the money in my wallet to spend until payday on checkbook is "overdrawn" (it won't cost me an overdraft fee, because I have a few hundred dollars as a buffer in there, but not counting the buffer, I'm in the red.) Luckily, all I have to spend on from now till Thursday is food. All the living expense bills are taken care of, in a separate checking account, so as long as I don't lose my job, I won't have to worry about my house payment, truck payment, electricity, utilities, etc.

I'm happy with my decision to start this business. It is working great, we are either going to make a potload of money from selling the bales or have a potload of bales for the cows.

I'm happy with the wedding plans, even though I would appreciate some help from my parents...but I'm almost 30 for heck's sake...I should be on my feet enough to pay for it. Although, they gave my other 3 sisters about $600 each to help with their weddings. I kinda brought this up to my mom the other day, and she looked at me like "you have more money than we do." I just said "I'm still your daughter." She also asked me where her and Dad's names were on the invitations (I just have my fiance's and mine), and I just said "You're not paying for it."

I am trying to pay for a wedding and a new business and live the same way I did before these two things came on the horizon. That can't work. I guess yesterday when I balanced my checkbook and I was in the buffer zone, that was a real wakeup call. I'll just have to hunker down for the next couple of months and not spend so much.

5 Responses to “Feeling a bit overwhelmed”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Oh, didn't realize you're engaged. Congrats!

    I know nothing about farming, but starting up any kind of business in any condition is difficult, but especially if you've got all these other things going. Well, best of luck to your venture.

  2. fern Says:

    Uh oh. Sounds like some hard feelings on your parents' part. Isn't it traditional to include the names of all the parents on the invitation? I didn't know it was tied to whether they pay for it or not.

  3. cptacek Says:

    Fern, I looked it up on a wedding etiquette web site when I started making them...if the parents of the bride are issuing the invitation, which I assumed meant that they were paying for it, it should have their names. If the couple is issuing the invitation, then the parents' names shouldn't be on there.

    Maybe I'm wrong, though...I hope not! I already have them printed and half assembled!

  4. cptacek Says:

    Thanks, BA, for the encouragement. I have money earmarked for other things in a high-yield savings account, but I don't want to have to dip into that (I'm saving to buy some land, I have a (now half the size) emergency fund, and I have the bill-paying money seperate from "other" spending money.) My goal was to only use my non-bill paying, non-earmarked money to fund the business and pay for the wedding, but maybe that isn't practical. Maybe I'll have to dip into some of that ear-marked money for this and replenish it down the road.

  5. cptacek Says:

    I'm feeling a bit better. I just looked a little more closely at what I had spent my money on in the past 2 weeks, and one thing I forgot when I wrote last night is that I had to pay about $300 to register my vehicle. If I had budgetted for that (! what a concept, huh) and paid for it out of those funds, I would not have freaked out so much.

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