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June Chit Chat

post #1 of 352
Thread Starter 

September

LunaLady- Christina: 9/19, baby boy Rhyko

 

October

Meb2- Morgan: 10/27, baby boy Ezra Ryan was born at 6:46 PM

TTCChloeorConner- Nicole: 10/31 baby boy Conner Dean, 8lbs2oz. 20'' long. 6:14pm

 

Early November

Seraf- Sara: 11/1, baby boy Shay born in the car, 8lb14oz

Mal85- Mallory: 11/2, baby girl Greta

EonJourney- Nicole: 11/3, identical twin boys Ember Trail 5.7 oz and Roam Freely 5.6 oz

SoCaliMommy- Kami: 11/4 baby boy Harlan Drake,  6:48pm at 10lbs even 21 1/2"

MrsKatie- Katie: 11/10, baby girl Catherine Anne was born at 1:21pm.  7lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. 

 

Mid November

Jill the Pill- Jill: 11/11, baby girl Audrey Catharine 6lbs 5oz 19 inches long

miriam_bat_avraham- Julie: 11/11, twin girls

TalkToMeNow- Amanda: 11/12, baby boy Jasper Conley, 12:42 pm,  8 lbs 11 oz.

Paigekitten- Katie: 11/12, baby girl Eowyn Jane, 6:09 pm, 8 lbs 3.9 oz, 21 inches

KayPea- Kirsten: 11/13, baby boy Oren Edward Adams, 5:45pm, 9lbs 11oz, 21 in long, 15in head!

wellforth - Carey: 11/15, baby boy Luca Qrzwin, 9:52 p.m., at home natural waterbirth, 7lbs9oz, 22"

LiLStar- Rachel: 11/16, baby boy Evan Curtis, 11 lbs, 15" head

Xakana- : 11/16, baby girl Katarina Xylia, 11:42am, weighing 8lbs, 13oz, 20"

Krystal323- Krystal: 11/18, baby boy Oliver Davis, UC

IwannaBanRN- Becky: 11/19, baby boy Levi Jaxon, 10:50am, UC

jhsmama11-Amber: 11/19, baby boy Jack Henry

 

Late November

jbk21- J: 11/24, baby boy Dylan Timothy born in the caul

Motivated Mama- Nina: 11/24, baby

dashley111- Ash:  11/24, baby girl Bettie Grey, 7:03pm, 7lbs15oz, 21"

birdhappy85- Joanie:  11/24, baby girl Sora Nina, 3:39pm, 7lb 6oz, 19-1/2 in long

ZippyGirl- Anthia:  11/24, baby boy Bode McGuire born at 6:14 a.m.

glassesgirlnj - Kathy: 11/28, baby girl Annamaria Sigyn Estelle, 7lbs even, 19.75 in, 8:09pm

KaliShanti- Kali: 11/29, baby boy Enoch Noble Grandison , 8 lbs 7 oz. 21.25 in, 11:45pm

 

December

abraisme- Abra: 12/1, baby girl Coralie Katherine, 8lbs1oz, 19.75", 2pm

Jaimee: 12/3, baby boy Avery River, 6lbs14oz, 21", 4:21pm

post #2 of 352

Nicole - I agree with the others, you totally CAN do it!  When my DS was little I supported myself from home (it was really important to me to raise him myself) on roughly 20k a year.  I was a nanny for a little girl and sold things on Ebay, which was enough to keep us afloat for years.  If there is a will, there is a way!  Also, Amanda is right, people generally adjust their lifestyles to live at the edge of their budgets.  Once I got married my dh and I sign ourselves into 5 years of a $3000 a month mortgage (we have 2 loans, our primary loan is $2100 for 15 years).  While he makes really good money, we were still living at the end of our budget.  This is one reason that we are quickly selling our house.  My dh hated that job and I doubt he'll be making that much again any time soon.  We don't even have any debt to speak of.  We paid off roughly $20k in debt in the last few years and have been living debt free for over a year.  We followed Dave Ramsey's financial plan, it put us both on the same page and worked really well. 

 

AFM:  George is off to pick up the bus today!  It's all so very exciting and actually happening!! 
 

post #3 of 352

Sorry this is going to be long...

 

 

I recommend checking out the free budget templates in Excel! They're great. When working, I do accounting, so I'm a numbers geek and am kind of obsessed with Excel and looking at our budget every day just for fun anyway... redface.gif I have to know where the money is going or we'd just spend without thinking twice. The fixed expenses, like Amanda mentioned, are the worst. So we don't tack on any new fixed expenses these days. Keeping those low is ideal. We bought a house two years ago in one of the most expensive suburbs of Milwaukee without realizing how much money we'd actually be throwing into it after utilities/electricity + unforeseen home repairs + random expenses. (We just had to fork out $10,000 for foundation repairs... It broke my heart into a million pieces.) It's been exhausting to budget for house stuff because many of the expenses literally come out of nowhere, so I just don't even focus on those as much and take them as they come - while always keeping savings just in case. The best thing we did to save money recently was refinance our mortgage. It dropped our monthly payment down by $250. Next to our mortgage, food is our biggest expense. I try to cut down the cost by shopping at an employee-owned grocery store where things are way cheaper, but I still can't manage to spend less than $900-$1000/month... even though we cook all of our food at home except for the occasional Chipotle burrito run. DH paid off his car last year thankfully, and mine was already paid off. Without me working, the gas expense for my car is lowered dramatically. That helps. We switched insurance carriers for home/auto/life to save a LOT of money. If you bundle them together under one company, you get discounts. And shop shop shop around for best prices. We're saving over $1000/year on that now. We chose a middle-of-the-road health insurance option between the three choices offered at DH's work so we'd pay less in monthly premiums but still have an affordable deductible should we end up with a big medical expense. DH pays the minimum payment on his student loan because the interest rate is the lowest of any of our debt. (Important!) Which reminds me... I always factor in tax deductions and credits in the back of my mind when looking at our budget. Student loan interest is deductible. Home mortgage interest is deductible (huge one!). I pay for half of my schooling each year with an education tax credit. Some home improvements and purchases have tax incentives too (like energy-saving). We do things around the house to lower our utilities. Just this past fall DH put a lot of new insulation into our attic. It already paid for itself and we're saving money monthly for decades now on our bills. (And wow, Amanda... $100/month on water?! Ouch! We pay $120/quarterly.)


I suppose the biggest reason we're able to live off of one income is that we're just both verrrrry low maintenance people. Probably to a fault. We both hate shopping, so we rarely buy things unless they're necessary. And when we do, we usually look up prices online and compare between stores to make sure we get the lowest. We go for sales and always utilize rebates. DH never buys clothes... I buy clothes for us maybe twice a year. Our clothes don't look the greatest at times but we don't care. We dress better if we have to actually be around other people but dress scrubby at home. I get baby stuff free from family as hand-me-downs or buy from Craigslist. I'll splurge on Amazon purchases here and there. DH cuts his own hair (buzzes it, so that's easy) and I only get one or two haircuts a year. I never get my nails done unless it's a gift from someone. I only wear mascara and eyeliner sometimes, so makeup isn't an expense for me anymore. Heck, I spend more money on our 2 cats each month than on things for myself... They're on a REALLY expensive diet to prevent urinary issues now since one of them almost died a few months ago and we ended up with a massive ER vet bill to bring him back to health... ugh. But even that I buy in bulk from the cheapest website I've found it sold for.

 

DH and I still splurge on cable, DVR, high-speed internet, and Netflix ($150/month, ouch...) + our cell phone bill is pretty high because of DH's smartphone data plan (I just have a basic phone to keep my portion low). He can't give those up since he needs entertainment to keep him awake at night (3rd shifter), and he also does extra work on the side for online tech reviewing so we're in the computer business too. He makes extra income through selling the computer components he receives free from manufacturers to review. And occasionally he sells computers he builds. It's a hobby for him that just happens to make some money sometimes. Another thing for extra income:  I ALWAYS pay off my credit card every month and cash in the rewards points. Why pay cash for things if I can make money from accumulating rewards points on my card? We all pay more for goods at stores because the stores compensate for the expense of running charge cards by tacking extra onto prices, so I might as well use my card and make some of that money back.

 

If the breadwinner in the household is able to look into higher paying job opportunities, it can't hurt to just see what's out there. That's what DH did last year when I was pregnant and he ended up getting hired somewhere else in the same field making 40% more income. A lot of people think they're making good money but don't realize they might be underpaid and/or worth more somewhere else.

post #4 of 352

There have been lots of great budgeting ideas here!  I wanted to add that as difficult as changes can be at first, you really do get used to them over time, to the point where they become second nature.  For example, when DH and I met, I was an impulse buyer.  Not too often, but if I saw something cute at a clothing store, for example, I just had to have it.  I wouldn't think about it.  Deal with consequences later, whee!  After shopping with Paddy a few times, and seeing how calm and thoughtful he was about all his purchases, I started to change my ways.  At first I thought his way was "no fun," you know, cause I loved just getting what I wanted when I wanted it (oh man that makes me sound like a spoiled brat), but I started taking a lot of time to think about what I wanted/needed, and I started making myself think about every purchase before I made it.  Now I check with him before I buy ANYTHING (except for groceries), and he does the same, and just having the conversation helps me think rationally about what I really want/need.  This makes it easy to budget for what's actually important (food!).

 

I feel like this response could get very long-winded, but the point is that changing your lifestyle feels very, very hard at first... but within a few months, it's second nature.  It doesn't STAY hard.

post #5 of 352

Really awesome money-saving ideas in this thread.  I love it.  

I also wanted to add that we are like Joanie- rarely shop but when we do make a purchase we either buy secondhand OR we get the very best so we know it will last a long time.  This is more for big ticket items (computer, my husbands coffee stuff *HAHA*, car, etc)  We are also generous people and love gift giving but we get creative- I am sort of crafty, so I like to make gifts, my DH brews beer which is always a good gift :-)  haha.  For food we shop at 3 or 4 different stores based on what we need, because I know prices on certain things are cheaper at certain stores.  I make a lot of our personal care products, and we don't use a bunch of disposable things (like paper towels, etc).  That saves a TON of money.  

I do wish we made more money just so we could pay of debt and save up (don't we all?!), but in general I feel like we are living well.  We have what we want, I feel like we get to do what we want within reason, and aren't spending frivolously.  We might make different choices than other people (like I said, food is a big one, we go out to eat frequently, and we also like to go to a few annual events in the area that cost money) but we budget for those and cut back in other areas.  

Also, a huge way to save money is to ask for things you want as gifts.  We have particularly generous parents, though, so that might not work for everyone.  And my mom always just sends money for gifts, so that helps because then I can buy something I've been wanting/needing but didn't want to use our money for.   Or I ask for gift cards to places I know we shop- like Sur La Table (I like having nice kitchen stuff), or clothing stores.  We also sell things online here and there- on Amazon or Craigslist.  Every little bit helps!  Each month I can find about $30-50 worth of stuff that we don't need and I can sell.  

 

We also live in a really awesome neighborhood so when we need something like a drill, we just borrow our neighbors.  We also planted a garden so that will help  with food costs this summer.  I also HATE waste, so I am super vigilant about food waste and I also think of creative reuses for things before we just throw them out (pinterest is great for this!)

 

Nicole, if you want to stay home you can.  Where there is a will there is a way :-)  Mint.com is great for budgeting.  I am kind of obsessed with budgeting.  :-) LOL!

post #6 of 352
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

There have been lots of great budgeting ideas here!  I wanted to add that as difficult as changes can be at first, you really do get used to them over time, to the point where they become second nature.  For example, when DH and I met, I was an impulse buyer.  Not too often, but if I saw something cute at a clothing store, for example, I just had to have it.  I wouldn't think about it.  Deal with consequences later, whee!  After shopping with Paddy a few times, and seeing how calm and thoughtful he was about all his purchases, I started to change my ways.  At first I thought his way was "no fun," you know, cause I loved just getting what I wanted when I wanted it (oh man that makes me sound like a spoiled brat), but I started taking a lot of time to think about what I wanted/needed, and I started making myself think about every purchase before I made it.  Now I check with him before I buy ANYTHING (except for groceries), and he does the same, and just having the conversation helps me think rationally about what I really want/need.  This makes it easy to budget for what's actually important (food!).

 

I feel like this response could get very long-winded, but the point is that changing your lifestyle feels very, very hard at first... but within a few months, it's second nature.  It doesn't STAY hard.

 

So true.  My DH is a planner and he researches purchases to death before he decides.  It took MONTHS to find what camera we wanted, for instance!  Even just taking a slow lap around a store, then revisiting what you plan to purchase and thinking "do I really need this?" helps.  Anything to delay the purchase.  Being mindful goes such a long way!

post #7 of 352
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post

 

So true.  My DH is a planner and he researches purchases to death before he decides.  It took MONTHS to find what camera we wanted, for instance!  Even just taking a slow lap around a store, then revisiting what you plan to purchase and thinking "do I really need this?" helps.  Anything to delay the purchase.  Being mindful goes such a long way!

So true! I probably visit every aisle in the whole store twice. lol And I almost always put something back.

 

J, do you know of any other budgeting sites? I don't have a checking account. :/


Edited by Becky Wheeler - 6/1/12 at 10:52am
post #8 of 352

I am a lot more careful with spending than dh, which is actually quite sad... I'm not that good with money! He is a total impulse buyer and never wants to research. I research everything before I buy it. He also has a crazy definition of need. Last weekend, he spent $100 on computer equipment he "needed" for a project. I was so pissed. Totally not a need. I kept it inside, though... I don't like to cause conflict. I'm pretty good with groceries. I use coupons when I can and make almost everything from scratch. I'd say we spend around $150-175 a week for our family of 6, 1 dog, and 1 catI know that isn't amazing by any means, but it's not awful either. And that's including buying as much as I can from the local farmer's market, and also counting toiletries, paper products, etc. 

 

My parents actually have a lot of money. But I am not that young anymore. They used to be a lot more generous. I think at this point they think I should be doing better. Which I should. 

 

Whoever said they look at their budget everyday (Joanie and J, I think), I need to do this! I will make a budget, know how much I have, and then forget the next day. Sigh. I seriously never buy anything for myself. Ever. I suppose I could get rid of my iphone and switch to a regular phone to save money. Of course, we'd still have dh and dsd with smart phones! 

 

Oops... party guests are arriving. Here we go.

 

Btw, dd1 is 10 today! Yay! I have been a mom for 10 years!

post #9 of 352

I should add that we don't really save up much money (if any) right now while living under one income. That's one thing I had to just accept and stop stressing about when I became a SAHM. We dip into our existing savings sometimes to get by from month to month but in general we usually break even. I plan on getting a part time job sometime in the next year to be able to save up some more money, hopefully invest in retirement, and to do something more for myself to keep up my skills. I feel ashamed that I have no retirement savings yet at 26 years old. DH just started saving last year at 29. *sigh* I try not to think about it because that's one thing that really gets me worked up.

 

Do the rest of you still invest in retirement while living under one income?

post #10 of 352

My husband has a government job, and they provide us with a lot of things like 401k's and TSP for retirement.  We also have the option of borrowing from retirement if something huge comes up (which we did once, to afford a lawyer for a  custody battle with DS's bio-father) and paying ourselves back so its never really lost. 

 

We very much live paycheck to paycheck, and we have no savings.  That's just our reality right now.  We dont need for anything, and we do fun things and have a lot of our "wants" fulfilled, so there is no complaining from me (only complaining from DH. Lol).

post #11 of 352

Becky- I don't have personal experience with any others, but there are lots of worksheets online you can print out and just have a paper budget, which is good because you can have it somewhere that you can see it often- daily if possible.

 

Congrats Amanda!  Have a fun party!

 

We just started a 401k through DH's work.  It adds up quickly- I am pleased!  That is another thing that I love about his job- it has awesome benefits, and we have stock options too which we cashed out a good portion of recently.  It was pretty great to know we had that money accessible- and I think of that as our "savings" right now because we still have a lot of stocks left and he gets another grant each year.  It's kind of our emergency fund, I guess :-)

post #12 of 352
No saving for retirement here, I used to funnel raises into savings, but we have been on a raise freeze for a while now.
post #13 of 352

Up until now we have always saved for retirement through my dh's 401k plan (plus they matched us).  For now we will be taking a break from that, we will still try to save and increase our emergency fund though.
 

post #14 of 352
Ha! Retirement?? What's that?! Dh has a small pension (maybe $250 a month) from the company he worked for for 10 years. He puts 5% into a 401k right now. All that is basically nothing, though. He's about to turn 36. I'm almost 32. I cashed out my retirement savings when I quit working. It was 8k before taxes. That was a state pension plan. We are very far behind. We are also not paying down our debt anymore. I was almost out of debt, except for student loans, before Jasper's birth. Now I have 1k or so in medical. Dh has more. I really don't know how much. Between us, we have a lot of student loan debt. Probably close to 40k.

So Jasper discovered his penis. Already?! Boys! Diaper changes are much more interesting. Poopy diaper changes are just crazy. Why....??
post #15 of 352
Oh, I forgot to update about sleeping issues. I gave dh the option to just let Jasper sleep with us or get him used to his crib. Dh really wants Jasper with us. Plus, I got my copy of the Sears Baby Book back from my friend. Dh was reading it and decided that Jasper definitely needs to cosleep... I really could have gone either way. Lol. So we sidecared the crib to our bed. Much more room now! Then, we decided to give Jasper's room to dd2 so that she and dd1 have their own rooms. Which means Jasper will be sharing our room tell we move... In like 3 years. Awesome. But I think it will be good for the girls in the long run. They were fighting so much.
post #16 of 352

Amanda, I haven't read that Sears book. What does he say about the reasons to cosleep that secured your DH's p.o.v.? I honestly don't really know much about all of the benefits of cosleeping... I've based our sleeping arrangements on what works best for everyone involved more than one way being "healthier" than another per se.

post #17 of 352

I love the benefits of co-sleeping, but our bed is too small to co-sleep comfortably. One of us is always smooched to the edge of the bed. lol

Joanie, some benefits are mother and baby bonding, child being more independent when they're older, good milk supply, and a happier baby. Truth be told about a lot of parents that don't have their baby in the same room as them is that baby could wake up and cry and sometimes not be heard and the parents then think baby sleeps through the night. 

post #18 of 352
Amanda, boys! I agree. Shay found his favorite toy a month or so ago and when he's not trying to yank it off he is asleep. On the bright side, my oldest found his as a baby and never went through a big penis phase as a toddler. Cool on more room in the bed!
post #19 of 352
Thread Starter 

Oh yes, Avery found his penis about a week ago!  Totally funny!

 

Nicole, you've gotten some great advice already about saving money and living on one salary.  I just wanted to add that when dd was born, we lived on $12K for her first 6 months and then lived on $45K for the next two years without a problem.  Since then dh has gotten better and better jobs so things have gotten easier somewhat, though we've also had more and more kids!  Dh has had mandatory retirement savings through his jobs, so we do save.  Though right now we wish we could have that money b/c we're looking at probably paying about $15K out of pocket to sell our Maryland house.  Not awesome.  Anyway, if you want to stay at home, it's completely doable on your dh's salary, but like others have said, will obviously require some changes in lifestyle.

post #20 of 352

 Amanda~ Happy Birthday to your daughter.   Harlan hasn't found his yet, He plays with his feet during diaper changes or try to grab anything that is behind him like clean diapers from the stack or the wipes box.

 

 

Savings/Retirement~ Dh has a 401K through work, which we've borrowed from one year to help pay off credit cards one time if i remember right.

  Our savings was looking pretty nice after we got tax money back but its slowly kinda disapeared from needing some and getting  moved from savings to checking to be used.

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