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Category: financial freedom
Everyone has a weakness, something that tempts you no matter the consequences. When you are trying to stay on a budget, temptation seems to pop up everywhere. Lately I’ve been tempted to spend all over the place. Cute maternity clothes call to me from the racks saying, “You need cute clothes, buy me!” And there’s the baby stuff. Oh, the baby stuff. It calls to me from the stores and my inbox saying, “Doesn’t your baby deserve the best? If you want to be a good mom you’ll buy me. Aren’t I the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” We also get tempted by budget busters like vacations and dining out, things we “deserve” because we have been so frugal.
How do we deal with all of this spending temptation when we are trying to save for our first house and baby?
We do our best to stay on budget, and we keep our budget flexible adding and changing things when needed. We are going on an overnight getaway soon, a little babymoon, so we budgeted for it over several months so we don’t have to stress about the expense. I got a little extra clothing money last month so I could buy more maternity clothes. We are putting off as much baby spending as possible until after our baby showers, and budgeting some each month so that when we need to buy stuff we will have the cash ready. We struggle daily with the temptation to forget our budget and spend whatever we want, because we do have a big savings fund. Sometimes it is hard to not spend because we worked so hard to save up that money and be debt free. I think what really keeps us grounded is that we are on the same page with money all the time, and make sure to work through it if a conflict arises. This has been the best thing ever for our marriage and our finances.
Last year was a landmark one for our family. We moved again, began the journey to parenthood, and accomplished a number of financial goals. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite frugal and financial posts from 2010. It was fun for me to look over the posts to see how we’ve grown. I hope you enjoy them. Click on a title to check it out.
There are many things that I love about the Christmas season. I love the meaning, traditions, decorations, time with family, time with Jesus, singing carols, the movies, and the giving and receiving of gifts. I do not love holiday stress, busyness, and money worries. Last year was our first year on the Dave Ramsey plan, and we were newly debt free. We budgeted for Christmas presents and used only cash and debit and it was so freeing. We loved it so much that we did it again this year.
The main objective of the card companies is to increase card spending that may result in cardholder’s debt in the future.
This whole pregnancy thing is so new to me, and I have been getting tons of great advice from friends, online friends, and total strangers. I’m a member of the Frugal Living community on Blog Frog, so asked those fun folks for their best frugal pregnancy tips to share with y’all. They came up with some great stuff! I’ll share all of the tips with you over the next few weeks.
Have a friend who was just pregnant? Talk to them about maternity clothes. Maybe they’ll let you borrow some shirts.
You don’t have to have every cool thing they make for babies. I’d splurge on a cradle swing even before a crib.
Talk to friends and neighbors who are all done having kids – esp if they just had their last kid. They’re dying to get rid of their old stuff. Check for safety issues.
Make sure your car seat is less than 3 yrs old.
Don’t pay any medical bill that hasn’t been through your insurance. I overpaid the doctor’s office because they insisted on a certain amount that *they* expected. It took a WHOLE YEAR to get my refund check.”
– from Heart Baby Home
“This may sound silly to you but I just had a baby and this my personal experience. With my first, I craved taco bell like no tomorrow. And I ate it all the time. And whatever else I craved. With the baby I just had I craved pizza all the time. Instead of ordering out for it, we did homemade pizza and almost always had some in the fridge. When I was hungry but didn’t know what I wanted I would eat cereal. I had a ton in my stockpile and after awhile that’s what I craved. Those two things helped me save money on my cravings while pregnant!”
– from Fabulessly Frugal
“Always try the cheaper brands first. My babies all did fine with the off brand diapers and I saved nearly $10 on a big box (buy the big box) each time. This is the same for wipes, food, bottles, etc.
Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, but if you can, it’s the way to go. There are so many benefits for mom and baby, but it is a big money saver. Formula is about $22 a box and will probably get you through a week. Do that for a year and then move into sippy cups when baby can have cow’s milk.
Also, get items that grow with the baby: a crib that turns into a twin bed, a car seat that grows with baby,
And, don’t buy what the baby doesn’t absolutely need. Unless the baby really needs it, don’t introduce the pacifier, or the bottle, etc. Once you buy one of those, you will buy 40!
Our baby started eating the same things we were eating as soon as he could have solid foods. A $6 mini food processor makes your meal edible for the baby. Since we get vegetables from the garden and meat from the farm, we know the baby isn’t getting overly-processed foods either.”
– from Keeping Up with the Joneses
“These are all great ideas. “Don’t buy what you don’t need”…I agree. I never had a changing table and I never missed out. I know several of my friends that said that was a useless item. If you feel you must have one buy one that grows with them like Kimberly said. In this case get a dresser with a changing pad on top.
I would not forget about thrift stores and yard sales too. You can find really awesome clothes for you and your baby all up until they are about 3-4 years old. Most people have too much stuff for their baby that is never used or maybe used only once and that includes clothes, and bedding.”
– from Saving Your Green
“And all you need is sleepers and onesies for the first few months. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive.
Somewhere for them to sleep, if even a pack&play next to your bed or cradle/basinet/baby moses basket for first couple of months too.”
– from 3 Boys and Adoption ?!?
I would love to hear all of your Frugal Pregnancy tips as well. Share them with me in the comment section!
One year ago, we were in the middle of Financial Peace University. It rocked our world and changed our financial future forever. Now we are debt free, have a 3 month emergency fund, and are saving for a house and baby, and investing for retirement. That is a world away from where we were, and we owe it all to the Dave Ramsey plan. Because we believe so strongly in his plan, when we heard our church was offering the class we had to volunteer. I can’t make it every week because of my work schedule, but Jed is committed. He is a gifted teacher, and is so excited about sharing our journey with the folks in the class.
He had class tonight, and the 15 people added up their debts (consumer – non house) totally $304,000 for the group. Wow. I can’t wait to hear their stories of freedom in a few months or years. The class is 13 weeks long, and according to Dave’s website over 1 million families have already gone through it. Each family pays off $5300 in debt and saves $2700 in just 90 days on average. That is truly awesome.
I think this may be Jed’s new ministry. He gets so fired up about financial freedom, and loves sharing it with everyone he knows. Being able to do so in an environment where people actually signed up to hear about it is a great fit for him. I want to support him as he helps others along in their financial journey. Hopefully he can officially become a FPU coordinator and lead more classes. Teaching others will help to hold us accountable as well.
Need a budget? Do it here in 2 minutes:
Since we started our Total Money Makeover one year ago, we are on a strict budget to help us reach our financial goals. We realized that we were spending WAY too much money dining out. This city has a million great restaurants to tempt us, so we had to take control of the situation. We now limit our monthly dining out budget to $150. We could easily spend that on one meal in Dallas, but we try to make it stretch as far as possible. To do that, we have to find affordable fare, and we have. I’ve decided to share our favorite Dallas dinners under $20 with y’all. The opinions are completely ours, and we are in no way affiliated with or being compensated by the restaurants.
Tony’s Pizza and Pasta has been around for a long time, and is located on Northwest Hwy in East Dallas. They advertise that everything is prepared fresh and cooked to order, and the place is BYOB. They brought garlic rolls out before the meal, for free, and I was hooked.