Friday, April 5, 2013

Saving the Moola: March in review

In case you missed the news, Jason and I welcomed a baby girl to our family in March! We had well planned for her arrival - or so, we thought. In all honestly, we really did plan well. I'm very proud of us for planning our expenses ahead of time.

And just like we knew it would happen, there were unplanned expenses that we either could not have anticipated or just did not anticipate. And that's okay. That's why we have a debt savings account and an emergency account on top of that! Thankfully, at the time of this writing, we haven't had to pull money from either of those two accounts since we still have money in the baby savings account, but I anticipate we will pull money from debt savings before I return to work.

In March, we were able to beef up our debt savings account to a level I was really happy with. But also in March, since we had Bug (our blog nickname for her), we began pulling money from our baby savings account. We were both happy and sad to do this - happy because it meant Bug had finally arrived! But it was also sad because we knew all the sacrifices we made to save that money and we really, really didn't want to spend it.

We paid a lot of medical bills in March and expect to pay others in April as they arrive. We also had some expenses for Bug we did not anticipate. We declined to have a baby shower while expecting, and we still stand by that decision, especially since the items we've bought since Bug arrived, we could not have anticipated wanting or needing. In fact, it wasn't even until Bug arrived and we started experiencing life with her that we realized some of these things existed and they actually had a use! Things like a mirror for the car so we can see her when she's in her rear facing car seat and a neck pillow for her while she's in the car seat - if someone had told me a year ago that I would actually buy these things, I would've laughed! But we definitely saw a use for these items (among others). It just makes us all the more happy that we bought virtually nothing while expecting so we can feel okay with buying new things now.

While on maternity leave and paternity leave, we're making a real effort to spend as little as possible. So far, this has been working really well. It helps that members of our church family brought us meals the first week we were home, and it also helps that we have so many meals in our freezer that we prepared ahead of time. We're keeping the menu super simple to save money, time and our sanity. You can more about that concept here.

If you're looking to declutter your home and earn some money, you'll definitely want to check out this post here on how we're using amazon.com's trade-in program. We love using amazon.com credit to order groceries and items for Bug. It helps stretch our grocery budget even further, and who doesn't love that?

Jason and I recently read a fantastic book on personal finance. This is the best book I've read all year and cannot recommend it enough. Check out the book here and read my thoughts on it. Then, head straight to your local library and check it out!

Jason headed back to work as of April 1, and I expect to be back in mid-May. I don't know what life will look like with a career and a baby, but I can promise it will be lots of craziness! I'm excited to see what traction we can make with our financial goals while taking care of Bug. I anticipate lots of compromises!

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