We are living in tough economic times right now. I am always looking for ways to save money and I’m sure a lot of you are as well. As a family of three now our budget has inflated over the past year. We planned and budgeting before the arrival of Connor, but there are always unexpected expenses that arise. Diapers are not cheap Ya’ll! Whatever you think you are going to spend on a baby you might as well double or even TRIPLE that number! Of course your baby is worth every penny and as parents you only want the best for your baby….but really do you need the “Johnson & Johnson” shampoo vs. the “Great Value” Wal-Mart version? There are some things I will splurge on because I do deem them a better product, but most things regarding baby care can be generic.
Things I splurge on:
• Pampers diapers – I have tried the cheaper diapers and store bought versions. This brand works for us and we’ve had a history of less diaper rash.
• Picture & Holiday clothing- It is okay to buy a nice outfit for an occasion or holiday.
• Organic baby food- This is a personal preference, it’s a little more expensive, but I want his food to be pure with no fillers. I could make my own, but I really don’t have time at this point in my life with working a full time job and taking care of the rest of the house.
Things to get cheap:
• Play clothes/socks- they are going to outgrow clothing quicker than you think. You will go through several outfits a day…they poo….they pee….they spill…and drooooool. I think I lose a pair of socks every week.
• Toys- No need to buy your baby an expensive outrageous toy. The things I find Connor enjoying most are the cheapest junkiest toys!
• Shampoo/Soap- I know this is different for every baby, but soap and lotion are the same to me name brand or not.
I have to say that Terence is the big “budget” person in our household. Sometimes I refer to him as the money police and poke fun at him. I will say in his defense that without his discipline and hard work we would not be where we are now. When I say “now” it’s not where we want to be by any means, but it just means we have some sort of safety net. Terence and I have been married almost 10 years now & for our entire marriage everything has been documented in Microsoft Quicken. E.V.E.R.Y. P.E.N.N.Y No Joke
This has allowed us to see where we spend our money. If we see we are over spending in some areas we can see our mistakes and try and correct them the next month. It’s also allowed us to plan for retirement, contribute to savings, and track our checking. It’s been a great tool and ultimately you will find what works best for you and your family in regards to keeping a budget.
We recently started discussing whether or not to take money out of savings and pay off Terence’s car. This would allow us to have extra income to put towards student loan debt. We personally don’t want to spend the next 10 years paying off student loan debt especially since we have a child of our own to save for college now. This plan would cut our student loan debt down to 2 years and that would be a huge savings for us in the long run. Interest will kill ya! We don’t put things on credit cards, but we do have one for emergencies. So basically the only thing hovering over our heads right now is a car payment, student loan debt, and our mortgage….which is something that is going to be there regardless.
I know everyone struggles. It’s definitely hard right now when a lot of us are experiencing tighter budgets; some have lost homes or jobs, and live paycheck to paycheck. There are days when the future seems overwhelming and I feel boggled down. But at the end of the day I have to say I have things that are more valuable to me than money…..I have my family, friends, and my health. All of those things no money can buy or replace. God is good and will never fail us.
Live life. Enjoy.
HOW DO YOU BUDGET AND PLAN FOR THE FUTURE?
Don’t forget about our blog meet up this weekend at Cheesecake Factory!!! If you live in the DFW area and would like to come please email me at email@example.com
Our mexican lunch for $2.97 this past weekend
(Now that is budget eating!)
Thank you GROUPON!!!