It occurred to me today that although this blog was intended to be about our finances, it has come to be more about our life. Here’s a little money post.
We’ve got a long list of upcoming expenses to prepare for: midwife fee (thankfully we were able to retrieve some money from Cody’s old life insurance policy to cover the bulk of that), doula fee, childbirth classes, cloth diaper purchases, another big trip to Dry Tortugas National Park in April, several home improvement projects that need to be completed before the baby comes, etc. On top of all that, this last full semester of graduate school combined with the pregnancy exhaustion I’ve been experiencing has resulted in me working very little in the past month or so. Although I do plan to continue to work as much as possible, it is becoming obvious that I’ve got a full plate regardless. Our chicken project, big plans for a massive garden, budgeting and bill paying, housework, cooking, and baby-growing are also almost solely my responsibility. Whew!
Obviously, frugality is a top priority at this point in our lives and we don’t foresee letting our financial guard down anytime in the near future. After the list above is complete and the baby is born, we plan to really buckle down and work on chipping away at our mortgage. I’m spending much of my free time thinking about and planning ways to save money. Meal planning has made about a $30.00 difference in our grocery budget each week. I’m on the hunt for canning and freezing supplies and plan to put everything we grow plus bulk produce that’s cheap here in Alabama like tomatoes, peaches, strawberries, etc. into the freezer or pantry in the next few months. We’ve gone without cable before and I’m slowly persuading Cody to cut the ties again. I’m working on stashes of cloth napkins and rags as well as DIY cloth diapers to supplement the Econobums we plan to purchase.
Because my personal income is very little, I feel horribly guilty about spending money on things for me. I spent two days and went to countless stores last week before I finally broke down and spent $12.00 on a new bra that I desperately needed. I’ve purchased very little clothing for the baby because I’ve had such a hard time finding the gender-neutral items I’d like to stock-up on before we find out if it’s a he or she in early April. Thanks to Cody’s cousin, I’ve spent only $20.00 on maternity clothes that I’m now beginning to need. As far as the nursery, the McNuggets just moved out yesterday so I have yet to begin the obligatory decorating process. I bought a $1.00 Peter Rabbit book at Target a few days ago because I want to use a Beatrix Potter theme. We’re on the hunt for a baby bed to borrow or buy used. Linens, bedding, and curtains I’ll make myself with the help of my mother. I’m doing a whole bunch of Pinterest-looking, web browsing, and window shopping but precious little buying.
But sometimes, I just want some spending cash. That’s what this post is really about. I don’t keep extra money in my checking account, hate to withdraw funds out of savings unless it’s necessary, and feel bad taking money out of our vacation cash stash. Tomorrow, I’m meeting-up with my best friend, Alyson, for breakfast and thrift shopping (she’s a fellow frugal-minded gal). Frankly, my car is on E and my last $1.00 bill isn’t going to buy the gravy biscuit I know I’ll want for breakfast. So I rolled.
After digging through my car, all my purses, two baskets Cody tosses his change in, the bottom of the washing machine, and random drawers, I rolled $29.00 worth of change. That’s an entire day of entertainment for this girl! A squirt of gas, carb-loaded breakfast, and a few hours thirfting with a good friend… sounds like a wonderful time to me.
This goes to show you that if you don’t get into the habit of treating yourself all of the time, very little can seem like a fortune.