Monday, January 23, 2012

money money money

I am trying to put money away each month for when I have no income. But am worried that we aren't going to be able to pay all of our bills come summer.

I would not consider myself someone who is frivolous with money. But I would say we spend what we make for the most part these days. We get the groceries we want (although we need to have a LOT of food when running a daycare), we go out regularly. We bought our kids some toys for Christmas, we have two vehicles that we fill with gas every week and get take-out on occasion (especially these days when I have no energy to cook after a full day with kids)

I do remember what it is like to be poor. To not be able to afford toilet paper or toothpaste or the food you want (meat!) or go out with friends for supper. So I try not to waste money.

We do not have cable, we pay 7.99 for Netflix every month and that is all. We do not have new furniture, neither of us goes for regular haircuts or salon visits, I don't have gel nails, we get hand-me-downs for our kids (still buy the occasional clothing item but not a whole lot), we do not go shopping every weekend or get Starbucks everyday, I didn't buy a whole new maternity wardrobe - I borrowed clothes from friends.

We do not go on holidays every year. We have never been anywhere tropical. However we do go visit family at least every other year in Nova Scotia, but stay with family and apart from flights, don't spend very much money while we are there.

We bought our van second-hand with cash.

I use coupons and usually shop at Costco or Extra Foods (when they have their discount days).

I am seriously considering a diaper service for the baby when she is born. It is $27 a week, which is less than disposable diapers. I know I would not be able to keep up with laundry if I were using my own cloth diapers. I can barely keep on top of laundry right now as it is. So this is a possible option for us. The service is already driving out to where we live, so it would just be one more quick stop for them.

I am running out of ideas though...

I guess I just need to think of more ideas and look at our budget and ways to cut it...


  1. I hear you! It is hard to make the dollars stretch, and anytime I read anything about how to save money, almost everything on the list is stuff we already do, or things we do without (like don't eat out all the time, and cut cable ...come on!) Food is the only thing I can see in our budget that could be worked on to lower the amount of money we spend, but even so, I don't know how much lower we could really get it.

    The diaper service price has my head spinning though - are you sure that's less than disposables, because it sounds like twice the price to me. Maybe I'm not calculating right, which is a real possibility.
    I didn't use cloth for the first 6 months with Deacon because it would have been too much work, but now I've got a pretty good system going. Trying to be a penny pincher and just use disposables for night and sometimes out of the house.

    I'm curious if anyone else has any tips for you: I could use some creative suggestions too!

  2. Well, we are a disposable diaper family (gasp!) and I'm sure we don't spend $27 a week on diapers. Maybe we spent a little more than we do now when the boys were newborns, but now I'm sure we spend less than $50/month - that would be about 1.5 big boxes worth of Huggies. And I guess I could spend less if I didn't buy a name brand, but I like having no leaks :)

    But as to the other stuff, I agree with Kim - it is hard to find areas to spend less, and I always come to the same conclusion: I guess I could spend less on groceries but I'm not sure how? One thing we do now is only have one vehicle but I know that when one of you works out of town it's almost impossible to only have one. So I don't have any good tips... but I hope you can find some solutions that work for you.

  3. Gail Van Oxlade on Til Debt do Us Part (have you ever seen that show? I LOVE IT!!)... always puts people on a cash-only system. It's surprising how much the little 'extras' that we put on debit add up. Tim & I did this for awhile, and it worked out AWESOME to help us curb spending on stuff that we didn't notice was adding up before. We had a grocery, clothes, gas, and entertainment envelope - receipts had to go in when we took money out. All of our other bills (Sasktel, Mortgage, etc) were automatic withdrawals.

    But maybe you already do that?

    A way that I've been stockpiling up a little bit of extra cash is to go through our STUFF and sell any excess that we have lying around... next up for sale: cross country skis I've only used twice!

  4. I'm considering switching to a diaper service as well...more for environmental reasons though. My friend went to a relative's farm where they burned or composted all their garbage. When it came time to burn the diaper, it would not burn - even with gasoline poured on it!! Kind of makes me think about all the diapers in the landfill. Also, I hear that cloth diapers can be better for the baby's skin, and Rayne gets rashy with some diapers. Still researching it.