I just felt I needed to share how thankful we are for the generosity of fiends and family. I’ve mentioned in posts before, how we have received gifts for the baby and how the only new items we purchased are some shelving for the baby’s closet.
That still holds true.
Since those posts, we’ve received a few more gifts – a couple of which were duplicates, which actually is completely terrific! Because duplicate gifts mean I can return one and get a store credit. We are now a little over halfway to purchasing the car seat with gift cards & in-store credits.
It’s one of the few items we felt it would be best to make sure was new.
Other than that – in a week or so, May by the Numbers will actually have a bit of an update. The debt snowball is still on hold, but we’ve made some unexpected progress.
As you know, our debt snowball is on pause. A status it has maintained since November. In the meantime, as we build up our crisis fund with extra money, we still pay our minimums. And just because I like round numbers, I’m actually paying 4 dollars more on something each month just because it makes it a nice number ending in a 5 instead of a 1.
Even with very slow momentum, this boulder of debt is still rolling down hill. It makes the pushing feel just a little lighter each month.
We have around $14,500 left. Since December, that means we’ve chipped away another $1,000. EVEN in a time of slower income. It’s the little victories that keep us excited and motivated.
If we maintain this really small 4 dollars extra a month (which we won’t — we’ll dump in a lot at some point hopefully this year) but even that small amount, added to last year’s work, all of our debt would be gone, March 2019.
My student loan, when consolidated in 2008, was set for 20 years. So – even this would be 9 years early! CRAZY.
In the battle against debt, math can sometimes be very discouraging. But when you start pushing that boulder just a little harder, and the down hill momentum works in your favor, Math becomes your greatest friend and encourager.
We have a spiral staircase in our house – so we are going to need to be creative about making the house safe. We also have almost all tile/Slate flooring (which is an often uneven step/hard surface).
So far, our solution to this will be using play yard gates (as apposed to standard baby gates that most people have) to block off the stairs and using those bign foam squares with maybe some rugs to make the floor a little softer of a landing.
These are all things down the road, but I was able to purchase both the play yard gates and the foam squares used.
What we paid: $100.
Would have been new: $243
Running total for used items: $258
Approximate amount if all items were new: $801
So we had a bit of an unexpected additional ‘Debt Snowball’ setback this month. I was laid off.
It does not change the current process of our baby steps, since we are already on hold and trying to save up money in the “crisis fund” but it does mean the “crisis fund” will grow much slower than expected.
So the next three months, I will be applying for unemployment benefits, and looking for work. There is a chance that some contract work will come up and I can at least be making a decent income. We’ll just have to wait to see what happens.
As for when the baby is born in July – most things are up in the air right now how all of that will play out. Thankfully, I do have the option of picking up COBRA – so myself, and eventually the baby should be covered. The cost of labor and delivery has not changed – other than the fact that we now pay for my monthly medical premium.
The other good news it that my husband’s freelance work had picked up quite a bit as compared to the last fall and winter.
Other than that – we had two baby showers in the last two weekends. We are almost set and ready for the baby to come. The only items we really still need are the car seat, diapers & wipes, bedding, and a few items for our “diaper changing” desk. And the ergo baby carrier – but the carrier is a luxury and not a necessity.
I went to another consignment sale. I only purchased 2 items, but they were great deals! A little fisher price swing and a diaper champ.
Running total for consignment sales: $158
Approximate amount if all items were new: $559
If you were wondering – Pennies for Debra is still alive.
March 11, 2013 marked the fourth anniversary. And while I’ve had a few contributions this last year – mostly from my husband who would otherwise walk right past a penny on the ground – it might be on life support if one looks at the slow progress compared to the first few years.
I suppose when I was working at Pursuant where the idea was born, the fund was in plain sight and everyone got a laugh out of it. The jar now sits at home – and I must admit, my advertizing has been on the back burner.
We’ll have to wait and see what this next year brings.
Basically the same news as before (debt snowball on pause due to slow work & baby on the way) – with some improvement for the self-employed one of the family. Work has been picking up a bit – so that’s really helpful. We anticipate adding to the “crisis fund” at a slightly higher rate.
Our little guy appears to be healthy as far as any one can tell at this point – so we are very thankful for that.
We are a little over halfway from his arrival, so we’ve been deep in the throws of preparing for a baby in the house while staying as cost conscious as possible.
One of the common questions people ask is what theme the nursery will be. Our answer… Ah? Mustard yellow walls with a twin bed & desk? We aren’t “themeing” anything really. Not painting. Not really buying new, fancy furniture. Our changing table will be the desk that is in there now. We added a bit of additional shelving in the closet for better organization of new baby stuff – but that’s about it. We went with generic blue, green, and random animals in the things that we registered for – so – that’s our theme? I guess if you can call it that.
Mostly, as I mentioned last month, I’ve been hitting up a few consignment sales. It really helps to be in a large place like DFW where the suburbs support multiple sales. Check out these numbers…. Money spent at consignment sales: $135
Approximate amount if all items were purchased new: $466
Some of the items that we purchased:
- Assortment of bottles
- ‘Snap & Go’ type caddy/stroller
- A few additional needed clothing items for me
- Nursing Pillow
- A couple small toys/books
And last, but most certainly not least, we have a wonderful community of family and friends who have given us so many helpful and much-needed items. Just a few of the items are listed here. Some are straight up baby gifts, and some are “hand-me-downs” from those who have gone before us on the adventure of having kids.
- Crib & Mattress
- Pack & play
- Bouncy Seat
- Car mirror
- Breast Pump
- Towels & wash cloths
- Glider chair & footstool
- Bumboo seat
- A tub of Maternity Clothes
- Books – Educational and Product research/money-saving tips
So yes – as you can see – we are doing our best to be frugal; to not give in to the culture & emotions of … got to have the biggest and best, nicest nursery with name brand, new everything. We are so thankful that our family and friends are helping us so much.
When I listen to the Dave Ramsey show – there seems to be a lot of individuals who did not have supportive friends and family. They had people in their lives that thought they were foolish or a bit nuts to be working to be completely debt free. We are thankful to report that is not the case with us. Everyone has been more than supportive of our long-term financial goals.