Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting By

The intent here, if you haven't seen it, is my attempt to introduce each of the main topics this blog will address (health/fitness, clutter, spending) before really going into anything specific. I want you all to see where I'm coming from. I'm not an expert in any of these areas, so I only have my own experiences and personal research to share. I hope you're not too disappointed by that.
Before we decided to start a family, my husband and I were most concerned about our finances. We are fortunate enough (I say fortunate, but we worked our butts off...) to be almost completely debt-free. Our credit card debts were paid off before we were married, we own our vehicles outright, and are currently paying on my student loans and our mortgate. How? The same way we got in shape. The hard way. We made sacrifices. How do you pay off debt? You work, you earn a paycheck, you don't spend money on frivolous things. No racking up bar tabs, no new clothes, no movie dates. Was it easy? No. Was it enjoyable? Not always. But we are much better off financially for it.
One huge factor in our family planning was my husband's decision to join the Army. Obviously, he wasn't the typical recruit--28 years old, married, college education. It's a decision we made together, and if we hadn't, it might have been years before we were financially ready to have a child. I won't get into bonuses and other financial benefits, because that's a little tacky, but suffice to say I am able to stay home with our daughter instead of going back to work as a teacher in two weeks. Again, the key word is sacrifice. We've discussed on several occasions the plan to make sacrifices now in order to build a secure future for our children and ourselves. Would I have loved for my husband to be in the delivery room when our daughter was born? Of course. Does he want more than anything to be here to create a bond with his baby? Absolutely. Would my life be MUCH easier if I could wake him up in the middle of the night when she won't go to sleep (again...)? OMG, yes. But we keep reminding ourselves of the ultimate goal here and that we are doing the right thing. Trust me, it's not always easy. Anyway, we were talking about finances, right?
Since I'm not working, obviously we are down to a single income. Like I said, we have very few expenses, especially considering that the monkey and I are currently staying with my in-laws, who take care of groceries, cooking, keeping the house clean, and all of the things I will sorely miss once we our back on our own. I hate to leave you all hanging, but I will wrap this up by mentioning the two contributions I am able to make to minimize our spending: Breastfeeding and cloth diapers. We can go into detail in a future post, because they each deserve their own. Deal? Deal.

I hope you got through our three-part intro. I can't wait to really get going!

- Mama K.

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