Monday, March 6, 2017

Fun Financial News

We have fun news! Drum roll please......

We paid off our car! And we paid it off 18 month early!! We have freed up $330 a month for the next debt in our snowball! It was such a freeing feeling pressing the Pay Now button. We worked so hard to pay off the car and it took us a couple months. We have been working overtime and two jobs for nearly a year. I would have to say that it was anticlimactic when we paid it. I thought perhaps the website would have falling confetti or a happy face, but it just simply said Thank You. It shows how much they care for our money.

 It was very important for us to be debt free and this was the last piece before our massive student loans. I encourage you to take a second look at your car payments. It doesn't matter if you are buying or leasing your vehicles, you must have better plans for that money than to give it to credit company. We certainly have great plans for that money. We are still saving for our final adoption fees.

Do you need a how-to? 

Well we combined our second jobs' pay, overtime and snowball cash into one account. This amount came to over $1100 a month. We stored this amount into an account until we reached $6200. If you haven't picked up a second job yet, give it a try. We make around $360 a month via our second jobs. If overtime is possible at your current job, stay on for more pay. You might be able to lend an extra hand to a different department for more cash. This accounted for an extra $200 a month.

So put in the work now, so you can benefit in the future. Good luck to all those that are working hard to get away from owing anyone for anything. We are definitely happy to add another victory to our belt.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Budget Tip for February

The shortest month of the year deserves the biggest tip of the year.

Beware of Saturdays!!

American stores and restaurants work really hard to get your money on Saturdays. You will see Sales, Clearances, Discounts and even crazy Deals. Often times, these items are not great deals and on items that you dont really love.

Businesses spend millions of dollars researching the type of deals, and prices that will make you spend your paycheck. The best items are often not on sale or barely 15% off. Often sales go on throughout the week but not advertised on TV, text messages or in newspapers.

Protect your wallets!

If you have a hard time walking away from deals then I have a couple tips for you.

  • Find a better day to shop. You might think that you are getting the best deal on a Saturday, but the excitement of 20% off opened the door for you to buy one, two or even three times more. 
  • Know what a REAL sale is. Most people don't know that 20% off is not a deal. Stores often sell products 100%-400% over its costs. Say WHHAAAAT!!!! (Yes, in business school they explain the variety of increases per industry.)
  • Don't shop all day. Going from store to store can work up an appetite. People often visit the food court or restaurants, increasing their budget. After eating, you are re-energized allowing for for more shopping hours and spending. 
I hope this helps you to be mindful and successful during Spending Saturdays!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Daydreamer- When Its Time to Chose In Reality

I am a daydreamer. A big huge daydreamer. I consume hours a day mentally running through scenarios and opportunities on a variety of topics. I think about what I want, like, and can do. I plan and design mentally.

I just don't think about things, I prepare for them. However, once in a while, I over plan. 

The one constant in the adoption process is uncertainty. You can be guaranteed that nothing will go as planned. Everything that is required, is subjected to changed. No matter if your social worker, the county, a lawyer or even the birth family told you something, nothing goes as planned.

So you are probably wondering what does daydreaming have anything to do with adoption. 

When you spend months and then years hoping for a child, all you have left is day dreaming. Hubby and I have ran through every scenario we could ever imagine and talked about what we would do. We bounced ideas around about day cares, mommy groups versus me staying home and only working seasonally. We talking about me staying home to teach our child basic skills until preschool or kindergarten or even homeschooling. We worked through our finances and resources to figure out what was even possible. We spent a large number of weeks discussing the pros and cons of  diapers, formulas, and rather it made sense to even waste money on bassinets. We even talked about carpet vs hardwoods and how much dirt can a kid really eat.

Some people would pass judgement and say that we wasted so much time, but really six years is a long time to just wait and wait. We could have earned a doctorate degree in that time. Instead we stuck with our expensive master degrees and pondered on parenthood.

But daydreaming is getting the best of me right now. I have longed for the days that I just sit back and watch the growth of our precious baby. We have busted our asses trying to work and save tens of thousands of dollars for this adoption. The last thing I want to do is report to work after 12 weeks and let someone else hold, smile at and love on my precious baby, my hard work.

But I'm faced with that dilemma of what do I do when my career, my job. I have been working in a contractor position for 9 months. It began as a really boring job, but things are beginning to pick up. Things are beginning to change. Long term employment is being tossed around. Ideas about me adding to and creating a procedure is being discussed. Hard work is ahead. Dedication is needed.

I had stopped daydreaming about this kind of career six years ago. My attention turned away from wanting a career to wanting a family because one was harder to get than the other.

My company is well aware of our pending adoption. I dont believe that it's right to hold secrets that will short change the company. I also asked for 4 months of maternity leave due to the laws in our state surrounding final adoption court dates. My manager accepted it and her manager accepted it. My contract will be renewed upon return from maternity leave.

But what about all those day dreams I have had for six years? 

What about the random trips to the library for reading hour and baby day at the mall? What about parent and baby swim class and music class. My mother did that with me, and I wanted to do that also.

It pains me to think about only being home for four months and only getting to spend a few short hours with my child before bedtime. It seems to sad to me that I only have Saturday and Sunday to stuff in parent and child classes. But on the other hand, it sucks to pass up opportunities at work that seem to be carved just for me. These opportunities don't happen often, but I just dont feel as excited about as I thought I would have six years ago.

So do I dare to keep daydreaming on every scenario and possibility? Or is it time for me to be in reality and make choices. Let me daydream on that one...