Family Finances

Okay, so I was financially prepared to have a baby. Or so I thought. I knew that diapers were not cheap. I knew that daycare was expensive. I knew that baby incidentals would add up. But I wasn't prepared for exactly how much my dear daughter would cost. Thankfully, I figured out a few things to help reduce my DD's costs, both before and after her arrival. Here's what I found:

Baby Care

Join us for a re-run post of an oldie but goodie: Melinda's take on juggling one income, twins and SAHM life.

So, just to clarify at the start, this is not going to be a hard sell on giving up on a full time job to stay home with your children, nor is it a dissertation on how becoming a stay at home mom (SAHM) is easy (because it's not!) and better for children. This is just simply some opinions on the subject matter of a former two income household making it in today's world with one income.

Realizing the Need for Change

I grew up poor. No cable television. No home internet. No new (or even late model) cars. No dishwasher. No pets. My mom raised us simply, and quite honestly, we never wanted much.

Over the years, though, I have become accustomed to certain privileges. I now cannot live without my internet. I love my late model Ford. I like cable TV, and the dishwasher is a must in my home. My pets are now a huge joy in my life that I couldn't live without.

I am a victim of lifestyle creep.

How Lifestyle Creep Occurs

When I learned recently that my sister is moving to Florida, I was so excited that I almost peed my pants. After the screaming subsided, my sis asked what all the commotion was about, and I proceeded to respond incoherently, mumbling, laughing and hooting like a crazy person. She hung up.

Sure, I've done it. I think everyone has. It's a dirty little secret that we often don't discuss in polite company. Yes, I'm talking about rolling credit card balances. It's dirty. It's frowned upon. It's a financial no-no. But does it have to be so cut and dried? No. Not really. Let's look at when rolling credit cards can be positive...and when it can be negative.

Rolling Cards: The Positives

With mega-stars making their fame through reproducing nowadays, many people have begun to argue about how many children is enough for one family. Are Jon and Kate of the "Kate Plus Eight" family terrible people because they chose to go through with a sextuplet pregnancy? Are the Duggars crazy because of their "19 Kids and Counting"? Where on the spectrum does Octo-mom lie? Since this is a finance website, let's look at this social issue solely by finances. Then feel free to weigh in with your thoughts!

Choice and Pre-Planning

Recently, we brought you some ideas on how you can shave some of those pennies off the price of a gallon of gas. Now we're back with a few more ideas that can take the sting out of paying at the pump. With a bit of weighing your options and some planning on your part, you can help maximize the minimizing of your gas use.

Make A New Plan, Stan

Our family, like many others, is always looking for ways to trim back our budget and save money. For me, it was starting to really plan out meals using what we had on hand and bumping up my couponing game. My dear hubby got swept up in the savings frenzy, too. Here's a bit of a personal experience on our foray into a rebate that managed to do absolutely nothing for us. Well, that's not fair – it did manage to give both of us headaches.

It All Started With An Ad

Whenever the subjects of shopping or the household come up when I'm talking to a neighbor, she almost always will offer up a variation of this advice: "The dollar store is the best place to get ." While I'm all for saving money and getting things my household needs and uses at a good price, I'm not totally sold on the idea that the dollar store (the DS) is the be-all, end-all of great deals. Sure, everything costs one buck. But does that mean it's really providing you the best bang for said buck?

The Q's Have It

There doesn't seem to be a week that goes by without our local news doing some kind of story or focus on gas prices. Recently, I watched a story about how the prices in our area have shot up a pretty hefty amount fairly quickly. And while we, the consumers, really don't have any immediate control over the price we pay at the pump, there are some tips we can employ to help us save on filling up our cars.

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