Tag Archive | "Baby Budget"

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Top Money Wasters

Top Money Wasters… All those little coffee purchases add up! Ever think about how much money you’re throwing away?  When times start to get tough, people start to cut back on discretionary spending. But rather than deny themselves some of those simple pleasures, they tend to look for cheaper alternatives. Today I’d like you to take a moment and think about how much money you’re dropping on coffee in the course of a work day. If you are spending $5 a day on coffee at work, then that’s $100 a month. Over the course of a year, that’s $1200. For many people, that’s a week on a beach in Aruba.

You can make your own delicious cup of coffee quite cheaply. For example, a can of Hills Brothers medium roast coffee is under $5 at any local grocery store.  You can splurge on the really good stuff if you have a coupon (remember we’re trying to live more frugal).  But Hills Bros. is pretty good for the cost.  Use 18% cream (not 10% coffee cream) and you can have a cup that will be at least as good as the big expensive place on the corner if not better.

What else do you waste money on?  Besides your Cafe-Mocha-Frappa-Whatever coffee, what else do you buy that you really don’t need?  For lots of women out there, it’s beauty care.  To some extent, those trips to the salon and spa are necessary, but admittedly, we can over-indulge and over spend in this area.  Is this a problem area for you as well.  I bring it up because I used to have a friend who had a hard time paying her rent every single month.  When I finally sat down with her to look at her budget and spending habits, we learned that she was prioritizing getting her hair highlighted over paying her rent.  At $300 a pop, my friend had to come to terms that she would have to find another way to treat her hair with fake sun streaks.  Now, I’m not saying the ocassional trip to the salon isn’t o.k. but spend within your means.  If you can’t afford a $300 hair session, then now is just not the time ..and move on.  If it’s come down to you not being able to pay your rent or get your hair done, it’s definitely beyond time to re-prioritize your spending!   I know, to some women, the hair and nails are everything.  Well, consider some alternatives to help you save some money and still look good.  Have a hair party.  Buy some “tint it yourself” packages and do your own hair at home.  You can also save a little here and there by returning to the salon less.  For example, set an appointment every 2-3 months instead of every month.

If you need to get your nails done, instead of spending a fortune for the fake acrylic nails that have to be re-based every 2 weeks, opt in for the more frugal and easy to manage, all natural nails.  There’s nothing wrong with the finger nails you were born with.  Why waste your money on something that you already have.   There are definitely cheaper alternatives when it comes to your manicure.  You can even go a step further and start doing your own nails at home.  Have fun with it.  Invite a few close friends over and have a nail and hair party.  As you learn to create your new family budget as you go, this is a great solution to watching your spending.
Are you a sucker for fast food?  Surveys and market research shows that young adults, and especially men, have a spendy weakness when it comes to splurging on fast food.  When they’re out working or running around, they get hungry, they drive up to Burger King or Taco Bell, and they spend!  The average person spends about $180 per month eating fast food.  And that’s per person.  Market research shows that Americans spend more on fast food each year than books, eduaction, cars, REAL FOOD, video games, and pets – combined! I don’t know about you, but that’s a little motivation for me.  I love Taco Bell, but I’m not willing to give them $200 a month for those burritos.  I’ll hold back and limit myself to those cheesy treats just to save some money.

Think of all the little things that you may be wasting money on.  What’s your weakness?  Do you waste a lot of money on alcohol?  Cigarettes?  Are you a smoker?  If you live in New York City, those cigarettes are now costing you about $8.00 per pack since the new tax hike.  Health officials hail the tax increase as a success. Cigarette taxes will raise a total of $1.3 billion for the state in one year alone.  Are you paying?  How much of your money is going towards habits like these?  How much do you think it’s already cost you and how much more will you spend?

“Isn’t that something — to say that I’m excited about a tax increase? But I am,” said Dr. Richard Daines, the New York health commissioner. “This is a public health victory. We know one of the really effective tools to get people off of their nicotine addiction is to the raise the price.”

Smokers will be paying $2.75 per pack in state taxes, a jump from the previous tax of $1.50. Before the new tax, the average price of a pack of cigarettes was $5.82 statewide, and about $8 a pack in New York City, which levies its own taxes, Daines said. The new retail price for a pack of cigarettes in New York City could now soar past $10. ..Ouch!

What are you wasting your money on?  When it comes to living more frugal, you have to be honest.  You have to be honest with yourself, your family, and your finances.  It doesn’t take much to pull you off your money game.  Don’t let the little things keep you from your full financial potential.

Top Money Wasters:
fancy $5 coffees
fast food
alcoholic drinks
beauty care
dining out
buying retail/brand names
impulse purchases
excessive shopping

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How To Budget For A Baby

A common question of couples planning on starting a family is, “How much does it cost to have a baby?” With the media reporting that children can cost hundreds of thousands to raise, cribs retailing at hundreds of dollars and health care expenses soaring, it’s no wonder new parents are concerned. While there is no black and white answer on how much you are going to spend, the good news is that you can make child rearing as expensive or as inexpensive as you choose.

As with many things, babies come with fixed expenses and re-occurring expenses. The cost of fixed expenses, like baby gear and nursery décor, can easily be reduced down to a minimum.

Decorating a nursery can easily run you thousands of dollars if you buy all new furniture, rugs, curtains, wall decorations, closet organizers etc. However, with a little creativity, resourcefulness and thought, you can easily put together a dream nursery for a few hundred, or even less! Keep your eyes and ears open for hand-me-downs, scour online classified, auctions and make it a regular outing to go to weekend garage sales. Update a well used, but dirt cheap, changing table with a fresh coat of paint and some inexpensive storage baskets. If you can’t find a used crib bumper that you love, ask your creative aunt or friend to sew you a custom bumper out of adorable fabric for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Take every opportunity to go to garage sales to find the cute little knick knacks that give a room personality.

Baby gear such as car seats, high chairs, stollers and bouncy chairs can also be found at bargains if you are willing to go with used. Make sure to check for safety recalls on everything you buy second hand.

If you have a good friend or relative who’s planning on starting a family soon make a deal with them that you’ll share baby gear. You can buy the bouncy chair if they buy the swing and you can let each other borrow them when you need them. Newborn gear is easy to share with others because the items only get used for a few months, hardly enough time to get dirty or wrecked.

The costs that you will need to budget for in your monthly budget are the re-occuring costs. Again, these can be as high or as low as you let them. The usual reoccurring baby costs are: formula/baby food, diapers, clothes, doctors visits, and toys.

Formula and disposable diapers can often be your largest expenses. As a guideline, assume that disposable diapers and wipes will cost you around $80 per month and formula $100 per month. However, both expenses can be virtually eliminated if you breastfeed and use cloth diapers. Breastfeeding is free and you can get a years supply of cloth diapers for less than $150.

When your baby is old enough to start on solids you can spend money on canned baby food or you can choose the most inexpensive option of making your own baby food purees. They are easy to make and taste so much better. The cost will only be an extra portion of fruit, vegetables and grains that you already buy.

Clothes and toys can be found second hand, church thrift stores are great places to look, or from generous family members at gift giving occasions. Luckily babies are so curious about the world around them that toys are easily found in everyday objects.

The web is full of free baby products, so take advantage! If you register at your favorite baby product websites you will soon start receiving generous coupons in the mail.

The bottom line is that babies can be raised on any kind of budget. What babies need more than monetary objects are love, attention, and affection, which are all free. You don’t need a trust fund in place in order for you to afford to have a child, if you are emotionally ready to raise baby, then money shouldn’t stop you.

BabyEarth.com Keep in mind great brand name baby sites like BabyEarth.com.  BabyEarth has not only a very savvy website, but they have great bargains.  Who knew you didn’t have to get everything for you new baby at Walmart.  You can actually have a lot of fun doing some online hunting.  If you go to sites like BabyEarth.com, check out their Clearance and Scratch n Dent sections.  If you don’t mind a few scratches, you can pick up a new crib for $129.  When cribs are now selling for over $400, it doesn’t hurt to get out a little scratch n dent marker and take the savings where you can find it.

Cribs.com Another great discount site for not just cribs, but so much more.  Lots of moms love this site for detailed info on their baby products.  It really is a good “go to” site for car seats, strollers, bath time stuff, toys, baby furniture, and baby bags.

Money Saver: If you’re in the market for a crib, consider this money saving idea:  Get a convertible 3 in 1 bed.  It initially starts out being used as a crib, then an extended crib with rail walk outs and then ultimately a back head board and rails for a full size mattress.  It really does depend, however, how confident you are in keeping track of your furniture accessories for the future, and how good you will be at taking care of your furniture.  Are you likely to move a lot?  then this would not be a crib solution for you.  But if you are planning on using this one piece as a crib and future bed, then this is likely a good fit.  You can find the 3 in 1 crib at www.cribs.com

Money Saver: Looking to save some money and be a little more eco-friendly?  Check out this smart buy at BabyEarth.com.  This is a functional site that offers interesting new products that are a little more earth friendly and environmentally safe.  These bottles include a Stage 1 nipple for ages birth to 6 months.  And yes, these bottles and their colorful sleeves are dishwasher safe.  They’re a durable, long-lasting buy that will assure you your baby is using clean, healthy bottles.

WeeGo Glass Baby Bottles Are Fun and Eco-Friendly!

BabyEarth.com is a baby products retailer and specialty store with an eco-friendly flair, sells everything for baby’s world under one roof. Offering the perfect combination of tried-and-true favorites and hard-to-find innovative breakthroughs. BabyEarth demonstrates its commitment to making baby’s world a safer and more fun place by offering one of the largest selections of organic baby products in the market today.

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