It has been a while since I’ve held forth on our finances and I thought it would be good for us to do a mid-year (or heck, Q3) check-in to talk. What about? What has really worked with us since Critter arrived, what we’ve been surprised by and what we see coming up in our financial future.
- Cloth Diapering: This has been full of wins and losses, though in terms of the overall long game (cloth diapering two children) I think we will still come out as an easy win.
- Wins: We actually don’t mind doing it. They are still beyond a doubt the best way to contain Critter’s poops (invaluable). We can claim to be caring about the environment even though that was 100% not a factor in our decision making process.
- Losses: Because Critter is a HUGE baby (I mean seriously, he’s now surpassed the average 12 month old in size), we had moved into the Size 2 diapers at two months. Most people would plan to use Size 1 cloth diapers for at least half of year one. So even though we would have made that investment at some point, it definitely came much sooner than it would for most. The other “big” lose is that since we had that yeast issue, we spent a decent chunk of time bleaching our entire cloth diaper laundry load which ate away at the waterproofing on the covers. We are now replacing some of those.
- Baby Clothes: This sort of goes with “losses” of cloth diapering. Since The Boy King is So Big, he’s already in 18 month clothing, and honest to God by November I’m pretty sure (eep!) he’ll be in 24 month clothes. He is incredibly tall and incredibly heavy and we are so proud of him for being such a pro at growing. But it also means that in the last seven months he has worn newborn, three month, six month, and 12 month clothing, all that is now packed up and stored away for Second Critter.
- Groceries: We did NOT think about how our grocery bill would change when we became trapped at home and stopped eating out. For the first six weeks it was actually pretty low because so many people were bringing us meals (BLESS YOU ALL). But then all the sudden it was $$$$. Because we are at home. 90% of the time. I say 90% because we each try to see friends once per week and every once in a while we get a date night too. 😉 To deal with the increase in our grocery spending, we ended up re-doing our budget for our allowances and dropped those by $20 per week (since we’re not going out as much) and moved that to the grocery category.
- Fitness: Since I’m not running and definitely not racing, we’ve drastically under-spent in this category this year. I did buy a new yoga mat and towel, and a few new tops to go with said mat and towel since I never actually owned any. In the next two months I’ll probably deplete my class pass so I’ll need to purchase another 10 pack for $160. It is possible that by year end I will purchase a new pair of running shoes that I actually use for some run-walking, but even with those things and a new pair of running shoes for Marcus, this will be money that is used to fill-in any overspent areas of the budget at year-end.
- Gas: We’re really under on our budget here. Actual gas prices helped with this because they are so low this year. We also drive much less because I am not driving to work five times per week and we aren’t going out all over the city on the weekends.
- Utilities: When I was discussing this with Marcus he pointed out that there has been an increase in our electrical bill because we’ve been running the a/c significantly more this summer. When we have a tot who is big enough to temperature regulate in their crib (i.e. have blankets, etc.) then I’m sure we’ll be happy to have more days and nights with the windows open, but right now on those nights (especially the nights) the house just does not cool down enough for me to feel good about the boy baby’s climate comfort levels. We’ve also (obviously) experienced an increase in our water bill because besides the addition of the baby laundry, we also have the diaper laundry to deal with.
- Savings: We’re still doing it. We’re still striving to save the same amount, percentage-wise. However, because my income has decreased with my transition to more part-time work, the overall amount has decreased somewhat.
- Birth Expenses: We budgeted for the birth, and the hospital bills, and planned our HSA accordingly. Even with that and the full understanding that we were going to meet our deductible this year, HOOOOO. GOOD BYE DOLLARS. FOREVER.
After sharing this post with Marcus, I asked him if he had any goals for the rest of the year and he said My only goal is to buy a house. So I guess that this is the next stop on the party train, but Not Until Next Year.
Do you have any financial obstacles or surprises you’re working through in your budget this year?