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Target Deal: Up & Up Diapers as low as $0.08 per diaper!

Posted by Jennifer on January 30, 2014 in Baby, Store Deals |

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Right now through Saturday at Target there is an amazing deal on diapers. The Up & Up bulk pack diapers are on sale for $24.99. When you buy 2 boxes you get a $10 Target gift card. There is also a 10% off Cartwheel coupon.

After gift card and cartwheel this makes each box $17.49.

  • Size 2 (180 count)=$0.10 per diaper
  • Size 3 (180 count)=$0.10 per diaper
  • Size 4 (156 count)=$0.11 per diaper
  • Size 5 (138 count)=$0.13 per diaper
  • Size 6 (120 count)=$0.15 per diaper

If you have a Target RedCard this is an even better deal.

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Somedays all you need to do is ask for help

Posted by Jennifer on January 23, 2014 in Baby |

Emmett exersaucer

The average middle income family spends over $1,000 on miscellaneous baby supplies. I am assuming that some of those miscellaneous purchases are toys and other baby gear. Most baby gear like baby swings, bouncers, walkers, and bumbo chairs are only used for a few months.

We were very fortunate to be given most of this gear for Emmett from family members before Emmett was even born. I thought that we didn’t need an excersaucer and a walker for him at my house, I was trying to keep our costs low. At four months we started using the exersaucer at Emmett’s dad’s house. He loved jumping in it and I realized that he would enjoy using one at my house as well.

A few weekends ago I was hanging out at my Aunt R’s house. While every one was playing with Emmett I was searching Craig’s list and Facebook garage sale groups for an exersaucer.

My cousin JC asked me what I was doing, I showed her one that I found that was reasonably priced. She immediately jumped up and showed my aunt the picture.
My aunt had one in the basement from a few years ago from when my cousin’s son was little.

My cousin JM went downstairs and unburied it from the boxes surrounding it in the basement. This exersaucer may not have attached toys like most of the newer exersaucers, however, Emmett is 100% content to be in the exersaucer, jumping about with whatever toys I put on the tray.

My Aunt R said that I could borrow the exersaucer until my cousins needed it in a few months for their new baby. It was such a relief that I didn’t have to spend any money, especially because I was still waiting for my hours to return at my higher paying job.

Sometimes all you need to do is let the people who care about you know that you need help and they will help out.

Have you ever received help just by letting someone you know that you need help?

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The Best FREE Gifts to Give a New Mom

Posted by Jennifer on January 13, 2014 in Baby, Freebie |

Emmett newbornAfter Emmett was born there were many days when I only accomplished 4 things; he ate, I ate, we slept, and his diapers were changed. Through the generosity of family and friends we were given so many pre-loved things to use for Emmett. By the time he was born we didn’t need anything. Many visitors who came and saw Emmett in those first few weeks asked if we needed anything and I struggled with what to tell them. There are a few things that you can give a new mother for absolutely free.

Cook her a meal. Wait a minute, I thought you said for free. Food isn’t free. You don’t have to use your own food to make a meal. You could offer to cook her a meal using food she already has, I had so much food in my pantry but no time to make it. The first 6 weeks, if it wasn’t a leftover, fast food, or something I could make in 30 seconds or less then I wasn’t eating it. My mom was so amazing during that time. I know that I did not thank her enough for all of the suppers that she made.

If this isn’t a possibility, would it be possible to make a larger batch of something that you are cooking for your own family and take it to her? This would be a minimal cost to you.

Laundry and Housework. I know, I know that laundry and house work is no one’s favorite activity, if it is your favorite thing to do you can come to my house I won’t object. Before I made the best investment of money into a woven wrap, I was barely keeping up with laundry and probably unloaded the dishwasher once.

Watch the baby for an hour. Emmett was born the 16th, by the time we left the hospital on the 18th I had slept 12 hours since the the 13th. Only having 12 hours of sleep over 4 nights was not enough. My eldest sister came over on the 19th. She watched Emmett in one part of the house while I took an hour nap in another part. It was much needed rest.

Have you ever done any of these things for a new mom? Do you have anything to add?

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Pampers Rewards: 60 Free Points

Posted by Jennifer on January 9, 2014 in Freebie |

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There are two new Pampers Rewards codes available! Just enter the code DM13PA4NRWPRE14 for 50 points as well as the code PRWELCOMEU10PTS for 10 points.

Expiration dates on these codes is unknown.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom.

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Christmas Money: Spend it vs. Save it

Posted by Jennifer on January 9, 2014 in Finances |

Every year for Christmas I inevitably am given cash for Christmas from someone. This year is no different. In the past I have spent this money without really thinking about the best way to spend it.

Last Christmas I used the money on fast food. Which didn’t really help my overspending on fast food. Who doesn’t love money as a gift?

You can use it to save for your goals. You can combine multiple people’s gifts of cash towards one thing. Cash as a gift is awesome. Cash is more versatile than a gift card, unless its a visa gift card, because you can use it any where.

This year I am going to do something that I have never done before. I am going to save it. Well, part of it anyway. I am going to save half of my Christmas money. The other half I am going to spend on a babywearing/nursing necklace so that Emmett hopefully quits pulling on my hair when I carry him on my back.

Babywearing Nursing Necklace

Any gift cards that I was given I will be holding onto as well. For any needs that may arise. Due to being without a pay check from my higher paying job right now, has definitely inspired me to have a save it attitude.

What do you do with your Christmas cash and gift cards? Do you spend or save it?

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My Fast Food Addiction

Posted by Jennifer on January 7, 2014 in Budget, Finances, Goals |

Fast Food Addiction

Photo Credit

When sharing about my 2014 goals, I promised that I would be talking about my fast food addiction.

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I have a problem with fast food. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Before becoming pregnant I was really good about not spending money on eating out.

Then I became pregnant. I would stand in front of my pantry for 30 minutes trying to come up with something that sounded good, that I should eat, and that I wouldn’t instantly throw up. Nothing sounded good. At the time I lived within a mile of a Subway, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Long John Silver’s, Nu-Way, Spangles, LaMar’s Donuts, and a Sonic. As soon as I would close the pantry door, some fast food restaurant would sound good. I would pick it up on my way to work. I rationalized spending that money because I needed to eat. During the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy I would drive 6 miles round trip to get fast food because I had developed a horrible habit and I was too tired to cook. Growing a human being is exhausting work.

You would think that after Emmett was born, I would have been able to quit eating out. This is not the case. My excuse after he was born was that there was no time to make anything. I ordered quite a few pizzas after he was born because he nursed so frequently and for so long there wasn’t even time for me to go out to get something to eat. Looking at past credit card statements I spent over $700 in restaurants since May. That figure does not include any purchases I made using cash or my debit card. I have spent way too much money on fast food in 2013. Looking at that number I am ashamed of how much I have spent at restaurants in the last 7 months.

Once I return to work, I will be sticking to my budget of $10 per week on food. I know that I should probably cut this out completely to save more money, however, after all of the overspending I have done this year on food I do not think that this will be possible. I am fortunate that for most of my meals I eat with my parents and therefore don’t spend any money.

This $10 will not be used for fast food but for dishes that I will make specifically for food that I would have ate as fast food in the past. For instance, I have been grabbing a lot of McDoubles and Sausage McMuffins on my way to work (depending on the job). My new plan is to have pre-made breakfasts and lunches. I occasionally work Saturdays, when I do not work Saturdays I will be using those Saturdays as cooking days, so that I can cook everything for the week at one time.

I may have to lock my credit card in my safe and not use it for a while if I cannot get this spending under control. Once I am no longer spending extreme amounts of money on fast food, I may occasionally eat out again.

Do you struggle with over spending on food? If so how are you handling it?

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Emergency Fund to the Rescue

Posted by Jennifer on January 3, 2014 in Budget, Finances |

Since returning to work in September I have been torn on how to proceed with my emergency fund. I had reached the $1,000 mark before going on maternity leave. Should I save an additional 3 months of expenses? What about 6 or 9 months? Or should I begin paying towards my deferred student loans?

While trying to make a decision I have just kept saving money in my emergency fund. Today I am very grateful to have that money. I am essentially jobless. I am a home health aid and my client is no longer being cared for by my company because she passed away before Christmas. It may take a few weeks to get another client. It could even take a few months to get up to the hours that I would like to be working. Especially since I have very specific hours I can work due to needing care for Emmett.

When I first got the call my day felt ruined. If my crystal ball had predicted that this was right around the corner I would have spent less on Christmas and bought fewer people gifts. I would have been more diligent about not eating out. The list of what I would have done differently is endless.

In the past when something as depressing as essentially losing my job happens I make a terrible financial decision. I spend money on frivolous purchases. Generally I buy food because food fixes everything, don’tcha know? I am not just talking I go buy a McDouble or McChicken. I go out and spend $20 on a meal. So I am very proud of myself for not spending money frivolously in response to this change.

None of this compares to how encouraging my emergency fund is. I have enough saved that I could cover the next five months’ expenses. If I don’t have the hours that I need I will be looking for another job after two weeks. Once I return to my old hours, I will be saving a year’s worth of expenses on top of a basic $1,000 emergency fund.

 Have you ever needed to rely upon your emergency fund?

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My Goals for 2014

Posted by Jennifer on December 30, 2013 in Goals |

Photo Credit

I hate New Years Resolutions. Mostly because I am horrible at following through with them. However I am going to try something new this year. It seems to work really well for Crystal at Money Saving Mom; she had 25 goals for the entire year. Some of them were time specific like take her children to swim lessons some of them were less time specific like read so many books.

School Goals:

1. Complete 18 credit hours. I know some of you are thinking I’ve taken that many in a semester, however, I don’t want to feel like the only time I see Emmett is when he is sleeping.

2. Make a decision on what I am going to do with my life and make a plan to finish my degree. When I started college 5 years ago, I wanted to go to medical school and quickly learned that was not going to happen. I have since been very indecisive on what and where I was going. I really don’t want to be in college until Emmett is in college so I need to figure out what I am doing and do it.

3. Regain my Spanish proficiency. Which is going to be instrumental in moving forward towards a degree.

Blog Goals:

4. Make a Facebook page and Twitter account. I know I have said that I was going to do these things for months now in my monthly goals posts, but I really am going to do them this year.

5. Grow Budgeting in Baby.

Work Goals:

6. Complete 12 C.E.U.s. Preferably before December next yer.

Emmett Related Goals:

7. Begin working on Emmett’s scrapbook and keep it current. I have a box of stuff that is filled with pictures and keepsakes that I plan to make into a scrapbook for Emmett.

8. Take Emmett to Maine. Emmett’s paternal grandfather’s family lives in Maine. I hope to take plenty of pictures of him meeting his family, including Emmett’s paternal great grandmother.

9. Continue to work on teaching Emmett basic signs. I just started signing basic signs with him two weeks ago.

10. Begin consistently reading to Emmett. I sporadically read to him now, however,  I know that if I introduce books to him consistently now he will love them later.

11. Have Emmett dedicated. In my church infant dedication is where the parents pledge to raise their child a certain way. Most of the time it happens before now, however, my pastor retired this fall and we have yet to get a new pastor.

Financial Goals:

12. Work on my Emergency Fund. More to come about this.

13. Use Viggle, Mypoints, Swagbucks, and Inbox Dollars to make money and gift cards this year. Hopefully at least $100 between all four. I know that may not sound like a lot but I don’t invest a lot of time in them.

Personal Goals:

14. Deal with my fast food addiction. I will be sharing more about this later.

15. Lose the last of the weight I gained while pregnant, due in part to my fast food addiction. I plan on doing this by walking more.

16. Read 25 non-school related books. I have been so busy that I really haven’t been able to just read whatever I want which makes me sad because I love to read.

17. Run or walk in at least 2 5k runs. One of those races is in honor of my best friend who is battling cancer right now, that one I will most likely walk with her. The other race I hope to run in. I miss running; the last race I did was before I was pregnant.

I know 17 goals probably seems like a strange number of goals, however, these are the most important goals to me for 2014.

Do you have any goals for the coming year? If so what is your most important goal? Do you think any of your goals are going to be extremely difficult?

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It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year

Posted by Jennifer on December 23, 2013 in Goals |

I love Christmas music, especially listening to it all day Christmas day when we drive to the various celebrations. December is an extremely busy time of year for my family. There are four birthdays this month. Then there are the numerous holiday celebrations. When I made my December goals I did not keep all of this craziness in mind.

I have revised my December goals. Here are my new goals:

School/Work/Blog Goals:

1. I need to complete 12 C.E.U.s by December 31st for work.

2. Enroll in spring classes. [Already done.]

Family Related Goals:

1. Take Emmett to get his 5 month pictures done. [Already done]

2. Celebrate my sister M’s 26th birthday. Celebrate my niece’s birthday. [Already done.] Celebrate the other two birthdays.

3. Take family pictures with Mother. [Done.]

4. Enjoy Christmas and the various celebrations.

Personal Goals:

1. Continue walking with Emmett.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas time and celebrations I will be back in January.

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When Generosity Goes too Far

Posted by Jennifer on December 12, 2013 in Baby, Finances |

A few weeks ago, Ava* asked for gift ideas for Emmett for Christmas. I gave Ava a few ideas, such as bath toys, stacking toys, or any other age appropriate toys. A few days later, Ava called me back and asked for more ideas. Here’s how part of that conversation went:

Me: Was there something wrong the suggestions I already gave you? Was there something that you had in mind to give him?

Ava: I already got him all of the ideas you gave me I need more.

Me: You already got him everything I suggested??

Ava: Yes. For Anna* and Avery’s* first Christmases I spent $200 on them each.

Me: $200?!?! You don’t have to spend that much on Emmett. That’s almost 4 times as much a I spent on Emmett’s Christmas.

Ava: But I want things to be fair.

I gave her more suggestions. A few days ago, I learned that Ava’s house is needing major expensive repair. If I had known this when she asked for suggestions I would have told her to not get Emmett anything at all that repairing her house is more important than some kind of score keeping. If she had insisted that she needed to get him something I would have suggested that watching him fora few hours would have been more than enough.

I am extremely grateful that Ava loves my son so much that she wants to spoil him. However there is a point when giving so generously is detrimental to one’s progress. Ava didn’t take some vow of poverty when Emmett was born. When Anna and Avery were born Ava was in a different place financially.

I am at a loss for how to handle this. I do not know how to repay her generosity. I feel guilty. I know that Ava would and has given like this in the past. This may be one of those times where the only thing I can do is write her a thank you note and be grateful because Ava is going to continue making these extreme financial decisions.

*Names have been changed to protect person’s identity.

What would you do? Would you do anything besides being grateful?

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