Monday, August 25, 2014

5 Ways to Save $8,400.

Please note, I am not a financial guru. I've made my fair share of mistakes (especially in the form of restaurant expenditure), but we've learned a few things from some really smart people.

5 Ways to Save $8,400:

1. Cable. Have you cut it yet? If not, it's time. Aren't you tired of renegotiating your contract? We've been cable free for 5 years now. We pay $46/month for internet, hulu and netfix.
Savings: $1,080 a year.

2. Only buy necessities. A few weeks ago we watched the documentary "Tiny". It was weird, but the concept of simplifying and buying necessities ONLY WHEN ON SALE is admirable. Necessity list example:
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Dishwasher gel packs
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toothpaste 
  • Soap
Savings: $844 a year according to our most recent CVS receipt.

3. 401K. If you have it, use it. If you don't, open an IRA. The dollar you put in today is worth more than the dollar you invest tomorrow. This is pre-tax money. You save on the front end and you make on the back end. 
Savings: If you get aggressive, you can save $4,500 + a return of $1,260 on money put in this year.

4. Hair & Nails. I get my hair done quarterly now. (I know, it shows). Nails...I've gone natural on the nails and get pedicures in summer only. I miss this...a lot. 
Savings: $480. 

5. Starbucks. Just one latte a week adds up.
Savings: $260

Total savings: $8,424

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Day You Were Born

The day you arrived, I felt complete and utter all encompassing joy quickly followed by devastating fear as they laid you on my chest and told me they had to take you to the NICU. Only a mother in this moment can explain this feeling of a helplessness, confusion and concern regarding a life she had protected for 10 long months and can no longer can protect. Only a father can identify with the conflicting feeling of wanting to care for the love of his life and needing to care for this brand new life. Only a parent can understand.

This is me giving you a pep talk just before they took you. It's all I could think to do.
On your first birthday we were fighting a bit of a bug, an ounce of drama and bad weather as snowflakes fell from the sky threatening cancellation of your birthday party. We fought the bug, moved on from the drama and celebrated surrounded by your family and dear friends.
On your second birthday we were in a Knoxville hotel. Eight people cozied up on one king sized bed to watch you open presents and make you feel special. It was complete bliss, gratitude and giggles as you were so excited to proclaim:

"I'M TWO," over and over and over again to your cousins.  
Today we picked out "big boy pants" as you are nearly ready to ditch the diapers (and so are we). You chose cars, but they didn't have your size so we settled on Super Man. You threw your Super Man undies probably 20 times before we finally made it to the cashier. 

"Super Man!" you screamed as you chucked undies in the frozen veggie aisle. I laughed because I am "that mom" who thinks everything her child does is slightly entertaining (unless it involves hitting, biting, crying or screaming).

You are becoming a little man. And I'm pretty excited about it.

Your first days on earth were hard. You were poked, prodded, picked at, tested, hooked to machines, tested again. And you survived. Not only did you survive, you thrived. Your first birthday was hard. Unexpected things happened and we still found a way to celebrate. Hard days happen, but if you keep an overarching belief in happiness, you may just find yourself...


Be kind. humble. grateful. happy.