A Teacher’s Day In The Life (24): The Budget – Month Eight

Did you know that babies are expensive?  I think the amount of stuff we are told we “need” for a baby is crazy.  However, when you are sleep-deprived and desperate and trying to manage two under two, I’m more willing to try (and buy) anything.  It has been very difficult to temper my spending since little Thomas came into the world.

Currently, we are in a spending freeze after over-spending a bit on eating out and stuff for the baby.  David’s paycheck was withheld during his paternity leave until he could provide proof of birth from the hospital.  We’ve also gone through quite a bit of our savings because we’re waiting on one of his bonus checks.  It’s a mess, honestly.  And it’s making me pretty anxious.

A while back, I promised to share our budget tracking strategies.  Here’s what is posted to our fridge:

Because David’s income is not completely a fixed income, we can’t really have concrete numbers.  Simply adding up what we spend while keeping an eye on our spending goals and projected expenses seems like the best option.  It also forces us to be more aware of where our money is going.  Plus, keeping it on the fridge helps to hold us accountable and to talk about our money more frequently.

We have lots of fixed expenses and very few things we do to decrease our budget.  We’ll have to get creative in order to afford our increased spending on child support/court fees and on baby clothes and supplies.

Even though breastfeeding is going well and we will use cloth diapers we already own, this first month with two little ones will be tough financially.  Thomas is still a bit too small for the cloth diapers.  Plus, they don’t allow room for his belly button to heal.  We’ve had to buy disposables.  Luckily, I found a great deal through The Honest Company that enabled us to get six packs of diapers and four packs of wipes for $50.  We’ve also had to buy some clothes and other things while Thomas is between sizes.

I’m on the lookout for ways to save in addition to what we’ve been doing since I left work.  Becoming a Sam’s Club member has proved very cost effective.  Shopping on Zulily (if I can remain focused on only what we need) and using the rebate apps iBotta and Ebates are also still helpful.  We’ll need to hone in on reducing our utility bills where possible and not indulging in treats like ice cream and wine at the grocery store.

Plus, now that I’m mostly healed and not completely exhausted from growing a human, I need to find some ways to contribute to our household income.  My attempts, so far, have been dead ends.  All of my energy (well, what’s leftover after caring for my babies anyway) from here on out needs to go towards securing work-from-home employment.  I will keep you posted.