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December 2016 Budget Report

December 2016 Budget Report

Our major event this month was traveling over winter break. We stayed with my parents for about 10 days. Most of the time we were just spending time at home with my family, as DPR was all the entertainment we needed. My siblings hadn’t met DPR before so that was very exciting.   Traveling for that period threw off our spending in a couple ways: we mooched off my parents for food so our grocery and restaurant … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Breastfeeding Ain’t Free

Breastfeeding Ain’t Free

Before I became a mother, I had the misconception that breastfeeding an infant was free. I mean, I knew it wasn’t completely free because the calories the baby eats have to come from somewhere, but I thought the costs beyond the extra food that the mother was eating would be negligible. Breastfeeding was some magical minimalist pursuit where all you need is mother and baby.     While there may be some unicorn mother-and-nursling pair out there for … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, food

November 2016 Budget Report

November 2016 Budget Report

Over Thanksgiving, our family spent 11 days with Kyle’s parents in southern California. It was a wonderful and restful trip. Kyle had to use or lose a bunch of vacation days so we planned a long Thanksgiving trip and a long Christmas trip. After paying for our flights for both of those trips this month, it was a wonderful break to be hosted by Kyle’s parents and have all of our food and so forth … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Where’s the Tipping Point Between a Roth and Traditional IRA?

Where’s the Tipping Point Between a Roth and Traditional IRA?

I love my Roth IRA (and my Roth 401(k)). Throughout my twenties, I didn’t have access to a workplace-based retirement account, so the IRA was a retirement-life-saver. I also was not making much money as a grad student, so using a Roth made total sense. When I speak to current grad students, I advocate using a Roth IRA for retirement savings. But at some point, doesn’t a traditional IRA or 401(k) start to make more … Read entire article »

Filed under: retirement, taxes

Five High-Value Baby Products for Your Shower Registry

Five High-Value Baby Products for Your Shower Registry

I have to admit I really struggled in creating the registry for DPR’s baby shower. I’m not much one for shopping, and as a first-time mother with very little exposure to babies, I didn’t have many recommendations in my mental file yet. I definitely should have sought out more recommendations from other mothers as it was very difficult to sift through all the “must have” lists for newborns.   Now that DPR’s been with us for five … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenthood, spending

October 2016 Budget Report

October 2016 Budget Report

This month, Kyle and I finally FINALLY had the money management conversation(s) we had been putting off for so long. As a result, we are making some updates to our finances:   1) We are going to live off of Kyle’s income alone for our monthly spending, short-term goals, and long-term goals (retirement). We are going to use my income to fund our mid-term goals. This means that we are, for the first time in our marriage, … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

A Year of Net Worth Tracking

A Year of Net Worth Tracking

On October 1, 2015, I created a spreadsheet for tracking our net worth broken out by our various accounts. While Mint has been tracking our technical net worth since Kyle and I got married and combined our finances, I consider our true net worth to be slightly different, and those differences were large enough last fall that I wanted a separate place to keep track.   (Our “technical” net worth is all our monetary assets minus all … Read entire article »

Filed under: net worth

September 2016 Budget Report

September 2016 Budget Report

We’re still getting our feet under us in terms of our spending on DPR, but things are starting to normalize. Our large start-up costs are largely behind us, I think, and now we’ll just have some ongoing expenses to keep her fed, clothed, etc.   One totally new expense for us this month was childcare! I had my first speaking engagement as a parent. I had an amazing day: my hosts put on a wonderful event and … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Trading Money for Time: Our First Babysitting Hire

Trading Money for Time: Our First Babysitting Hire

Those of us working jobs and earning an income are “trading time for money.” This is explicitly obvious if you are an hourly worker, but it’s still largely true for salaried workers. The alternative to trading time for money is to have money come in based on your investments – monetary, property, or perhaps time. It’s a less direct exchange of time for money, and sometimes frees you to spend little to no time on … Read entire article »

Filed under: choices, parenthood, self-employment

Outfitting our Baby with Hand-Me-Down, Borrowed, and Used Stuff

Outfitting our Baby with Hand-Me-Down, Borrowed, and Used Stuff

It’s quite challenging to maintain our frugal nature with DPR on the scene. During my pregnancy, we collected items slowly and with an eye to their cost by shopping consignment stores and sales and judiciously accepting hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. But when DPR arrived five weeks early, we went on an Amazon spending binge to finish obtaining what we thought was the bare minimum of stuff that she would need immediately upon coming home. … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, frugality