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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

Effortless Perfection in Your Finances

Effortless Perfection in Your Finances

My (grad school) alma mater is notorious for holding its undergraduate women to an impossible standard: effortless perfection. Effortless perfection in that context means not only being smart and getting top grades; looking beautiful, fit, and put-together; being popular and kind; succeeding at everything you attempt; etc., but doing it all without even appearing to be striving. No one is perfect, and most people have to try very hard to perform well in even one … Read entire article »

Filed under: goals

August 2016 Budget Report

August 2016 Budget Report

I have to admit we have not been paying much attention to our spending in the last few months. That’s likely unsurprising given that we’re still adjusting to life with our new baby and we’re earning much more money than we used to. In fact, we’ve gotten a bit trigger-happy with our Amazon purchases in the last few months. It all seems to be needs, but then again we seemed to get by without these … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Cloth Diapering in an Apartment

Cloth Diapering in an Apartment

Kyle and I are cloth diapering our new baby DPR despite living in an apartment with no washer/dryer hookups. I met another apartment-dwelling new mother recently who is using a cloth diaper service because it hadn’t even occurred to her that she could try washing her own cloth diapers, so I decided to share our solution here.     Our six-unit apartment building has a coin-operated shared washer and dryer in the basement ($1 per machine each load). … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, frugality

May, June, and July 2016 Budget Report

May, June, and July 2016 Budget Report

In this post I’m catching up on reporting our spending over the last three months. I was expecting to get through the May and June reports before DPR arrived, but as she came early they were deferred!   May was an unusually social month as some of my family came into town and we went out of town for our family baby shower. DPR arrived at the end of the month.   We spent most of June in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

We Didn’t Plan for the NICU

We Didn’t Plan for the NICU

After arriving home from the airport at 10:00 PM, Kyle and I unwound from our baby shower weekend with a snack and a TV show, finally retiring to bed at nearly 1:00 AM. At 2:15 AM, I awoke feeling a bit… wet.   I hadn’t experienced urinary incontinence to that point my pregnancy, but I knew it was a common symptom. I went to the toilet and emptied my bladder, but somehow liquid just kept leaking out … Read entire article »

Filed under: emergency fund, parenthood

April 2016 Budget Report

April 2016 Budget Report

April in Seattle was even more beautiful than March – way more warm, sunny days than rainy/overcast days, and quite sunny weekends. Each Saturday in April we went for a long walk in a new-to-us local park to exercise and see more of our city. We’re considering this lovely weather as “borrowed time” and do expect the rain and chill to return before summer really starts, so we’re capitalizing on it in the meantime.   We also … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Natural Frugality in Seattle

Natural Frugality in Seattle

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Seattle is not a great home for us in terms of its financial value – it’s a high cost-of-living city, but what it offers doesn’t match up well what we’re looking for in a city. (I have to say that we are really warming up to Seattle with the wonderful spring we’ve been having!)   But despite Seattle’s high cost of living, I’ve observed that we have easily fallen … Read entire article »

Filed under: frugality