• Of course! This recap was from the second to last week of August, so we’ve donated again since then. It’s so important. To me, if getting better with money doesn’t allow me to give to others in need, I must be doing something wrong!

  1. kddomingue

    Children are expensive. True or false? The correct answer is……it depends. Having a child will certainly cost more than not having a child. That’s not debatable. But is having one destined to be a an expensive undertaking? It depends. I think it depends on a parent’s definition of needs. What does a child need to grow up healthy, well adjusted and moderately happy? Everyone’s definition will differ on that as will their definition of what expensive means.

    It would have been an interesting study to have kept a log of all of the expenses incurred in the bearing and rearing of each of our two children. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing that we didn’t. The final tally (if there ever is one with children) might have caused my heart to seize up and stop. If we hadn’t had children, we probably could have afforded to buy and live on a small yacht or traveled the world. Maybe we would have had a bank account like Scrooge McDuck. But we wanted children. We wanted children more than all the other things we could have had or have done with the money we would have saved by remaining childless.

    We celebrated my son’s 32nd birthday this weekend. We invited friends and family to our double wide mobile home with the 17 year old truck and the 12 year old car that we drive pulled into the gravel driveway so they could park on the concrete driveway. We grilled burgers under the nine thousand dollar patio that we waited 25 years to build. We ate and played cards at the table from my husband’s childhood home. We snacked on homemade dip and chips from Costco. We giggled as the birthday boy opened his presents…..gas money, slim Jim’s, hand sanitizer, soap on a rope and butt wipes (those got the biggest laugh!)…..all stuff geared to his upcoming climbing trip at Yosemite. I went into the kitchen to get his homemade birthday cake and looked back at the table. I looked at my son and daughter and husband, at the family and friends crowded around the table smiling and laughing and talking and telling jokes…..and I remember thinking to myself that I wouldn’t trade this moment for a billion dollars. Are children expensive? It depends. Are they worth every penny? Mine are. Your’s will be too. 🙂

  2. Kids are expensive. Mostly because we, as parents, become weak when they start associating with other kids whose parents are not as frugal. Hopefully you’ll stay strong and HP will learn that money and things do not equal happiness (I’m sure you will).

    As for donations I suggest the Humane Society of Harris County (where Houston is) and Samaritan’s Purse. Both do great work with underserved populations.

    And if you have not yet run college costs, open a bottle of wine first. 🙂

    • Thank you, Oldster! I will look into both of those organizations for donations.

      And I’m in denial about college costs, to be honest. We are researching 529s versus other options, and thinking about where we need/want that balance to be in 18 years is…wine worthy!

  3. So, I thought I could start a business while on maternity leave.
    *holds aching ribs from laughing* That was naive. So so naive.

    Every week feels pretty different in those early months but honestly we didn’t do much in the first month away from the house other than appointments, walks, and getting food. It was good, JB was an outdoorsy baby from the get go, but really I think it was best not to have such lofty ambitions like oh, starting a business. *eyeroll*

    We made the exact same donations, same places, same amounts, plus 3% to cover the credit card fees 🙂

    I wasted a lot of time hemming and hawing about the best choices for college savings but you know, I think it’s best to just commit to something low-cost and get it started. You can change around later if you need to but it’s such a huge relief to have it established.

  4. Oh man, the more stuff already at grandparents’ houses, the better! So grateful that both sets of grandparents have cribs so that we don’t have to bring the pack and play as much. But yes, packing for going ANYWHERE takes forever. My husband and I started creating checklists on Google Keep so we could always go through it to make sure we have everything! Great job getting out of the house a bit! That was key for staying sane and breaking up the monotony during maternity leave. Running errands, going to other parent groups (i.e. interacting with other grownups!) was helpful! Great job!

  5. I’m impressed you were able to earn money with just your left hand clicking on a survey!! I can barely tweet with one hand while feeding haha.

    I find that on maternity leave, I don’t spend very much money, lots of no spend days, because I haven’t been able to get out of the house except to go for a walk. Our wake up time is like 9-10AM, half the day is gone already haha.

    It’s nice to not fill up for gas! My tank is still full but when I tried to start my car the other day it died. I think it’s because I haven’t driven for over a month. We jumped it and then I just tried to run some errands tonight and it died again! So much for not spending during mat leave lol (will probably need a new car battery).

    • Thanks, Francesca! We are really fortunate that we got a few hundred dollars (!!) in gift cards from our baby showers. I’ve been squirreling them away since then, so that should offset quite a few things.

  6. Jenny

    Make sure you check that the seat protector can be used with your car seat model. Most after market products are not considered safe, and (I believe) seat protectors fall into that category. Car Seats for the Littles is a great site that talks about all of that stuff. Just my little FYI for the day. 🙂

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