How To Save With A Baby

save baby

 

While I may only be 6 months in and haven’t been a mom for too long I can still tell you great ways to save with a child. The latest report estimates having a child will cost roughly 233,610 from birth to graduating high school. Which may scare you, however I have a few tips that can lower that cost and set your family up for wealth building. Plus having a child is more than about money, its about the memories and the joy of bringing life into this world.

 

GENDER NEUTRAL

First, you must think about how many kids do you plan on having. If you have one now and are open to having more kids later on, remember to buy gender neutral items. For example I got a crib that is white with a brown base. When I registered for a crib I wanted to make sure It would not only stand the time but also if we were to be blessed with a baby girl I wouldn’t have to go buy a new crib. The stroller, car seat, bassinet, diaper bag. Are all either black or grey. The only thing that screams boy is his clothes, the rest is up in the air and on lock for the next baby.

 

BRESTFEED (if possible)

I will be completely honest, most women are like I breastfeed because of all the health benefits and it so much better than formula. Ummm….. well ya that’s great and all but I initially breastfeed because I knew it was free milk, all the other additives were just bonus. The fact that my son is 6 months and we have never had to spend a dollar on the expensive formula helps out so much in his first year. Not to add, with breast-milk his immune system is stronger so less trips to the doctor in the future and no ear infections. If your child has issues with latching on, or your don’t like the idea. Try to pump, you may not be able to make enough milk for all his bottles but it will cut down the amount of formula you have to buy. Plus you can mix breast-milk and formula.

 

HAVE A BABY SHOWER

We got 90% of all Jeremiahs baby stuff at our baby shower. We were blessed enough to have 2 plus, my job gave me a gift card and a mamroo swing. Especially if its your first child people are very open to buying you lots of gifts, that’s why its so important to go ahead and get gender neutral items just in case your family isn’t too generous on baby #2. Also jamals football team that he coaches got us enough diapers and wipes to get him through the first year. Which brings me to my next point.

 

DIAPERS

While you can get away with free milk by breastfeeding, diapers is another story. Many women have opt to do cloth diapers. While I am not against it, its not for everyone. If you are dedicated and passionate about doing cloth diapers then go for it. If not, you must be on the look out for deals 24/7. Try to stock on sales but always remember to keep your receipt. My son was in size 1 diapers for maybe 2 months before we had to move him up. This left us so many unused diapers in his stock pile, luckily the people who gave us the diapers had gift receipts with it so we were able to exchange it. Check places like Tjmax and Marshalls they carry bulk sizes of honest diapers for cheap cheap! CVS, and Walgreens have the best deals as well, make sure you always check them out.

 

FREE SAMPLES

Just google free sample for baby items and a list of great sites will pop up with many good items. Jeremiah has over 4 bottles formula toys, soap, anything you can think of he got from a free sample. And I am talking about the free, free stuff, where you don’t even have to pay for shipping. Places like target, and Walmart will try to get you to register at there store in return they will ship you a sample of items. We registered at both even though we didn’t technically use Walmart we made a list added 2 items and had free bottles ship to us. If you have amazon prime, create a baby registry and they will ship you a box of samples. This box was amazing full size wipes, toys and alot of great goodies. Just remember your email will get slammed with ads from baby companies so you might want to use an email that is just for this.

 

LIBRARY

This is a great resource if you are a stay at home mom, or you work hours that allow you to be off in the morning. We go to our local library every Tuesday for babytime and my son loves it. They read to him let him play with toys plus he gets to meet new babies and I get talk to new moms.

 

MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD

So my child isn’t on solids until the end of this month but we are already prepared for food. We are going to puree all his fruits and veggies. There are tons of information on pinterest and youtube on how to do this. Its not hard just a little more time consuming but not only will you save money but you will also feed your kids food without all the preservatives and chemicals in jar food.

 

Remember that kids don’t have to have the latest and greatest, at this age they don’t even know the difference between an expensive toy and a plain box. Get creative and stick to a budget, your child will be more grateful of an interactive parent then some lavish toy.

 

Paying Down Debt VS Savings

debt savings

 

If you are young you probably have some form of debt. I believe one of the hardest thing about finances is deciding where to start and what to focus on. Sometimes you can be so far behind you feel hopeless. Although you may have no savings and a lot of debt there is an answer.

So if you don’t already know I graduated debt free and I was blessed to have a car given to me in high school with no car note. So yes I have no debt but my husband has a car and student loans, so we have been faced with dilemma do we pay the debt down or save money? The short term answer is pay debt, all the big financial advisers will tell you debt first. But I believe its much harder than that. Depending on your narrative will ultimately choose which path to take first. Look at all the elements I raise for you to ask and this will be a guide to let you know where to start.

 

GOALS

What are your short term and long term goals. Me and my husband want to have a house and we want it rather soon. After talking to a loan officer for a pre-approval letter, he wasn’t pushed back by the amount of loans we had. He was mostly focus on our credit and how much we made. When we told him how much we were going to put on the down payment and he ran our credit and was like ya “your good”. And in seconds we were on our way. Small hiccup it was contingent I went back to work making similar to my old salary, (but that’s another story). This goal we had showed us that we should be focused on the down payment, rather than paying loans. So if a goal of yours requires money right now then go for the savings.

 

INTEREST RATE

This one is rather simple, a good savings account can yield you 1.0% on your balance, an average credit card loan can be 15%. So if you have a huge balance on your credit card you should opt to pay that down first because it will net you more money in the end. You can also get savvy with the interest on things. My husband was able to put his loans in forbearance and have the government pay on the interest, and we put our money to the car loan which is at 4%. Its all about finding the most efficient way to make your money work for you.

 

KIDS

Do you have kids? If so save save save, those little suckers are so cute but can literally brake anything in your house, get sick, etc. You will defiantly need a small savings to make sure you can cover small emergency. Also if you go ahead and save 3 months of living expenditures and you lose your job you wont have to worry about putting everything on credit. When your single or married with no kids, your focus should be a “debt free” mindset.

 

BEING BLACK

Yes I said it, if you are black I would push for you to at least get 1-2 months of living expenses saved. Why? Well our income disparity is out of whack, last ones to get picked for a job and a whole bunch of other stuff that shows how racist this world is. I say all that to encourage you to make sure your money is okay. If your boss calls you the N word, and you have $0 saved with a child to feed your less likely to leave. If you find out your getting paid half the salary as someone without the education as you but you wont make rent if you leave then you will compromise. As someone once said “black people always make sure you have some F-U money. “

 

TRY BOTH

This can take some practice and I will admit its A LOT of work. But if your up for the challenge do it. Make a goal you want to have save and how much debt you want to pay, then rotate each amount every month. So lets say you have $300 each month to either save or put towards debt. One month delegate it to savings the other month double up on your car note or student loan. This way you will have a little money saved but feel like your one step closer to being debt free.

 

Confused? If so, its okay which ever option you choose will be better than doing nothing. The difference is buying an item on sale and being happy about it, too find out next week its 10% cheaper. You might be mad that you didn’t get it at it lowest, however you didn’t buy it full price. Looking back on your financial decision you will be glad you started either path even if your like darn I should of paid the car off first. You live you learn and that’s the beauty of life!

Are you still wasting money on a car note?

 

car note

Now I am no expert on cars and by all means I am not a mechanic. However I do know that america is trading in there cars way to fast. The average time an american has a car is 6 years, although all modern cars can last 11 years (consumer report). So why are we only getting half the life out of our cars? I believe it has something to do with pressure of America telling you, you need better, faster, newer, and you need it now.

 

CAR PAYMENTS

It should not be the norm to always have a car payment. We must break the idea that we have to have a car payment all our lives. This is not true. The ultimate goal of buying a car is paying cash for the full amount so you don’t have to worry about interest and then keep the car for 11 years plus.¬†According to Edmunds.com, the average monthly payment on a new vehicle is¬†$479. Just think if after your 4 year note you were able to save that amount for 7 years, the duration of your cars life. That’s a savings of $40,236! You could use that money to buy another car in cash, or you could invest in buy a home. The possibilities are endless.

 

UP-KEEP

With anything, if you want to keep it awhile you have to treat it with respect. So if you want to be able to push your car the whole 11 years. You must keep up the oil changes and maintenance on the car. And I know you might think, well if I had a new car I wouldn’t have to worry about maintenance. This thought is true in you might not have a major issue but your paying 479 to not have one, vs paying 30 for an oil change or maybe $600 a year in car fixes.

 

NEW VS OLD

This is a big one that many argue over. So here is my synopsis, buy new if you plan on keeping that car for 11 years. Therefor you have all the warranty and 0 miles on the car. Me and my husband bought our Honda new, but we plan on having it until the wheels fall off. If you find a good deal on a used car then go for it. I don’t know much about cars so me finding a good deal and knowing if the engine and transmission is okay, are slim. So I leave the bargain hunting for someone else.¬† We all understand the concept that a car loses value when it leaves the lot, but that’s only if you decide on trading it in for something else soon.

 

180,000

I am not saying all this and rolling in a brand new car stunnin’. My car has 186k miles on it and I am still pushing it. I do have a child and we do have a 2015 Honda that we use as the family car and my husband drives my car to work. He works 30 min away and my car does just fine it may not have the sun roof or the really good air, but it does give us the freedom not to have a car payment every month. We are praying we can put 250k on it, so the Honda can be paid for and we wont have to worry about 2 car payments at one time. But if my car does give out you better believe we will go to a 1 car system and do what we can until we have the means.

 

Save now, so you can ball later. If you keep pushing your Nissan, Honda or Toyato. You will be able to either buy your next car right out or get a luxury car. I want a Acura RDX but I know to have that car I must be patient and wait. Remember everything comes in good timing just wait and push your car until it says its time for a new one.

5 Reasons Your Still Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Paycheck

 

Annoyed that your having the same problems you’ve had for years? Feel like the second you get a raise you can’t see progress? At the end of the month still confused on where your money went? You my friend don’t have a money issue you have a lifestyle problem. I see and hear so many people tell me they can’t survive on their salary or why they need a raise and yes, wages are crap, but I could probably guess your issues.

 

giphy-downsized

#1 YOUR PLAYING VICTIM

You heard a lie and ran with it. You believe that all of america is like this, so its normal. Countless times on the news they will state how everyone is in the same boat, wages are low and cost of living is high. Why yes that’s true however that just means you have to adjust your budget. Which brings me to point 2.

 

giphy

#2 YOU HAVE NO BUDGET

I know you don’t have one because if you did you would be able to state, ya I am short at the end of the month because (insert reason). A budget exposes the truth of where your money is going, and it wont say its your income, it will say its your spending habits. If you spend the time to see the problem you could work on a solution.

 

 

giphy1

#3 YOUR CLUELESS

You let your money control you. You have no idea of how much you need to stay afloat, you can’t recall how much you own on a credit card, or loan. If you don’t know these numbers then they are ruling your life. You should check your account everyday put time in to understand your finances, you work so hard to get a paycheck each month. I hate when people are oblivious to their money, you cant mistreat a person and expect them to care for you. Don’t treat your hard earn money like a second thought and be mad its gone by the 19th.

 

 

giphy2

#4 YOUR IN THE WRONG SIZED DRESS

You cant make a size 10 woman fit in a size 00 dress. Then don’t try to make the same for your check. Yes there are ways to slim down your budget and make things fit but you need to be honest with yourself. Can you afford the BMW, or is the toyota more acceptable, do you have to have the iphone 10 or is your 7 doing you just find. Dont buy something you cant afford to just blame it on your income. I cant be mad my income doesn’t allow me trips to hawaii, to go around and take a trip and get frustrated at the outcome.

 

giphy3

#5 KEEPING UP WITH JONSES

Social media sites are throbbing with this. You see someone post about buying the new and latest item, next thing your doubting why you don’t have it. Its so easy to get caught up in this game, but the winner wont be the one rocking the hottest clothes or driving the nicest car. The winner is the person with the net worth. I always hear that I need a new car and to be honest I would only get one to stunt A. Mine works fine, B. I am a stay at home mom( who doesn’t get out much). Me buying a new car would not only hurt my finances it would put a strain on my family.

 

Feeling like this post is coming at you hard? Well your right. I want to get my point across that we need to stop living like this. Its not healthy for you or your family. I want to see everyone prosper and living paycheck to paycheck is a scary thing. You should have a feeling that if I lose my job today, I wont lose my car and house/apartment tomorrow. Check out my other post on how to stop the cycle and begin saving money. The first step is realizing you have a problem and putting ACTION to fixing it.