Jun 7, 2017

Adventures in Adulting


While it's fun to talk about nurseries, baby clothes, maternity clothes, and the latest and greatest stretch mark creams, there are many things about pregnancy and the upcoming role of being parents that required some serious, not so fun, but super important conversations.

Budgeting

A few weeks ago, Brandon and I sat down and we crunched numbers. For at least four days straight, our free time was spent analyzing our budget, tracking spending over the previous three years (no easy task and also, how did we spend so much money at Chick Fil A??) and making projections about what this little lady will do to our finances over the next few years. We made three budgets based on three scenarios for her childcare. We talked and talked. We took long walks and talked some more. We made pros and cons lists. It was stressful, but very necessary. We now know where we stand and feel ready to consider any of the following plans:

Plan A: I become a SAHM.
Plan B: I work full time and we enroll her in full time daycare.
Plan C: I work full time and we hire a nanny.

We aren't 100% sold yet on Plan A, but it's good to know its an option if that's what we both want for her. I don't feel like I'll know this until I get thrown into the turbulent waters of carrying for a newborn. As far as daycare goes, we've toured two places and the second place we really liked! It's only a few blocks from our house, had great administration, teachers, and a good "feel" about it. We haven't started a nanny search yet, but you cannot really do that until it gets closer to when we'd need one. As of right now, it's not our top preference. We considered me working part time, which seems like the best of both worlds, but from a financial perspective, it doesn't make too much sense for us. It could happen, but for now, we are just focusing on the three plans listed here.

Side note: I also realized that I could do a much better job at tracking our budgets and actually sticking to them. These past 6 weeks, I've been tracking all of our spending and have been carefully categorizing everything in Mint. This also motivated me to make some very small, but useful changes:

  • Eat our pantry and fridge. I know it's not thrilling and something produces some funky meals, but this has been instrumental in cutting back on our food spending. I hate throwing away expired food and being scared to open the veggie drawer. Now, I take pride in seeing an empty fridge where we've utilized all veggies, fruits, random condiments, etc. We've also been shopping more at Costco and freezing some of their items that we cannot use all at once. With our Instant Pot, we've been able to make giant batches of shredded chicken (purchased in bulk) in no time that we just throw into our random meals. I'm most proud of the fact that I now buy cheese in bulk, shred it myself, and always have it on hand for frittatas, Mexican dishes, etc. It's the little things, people. 
  • Shopping sales and using coupons, apps, etc. Between Ebates, Ibotta, Cartwheel and using my credit card cash back programs, we've been saving a considerable amount of money when we do need to spend. I make it a point to use these much more than I did in the past. 
  • Cloth Diapers. If do stay home, I think we want to take a stab at cloth diapering. I've researched it for hours on end and the cost savings are really good and I've heard all great things. Also, due to my chemical sensitivity (it's a real thing, don't mock me!), I'll be using fragrance free disposables, which don't seem to go on sale as much as Huggies and Pampers unfortunately!


Internet Privacy

Ahh, the scary Internets. This blog is public and I'm obviously comfortable writing about myself and the state of my uterus for the past few months. It's my choice to do so. I am in no way questioning or criticizing what others choose to share about their babies and children, as I believe that parenting comes in all forms and only you can decided what is best for your kids. As for us, we aren't comfortable sharing her name and photos publicly, even with the fact that my blog posts get maybe 40 views per post. As much as I'd love to share photos of her (she's cute, I know this already) and her name that we've so carefully scrutinized for the past four months, I don't think I will be - at least publicly. Instead, I'll make this blog private or start a new private blog to share with family and friends. My Instagram is private, so we may consider sharing there or creating a new one. We live very far away from our families, so we want to have some way of sharing her milestones with them. I know that sometimes private isn't always private (people can take screenshots and do with them what they want...), but we will do our best to balance sharing with those we want to share with and keeping her internet presence to a minimum. I still may write about motherhood and possibly a birth story here, but haven't fully decided yet!

Creating a Will

Umm yikes. We've been putting this off for years, but now's just as good as a time as any and once she's born, it's one of the first things on our to-do list, you know, after surviving.

College Fund

This kind of goes along with our financial talk up there, but about three years ago, when we knew for sure that we wanted a baby someday, we started a 529 Plan (we use the one based in Utah) and have been contributing it each year. Any monetary gifts she receives will be straight to her college fund and we'll probably continue to contribute as aggressively as we can since the markets have bene working in our favor recently.

Moving

Umm, yeaaaah. It has taken me a while (like 11 years), but I'm starting to really love living in the Bay Area of California. Is it expensive? Heck yes. Is it overpopulated and has horrible traffic? Absolutely. But, it's been our home for sometime now and we have a great group of friends who I'd miss dearly if we moved. We also have In N Out.

However, we agree that it's not our ideal place to raise a child. We've talked for years about moving and we've known for a while now that that living here isn't a long term plan for us. Financially, it's outrageous and the school systems, while great, aren't what we envision for her. Also, the community at large is heavily focused on career, money, and working 24/7. Honestly, I've seen parents discuss their next start up ideas at children's birthday parties. While we obviously value success, we also feel that other aspects of life (family, leisure time, adventure, outdoors) get overshadowed by the need to succeed here.

So with five years as our hard stop goal, we'll be moving. It could be within three years or it could be as early as next year. We aren't sure where, but Colorado is a top contender (thinking Boulder or suburbs of Denver). We will be looking for smaller communities, much like the ones of our childhood, but also places that are progressive, have a good sense of community, and of course, have a great food scene and some amazing hiking trails. Oh and yeah, jobs for us. Cannot forget that little detail.


So things are about to get real around here. I'm 34.5 weeks, the carseat is being installed TONIGHT and my hospital bag is 10% packed. Nursery is at 90% (I'll share a tour soon!) and I also ordered her an adorable coming home outfit that Brandon picked out. You know I couldn't go a whole blog post about talking about the cute stuff...

3 comments:

  1. Why did I get insanely excited when you mentioned shredding cheese??? haha! But seriously I am alllll about buying in bulk, utilizing the freezer, and cooking meat in advance for easy meals! Also shredding your own cheese is just better than the gross waxy bagged stuff.

    It sounds like you guys are going to be fine in the budgeting area. I'm 100% certain you have way more money than we do, so what I'm saying is if we aren't living in a box yet, I think you'll be okay :)

    Obviously I share photos of R on my blog, but I have tried to not overshare or share anything that is unflattering, and obviously I don't share her name. As she's grown I feel like I've scaled way back on posting photos of her at all. It's not my life to share, and the Internet is forever.

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  2. Nicely done! You are on top of things friends! :::applause:::

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  3. So much adulting!! :) I don't have kids yet but I totally get the need to keep things private for them. Even for myself, my instagram is private. My blog is public but I put different things on instagram and don't want the whole world to be able to see it! It's so weird navigating things in this social media driven world! Sounds like the budget talks are going well! They are never easy but definitely eye opening!

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