Between having an almost 7 month old bundle of joy and working about a gazillon hours to make my own firm a success I have not had much time to get on here.
Financial goals for 2008:
1. Get college savings fund set up for Frankie
2. find better health insurance
3. finish paying off ugly law school loan
4. save enough for a 14 day trip to Washington to see my family next Christmas
5. get somewhere close to being able to buy a house.
Here's an updated picture of our little guy, who now crawls, tries to talk and keeps us super busy
Between having an almost 7 month old bundle of joy and working about a gazillon hours to make my own firm a success I have not had much time to get on here.
Have been super busy, alas, no entries over here although I try to keep up on everyone else's.
The little guy is growing like a weed, 12 lbs already and he slept all the way through the night in his own bed last night (WOOOOOHOOOOO!) Cannot tell you how happy that makes mommy (daddy is pretty excited too!)
DH and I have our 5th anniversary tomorrow, wow times flies!
The firm I work for got sold, so as of the end of this month everyone except the receptionist is out of a job. Thankfully because I do contract work, I have plenty in the bank to whether the storm and DH and I decided to move closer to his family (as our lease was expiring as well). So it all worked out well. I'm going to look for something part-time and I'm still toying with the idea of starting my own firm, so I can work from home. Have to test the water out a little bit...
In the baby bill category, have two bills left to pay, one for $400 and one for $835. Should be able to wrap up the bills for delivery this weekend---Yeah! (and no credit cards used to pay off anything!)
Since I work on a contract basis I get to pay for my own health insurance, read high deductible, low benefits, big ugly copays. Within the last week I've gotten to pay the following:
$2,000.00 to OB for delivery (delivery only, this was my copay)
$800.00 for epidural (they don't cover that)
$417.00 (for pediatrician and first two well baby visits, copays and deductible)
$499.00 to hospital to cover my stay
I did cancel my dental insurance (with the same company) as they wanted to raise my monthly rate $70.00 because I was putting the baby on my medical insurance. They have a policy that any additional family members, regardless of whether they are able to use the dental benefits or not raise the rate, absolutely ridiculous....
Universal healthcare anyone????
I work on a contract basis and get a higher hourly wage by doing that, but the trade-off is no benefits. I also don't qualify for FMLA because my employer has under 50 employees. However, in a suprising fit of generosity, my boss paid me for 48 hours of maternity leave on my last check and per the bookeeper is planning to do the same on the next two checks. This will be 144 hours I had not been counting on getting paid. YAHOO!
In other good news, watching my diet while pregnant paid off, 12 days post baby and I'm back in my skinny jeans...
Haven't been on in awhile, Baby F made his appearance 18 days early on the 5th of July at 12:23 am, 7lbs. 3oz. and a pure delight! will post pictures when time permits...and no his first name is not frugal although I hope he will grow up to be!
old total: 1028.00
new total: 1142.00
had 104.00 in copays for bloodwork and 1 hour GCT and 10.00 copay for bp medicine.
5.5 more weeks to go!
DH and I have been trying to keep the baby costs down. I'll admit I've made a few impulse clothing buys (the outfits are so darn cute!). I have a friend and a SIL who are due around the same time as I am, both of whom went out and bought full (and overly full wardrobes for baby). Within the last three weeks I have had two suprise baby showers and now have so many little outfits they barely fit in the dresser! I did not expect any showers and was deeply grateful for all the kindness people showed us. It just reaffirmed for me that sometimes it pays to hold off, even when the money wants to burn a hole in your pocket!
this will be my most recent deposit. Not a lot but hey every penny counts. All half.com deposits are going towards student loan. I'll be combining last deposit plus this one for an extra payment of $20.00 from half.com payments. I usually try to make a full extra payment of $250.00 per month as well.
Old baby spending total: 840.00
New total: 1,028.00
89.00 Copay for second ultrasound, ah the pleasure of paying for your own health insurance and having crummy benefits....
84.00 car seat, found for about 15% less than anywhere else at Walmart, with free site to store shipping. Last big purchase to be made...YAHOO! and very highly rated in all the consumer guides and opinions sites.
Should be here in 7-10 days...
15.00 for two pairs of clearance shoes at Payless and boy does this make me grumpy. As of yesterday evening the only shoes I could fit in where a pair of old running shoes, and two pairs of flip flops...umm, not exactly court friendly...hmm, off to payless one pair of black slides and another pair of wedges on sale, but what a waste as I will only be able to wear them for another 10 weeks....oh well....
I had to attend a CLE yesterday for my continuing education credits. Actually, it is one that I enjoy so it wasn't too bad, lunch was included and I won one of the door prizes....a bag of groceries from Trader Joe's in a reusable tote! Lots and lots of cool stuff to stock the pantry and the tote is perfect for the beach (oilcloth type material)...Yeah! The last time I won somehting was a cake at a cakewalk in second grade, so I was a little overdue!
Sold another book on half.com
Found the carseat we had been eyeing for $10 less on Walmart with free site to store shipping, so I went ahead and ordered it.
Paid life insurance bill and health inurance bill.
I'm going to a baby shower tomorrow for a former co-worker. The lady hosting the shower put the registry information in the invitation and a little handwritten note that she suggests something in the $25-50 range (What are you kidding me? How rude can someone be?) 3 other people who are going to the shower have emailed me to express their outrage. I bought a really cute little boy (12 month outfit) and a nice set of bibs for $6.50 at Ross, added a cute card and gift bag from the dollar store and have a really cute gift for $8.00. Hopefully hostesses suggesting what price range they think invited guests should purchase in is not a trend...iiiccckkk!
Big Fat Refund posted to paypal today ($16.00) which can now be used towards DH's tattoo supplies as he needs more ink.
Paid $256.00 for next six months car insurance and saved $38.00 over paying monthly.
Paid $56.00 Verizon phone bill.
Cancelled stupid Cingular cell phone contract, which ends on May 25, 2007, ordered new tracfone with free time cards for $20.00 on a good deal I found on deal taker.
received EOB for last ultrasound, my portion will be 89.00,will do a check before next OB appt and add into baby total.
survived 3 hour GTT with no problems...Yahoo! Will get results next week and feeling much better on low dose BP medicine, it's amazing how much your BP rising just a little affects everything....
Old total: 797.02
New Total: 840.01 (amounts spent detailed in last post)
I called the health insurance and the baby will be covered for the first month under my insurance policy with no additional premium. After thirty days my premium will go up by $87 per month and then it comes down for the baby slightly after year one to $67 per month.
Expensive and busy. Had an appointment with the doctor in the morning. Have to go on a low level blood pressure medicine for the time being. Also my 1 hour GCT was 2 points above the cutoff (just found out about 5 minutes ago) so now I have to go for the 3 hour GTT (ick!).
After the doctor went Supecuts and got a haircut and brow wax : $25.00
Albertsons for groceries and treats for 3 girls in our office who are graduating and we are having a party for tomorrow: $38.40 ($12.00 will be reimbursed by office for the treats)
Staples for drafting pencils DH needed and padded envelopes I needed : $9.95
auto service center for smog check: $32.00 (they did the automatic pass to DMV so I don't have to go stand in line)
DMV tag renewal fee: $58 (one more reason to love the Geo, our neighbor was just telling us he had to pay $314.00 to get tags for his massive Cadillac Escalade)
New Baby expenses---I'll update total later this week:
$10.00 copay for BP medication due to rising BP
$6.00 Little Tikes Size 2 Mega Pack Diapers on sale at big lots
$2.00 20 sticky tray/table protectors at Big Lots
$3.00 Baby sunblock at Big Lots (we spend a lot of time at the beach so this is a must)
$12.99 for two to the ugliest nightgowns I've ever seen at Ross, but they fit and were comfortable, our local hospital requires 2 gowns in your luggage when you have the baby---personally I absolutely hate nightgowns...
$9.00 really, really cute Sesame Street three piece overalls, shirt and shorts (complete impulse buy)
Only large item left to purchase is the car seat
New Gifts: Camo shirt/shorts and little sandals set from one of DH's old Army buddies (DH was in the Army for 14 years)
Because we have the graduation lunch for three of the girls in our office today, lunch will be on the boss--Yahoo!
DH and I washed both doggies (shaved the longer haired one---whew what a job) and clipped toenails, saving ourselves about $150.00 in grooming fees. Have to take the little darlings to the vet later this month for 2 yr rabies shots and one other shot.
Got direct deposit of $15.27 from half.com for books sold Also got an email another had just sold...yeah!
Paid the following bills: 55.68 sewer and water, 9.95 natural health magazine subscription (my favorite magazine), 260.00 (extra student loan payment--woohoo).
Also got free coupons from Mambo Sprouts in the mail today....yeah!
Now I'm off to do the laundry---nothing smells as good as clean clothes fresh from the dryer...
So the one pregnancy test I absolutely was dreading was the 1 hour Glucose Challenge Test. Unfortunately during high school I worked in a doctor's office and watched a lot of moms to be get really sick taking it. I hate needles and the flat soda taste so I was really dreading this. Thankfully, DH had yesterday off and could go with me. I went prepared with straws and a bottle of water, etc...(I had also practiced with peach juice, which is kind of thick like the liquid itself to make sure I could get the 10 oz. down in five minutes). It went off without a hitch, the solution did not taste as bad as I thought, I was able to drink it quickly, had no reaction whatsoever and actually didn't have a problem with the blood draw one hour later. Man was I relieved.
Still don't know what my copay will be on this test, as the two billing girls I talked to both came up with different figures for the test and one thinks my insurance doesn't cover it at all...so we'll see
Hopefully my glucose level will come back low, I'll find out next week at my OB appt.
Good news first: Just posted a whole slew of books on half.com (cleaned out outside storage) and three sold today.
Bad news (although not terrible): at doctor's appointment yesterday my BP was up a bit. It's usually low and not high enough to classify as Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, but my MD put me on partial bed rest, so I'll only be working three days per week now....EEEKS! Thank God for the baby fund...Hopefully my BP will go down a little by the next appointment. I guess it's a chance to finish all those books I have around the house half read. Thankfully, my boss was very nice about it...13 more weeks to go....
Darling niece was turning 3 this weekend, we got the invitation weeks ago, but apparently my child to be is sucking out all of my brain cells, because this information never made it from the cute Strawberry Shortcake invitation to the calendar. So Friday night DH and I headed out to the 99 cents only store to get her a gift.
Thankfully her main hobbies are applying lip gloss and Disney Princesses. 2 packs of different lip glosses, shaped like ice cream cones into the basket, Disney Princessess matching game into the cart, Disney princesses stamps into the cart, 2 kinds of Strawberry Shortcake lotion into the cart. Had a gift bag and card at home already. $6.00 later a decent gift! Yeah! Darling niece was thrilled and spent the remainder of her little party applying the lip gloss...
New total: 797.02
Old Total: 633.02
spent 2.00 at the dollar store on a tube of Desitin and a nasal aspirator
had to pay 162.00 to birth defects screening program for the state....glad to know no problems but here is my rant. Starting at age 30 the state of CA requires pregnant woment to get these tests...here's the icky loophole, insurance doesn't start paying for these tests until age 35...stupid!
First baby gift: from SIL very cute lion romper, bib, shoe and socks
BOY, had the second ultrasound yesterday and everything looks great! DH and I are thrilled. He's moving around like crazy these days. Everyone told me they thought I was carrying a girl, thankfully most of the clothes I been given have been for a boy!
DH and I keep a mini EF in a savings account at a local bank. This last weekend my cousin left a message that a great aunt had died (she had been sick for a long time). I sent flowers to my aunt who had cared for her for the last 12 years, but then heard through the grapevine that they were $300.00 short of being able to purchase the headstone, so mini-EF to the rescue (was refunded with Monday's paycheck). I just felt so good to just be able to send the money---most people in my family live check to check and put everything on the credit card. This is what having your finances in order is really about, freedom to do the important things!
So this has been a big dilema for me and DH as we would like to do more things organic but it seems so expensive (we are not really mix up your own cleaning supplies at home types), but I decided to see if I could find some budget ways to go organic. There are probably many more but here are my preliminary findings:
1. Natural foods store - they have a sale circular just like the normal stores. If I stick to it religiously there are some very good deals. Also our local natural food store has a cafe/bakery that has a 1 day old rack, delicious, nutrious and half off.
2. Trader Joe's - I used to spend a lot here, so I pretty much put myself on restriction but if you stick to their sales circular (also witty and amusing) there are some good deals, they also have wonderful organic dog food for quite cheap
3. Walmart - I can hear the groaning now, but honestly they also carry very good organic dog food (that includes a $2.00 coupon inside) and have a wonderful line of organic baby clothes that are adorable and affordable
4. Big Lots - here was the real suprise, a cruise through our local big lots (which is not a very large one) yielded Kashi cereals, Annie's organic pastas, Newman's Own popcorn and sauces (all well within expiration dates), Method and Seventh Generation home cleaning supplies and Nature's Gate beauty products....who knew???
5. Starbucks - more groaning...but they do offer used coffee grounds for free for gardening in biodegradable pouches. Ours puts them by the front door in a large bucket but you may have to ask to get them elsewhere. Also using your own mug nets .10 off each beverage purchase.
6. Chevron -weird, but true, they offer Naked juices for .25 cents less than anyone else.
7. Albertsons now has reusable grocery bags, $1.00 each and very sturdy, you get a few cents off for each use.
8. Vons/Safeway has their own fairly large arrary of organic goods (O Organics) and they are frequently on sale
9. Farmer's Market I shop the one near my work once a week and the small one in our town once a week, the smaller one gives the leftovers to the .99 centers superstore---score!!! (I think they do this in exchange for using the parking lot...)
10. ask around, I found out our bookeeper sells veg-fed organic eggs for 1.00 if you don't bring your own box and .75 if you do, another friend was trying to get rid of avacados and lemons, I also found someone who makes wonderful, organic soaps
11. Etsy.com many of the creations here are using recycled goods and make wonderful, unique gifts for not much money while supporting artists
12. Army/Navy these stores are treasure troves for good quality bags, camping equipment, shirts and pants
How happy am I --- just found out Friday is a court holiday, which means I actually have a day off. Work has been crazy lately and every weekend has been spent driving around to visit family for birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, etc.... so I will enjoy Friday. It's a chance to clean the house, wash the doggies, pay the bills, grocery shop, get some cooking done, and update my speadsheet totals.
Also got a nice Staples rewards coupon for $7.50 and DH needed more printer ink, which happened to be on sale this week, so the printer ink which normally costs $24 will be around $13.50 with sale and coupon.
Old total: 281.00
new total: 633.02
1. 191.00 Paid off the lab bill copay(my insurance only covers 80% of lab work)
2. 4.65 thrift stores for a new John Lennon receiving blanket, a package of new baby washcloths and 3 very good condition receiving gowns
3. 43.99 Ross (Moses Basket: Tadpoles normally over $100 for $40 came with matress, blanket and pillow, and 3.99 for a six pack of bibs)
4. 21.96 Book Closeouts (will receive 6% back from Ebates) 2 books about natural childbirth, a CD meditation set for pregnancy and delivery, and a copy of the mother's almanac
5. 90.49 Drugstore.com (will recieve 6% back from Ebates and got free shipping) Essential oil massage oil for delivery, 2 pack of mittens, nail clipper, thermometer, 2 pack of baby wash, chlorine free diapers (two jumbo packs), nursing pads, and the breast pump I wanted for $13.00 leass than anyone else was selling it.
New Freebies: A very cute pink robe with green and yellow monkey faces on it, a portable play yard
Ebates rebates go directly to paypal, and DH uses them to purchase tattoo supplies off ebay.
The problem turned out to be fairly minor a distributor cap and some other associated thingamajig (As you've probably inferred I am no car expert). It cost under $45.00 to fix. Thankfully this means we can put off the intended car purchase until June. Yahoo! Also since the Geo is running well again we will be able to give it to DH's daughter as her car has been acting up lately.
In the other good news category, I got a bonus for a case that had a particulary good settlement so I had an extra $1700 to add to the baby fund. And today is payday, a good day all around
so my trusty 1993 Geo Storm decided to stop running on Saturday night, no warning, just stopped. Thankfully, I was close to home and not in a busy intersection. One of my BIL's lent us his Toyota Camry until we can find another car to buy (had been planning to get another in May or June). Of course, we could fix the Geo but since the diagnosis seems to be "unspecified engine trouble" and the car is worth a maximum of $800-900, doesn't really seem worth it. So now we're on the hunt for a 4 door Mazda, Nissan or Toyota with under 40,000 miles for under $8,500.00. Hopefully, we'll have more time to look this weekend.
Old Baby Total: 236.00
New total: 281.00
Items bought: Ross (Baby sling on clearance for 75% off, a bib that has a waterproof core for 1.00) Walmart (2 thick blankets on sale for $5.00 each, socks on clearance, hand mitts on clearance, 2 5-pack onesies on clearance), Dollar Tree (brand name baby lotion x2, 2 recieving blankets, a rattle with a really cute ducky and two packs of care bears wipes)
Also got an EOB from my health insurance my copay for all the yucky bloodwork will be around $200.00. They never tell you how much bloodwork a pregnancy entails, but it is a lot. I haven't actually added this to the total yet as I haven't received the bill yet, but probably will soon.
Had a great weekend, went to LA to see family and friends on Saturday, lots of shopping and catching up around home on Sunday.
Extra Student Loan Payment $265.00
Chase MC $225.00
Cell phone $50.00
Food Co - $34.51 (trying to stay under $40.00 per week)
Walmart $65.30 this included 2 planned birthday gifts, a planned baby shower gift, phone card for DH's prepaid phone, new face wash (with $1.00 off coupon) and body wash, and a really cute shirt I found on sale for $3.69
Money spent on trip to LA:
$40.00 (25.00 gas, 8 sandwiches at Subway, packed veggies and drinks, 7.00 on a video for niece)
Only impulse buys: video for niece and shirt at Walmart under $11.00 total, yeah!
Old total: 216.00
new total: 236.00
This weekend at Big Lots DH and I picked up a baby bouncer (usually $45) for $15 and a package of white onesies 4 for $5.00. So total baby spending this weekend $20.00.
New Freebies: 20 Winnie the Pooh Birth Announcements with stickers, 40 Noahs Ark Birth Announcements, Package of 8 stork thank you cards, brand new in box Winnie the Pooh Baby's First Year Baby Album, closetful of maternity clothes from a friend of friend who went out and bought all new maternity clothes and then spent most of her pregnancy on bedrest. I got 5 brand new maternity dress shirts, 2 casual shirts, 2 skirts, 3 cardigans, 2 pairs of khakis, 1 pair of jeans and a pair of very cute jean overalls.
Moral: Make sure everyone knows you accept hand me downs!!!! If you can't use it pass it on...
Also got a great new recipe for very easy and yummy macaroni/ham salad from DSIL this weekend. Trying to collect lots of easy recipes for after baby, as I have a feeling cooking will not be high on my priority list
previous total: 158.00
1. 38.00 at JCPenney and Sears- from Penney's got to 2 blazers ($5.00 on clearance) for wearing in court (in the Women's Department and they are kind of stretchy as well) from Sears I got the following half off a baby bag (very cute, actually a Monkey bag from the juniors department), 2 sleep sacks (1/2 off) and a combination hat/receiving blanket, crawler (40% off)
2. 20.00 at Walmart, got a package of store brand (white cloud) newborn size diapers, a 3 bottle set on clearance, 2 pacifier set on clearance, a huge package of store brand baby wipes and a teething ring thingy on clearance as well
Recent free items from friends: jogging stroller, activity station, training potty, a whole bunch of clothes (both sexes), a very nice changing mat and a set of brand new care bears photo frame, a transportable small playmat
New Total: $216.00
So I was looking for higher paid jobs and trying to find something this Spring and work a few months before the baby was born and then take two weeks off and return to work. This became way too stressful, so I am deciding to stay put. The benefits are:
1. No need to find a new job while pregnant
2. Don't have to change OB doctors or find a different hospital.
3. I will be able to work part-time in the office/part-time at home starting in July.
4. I can take 3 weeks off and boss hinted he may actually pay me, although he doesn't have to (I work on a contract basis)
5. I can work part-time from home for two months after the baby is born with a few days in court as needed.
I think we will still be able to get the baby fund fully funded prior to July, we'll just have to be a little more frugal until then. But overall it seems a much better solution.
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