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I've got to tell you, I am absolutely terrified of having a second child. There are two things that scare me most - the first is the money. Yikes. We're barely getting by with one kid, how the heck are we going to handle another? Second - the emotional stress. Everything has been really tough with my first child. But because it's been so tough, everything that has been good is actually rather special. Call me terrible, call me ignorant, but I honestly can't imagine sharing that special feeling with another child. This post, however, is the first part of a two part series talking about both my fears and it will focus on five ways we plan to save money for the second kid and maybe be a little more "green" while we're at it.
Like I said - the money aspect of this venture is absolutely terrifying. Eventually, Tall Mom and I are going to have to live off one income due to the birth. I already feel like we are barely scraping up enough change to make our way - and that's only with one child and two incomes! Now switch that around and what do you got? Pain.
So, ok, maybe you trim a little fat here and there - go out to eat a little less, turn off the lights more, no take out food, walk more places so you don't have to spend money on gas (which we have a huge advantage over because we live in the city), cut the cable bill down, so on and so on. But it only feels like a drop in the bucket.
Tall Mom and I keep telling each other, "don't worry, it's gonna be ok. We're a family. We'll figure it out." But, honestly, numbers don't lie - you make what you make, and you spend what you spend. How the heck do we expect to half our income and potentially double our expenses - and still feel like we can "figure it out?" Every parent faces this question and it's a major (I repeat: MAJOR) conundrum.
Do you have the mom go back to work? Do you get a nanny? What about day care? Is it worth having mom or dad go to work only to (essentially) pay for child care? But, what if the measly amount of money they take home per week (due to the high cost of child care) pays a bill that you otherwise would not be able to afford? What if by staying at their job, they're investing in their future at that job - say, more pay raises down the road etc.? Is it worth that parent missing out on that time with their kid just because of a job? These are the questions we face. These are the question we all face as parents with one or multiple children - choose money, or your kid. It's awful.
And while we are certainly developing a plan to overcome this issue, we thought of more ways to "trim the fat" off our budget. Here's five ways we plan to save money and be a little green while were at it:
1. Fans/open windows or doors - Winter sucked. Yup, you can say it. It sucked. But while most of us won't be paying gas or oil bills as we head into summer, suddenly we're going to have to pay for air cooling cost. Ugh. It never ends. So - instead of going straight to that amazing, god send of an invention we know as central air, we'll be using fans and opening the doors to let the breeze in.
2. Recycling cans/bottles - we go through a fair amount of cans per year. Whether it's my favorite soda or Tall Mom's obsession with Polar Spring bottles, these suckers are 5 cents each! By tossing them, you are literally throwing away money. It's so dumb. Think about - how many cans or bottles are you tossing each month? It's probably more than you think.
3. LED lights - Getting back to energy costs, nothing soaks up energy like lights. Sure they tell you CFL's save money, but they still draw a lot of power. Almost as much as basic bulbs. But, if you have to work at night, or you just enjoy having the lights on, you need to switch to LED lights. They have half the draw of power and they last twice as long! Granted you spend a little more up front, but I know for a fact that if you switch every light to LED, you're energy bill will be cut if half.
4. New EcoAdvanced Energizer Batteries - my kid loves toys. Especially ones that make noise and require endless amounts of AA and AAA batteries. And while I 'd love to just toss all those bad boys into the trash, it wouldn't be fair to him. So instead of tossing the toys, or getting the regular batteries, I decided to go with these batteries because they have both sizes I need, they're recycled from former batteries (which also happens to be the first of it's kind in this department) and also because they are longest lasting alkaline Energizer has ever produced! Less battery purchases and more recycling? Sold.
5. Water filters - Tall Mom has a slight obsession with water. There's always a bottle in her hand. True, while I said we were going to start recycling these bottles, there's nothing like not having to buy them in the first place. Why not get a tumbler and use filtered water from the tap? Guess what? It's free and trust me - free is for me. No more bottles and free filtered water? Sold again.
What do you guys think? Is there something I missed? What are you planning to do to save if you're having a child?
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Quick note - Energizer's New EcoAdvanced Batteries are available in most Walmart stores in the entertainment aisle and various battery stands throughout the store. You can also learn more about the EcoAdvanced batteries at BriningInnovation.net.
Also - there is a "GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway" for $1,000 in gift cards! You can enter to win them here: