Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How will you do it??

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...is the question we've been asked a lot lately when we tell people we are having twins. It's probably going to be a while before I share all tried-and-true secrets on how to raise multiples with you. In fact, every time somebody asks this question, I mentally start biting my nails because I have NO idea. Just the thought of burping and feeding two babies makes my head spin... The only comfort I get is that this too shall pass... even the burping stage.

Another part of this question usually entails the financial side of it. After all, we will become a family of six in a matter of months.. Say lots and lots of expenses...

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I can't say I don't think about it. More like all the time :) I do believe that God knows our needs and He provides when we trust in Him. But I also believe that He will not help if we don't raise our tush off the couch and do our part, so He can meet us half way.

I know I can't predict what will happen. I can only hope. And I know that whatever we do will require lots of careful planning. I'm not trying to figure it all out until all the kids are out of the house. We'll take it one step at a time. But we will be doing at least these few things:

Tighten our belts even tighter.  Well, that's a given. We've always been frugal but, I guess, we would have to explore a whole new level of frugality. It's probably going to be a while before we take all for of the kids to Disneyland again... I can see a lot more camping trips in our future instead. But I believe that in many ways kids are as expensive as you make them. And having a big family often means just adjusting your lifestyle and priorities. We will never have the biggest house on the block or a Ferrari parked in front of it but if our kids are well fed, clean, decently (doesn't equal new) dressed and know they are loved, I will be forever grateful for all the blessings in our lives.

SAHM. I will keep staying home with my kids. I don't know if I'll keep working from home when the babies are here (I need to find out my company's policy on that) but between taxes and daycare prices I will save us more by not working full-time.

Develop new talents. I'm slowly getting into sewing (Carla, you can be proud of me!). It's a work in progress but I want to be able to sew at least some things for our kids. My sister really inspires me to do that. She just made a bunch of dress pants for her son instead of buying uniforms. I want to be her when I grow up (don't mind the fact that I'm seven years older... I'm a child at heart!)

Pay ourselves first. I might be in the minority here but I believe that parents are NOT obligated to put their kids through college (even though we should encourage kids to do so). I paid my way through college all by myself while working in a senior center, as a tutor, and while helping my Mom with embellishing her sewing orders (I would do the embroidering by hand on some of the pieces), and I never felt that my parents owed me anything. That was something I owed to myself. But I am gratfeul that they taught me the value of working hard even at  young age. I hope to instill it to our children too.
We put my husband through college too. His Dad helped us out with a couple of semesters but for the rest, we partially got FAFSA and paid out of pocket. And kids have their whole future ahead of them to make choices (including financial) for themselves. On the other hand, retirement savings are only there if you contribute. We will keep contributing to our future while trying to do our best to set something aside for the kids too, as needed.

Save, coupon, not shop or shop where I can afford Again, I will keep doing it in the future and, maybe, a little more so. For example, I'm discovering a whole new world of diapers all over again. Let me just tell you, it's a lot harder to find a good deal now comparing with five years ago (and yes, I know that cloth diapers might be cheaper but I don't think I can pull it off, at least the first few months. If I'm going to function on 2-3 hrs. of sleep, I think, the disposables will be a must to keep me sane...). One of the things I'm still debating on though is whether or not a warehouse membership is worth it. What do you think? Do you have one? Pros and cons of having one? I talked to a friend the other day, and she told me that she spends $600 or more on groceries a month, all because she shops at Costco. Does a warehouse membership really save you money??

And I will keep being grateful for classifieds, thrift stores and hand me downs :)

I know, the older the kids will get, the more expensive raising them will become but we will worry about it as time goes. Again, I noticed how many times in our lives God miraculously provided for everything we needed and sometimes even more when it seemed like there was no way out...

So what are/would be your secrets on how to make it financially with a bigger family?

16 comments:

  1. As far as a warehouse membership--I would try to split one among some of your friends. It might have to be in one name, but you could all use the card or some such thing. Also, most of them will let you shop for a day, but pay an up charge (10%). I don't know, but diapers may still be cheaper this way. Also, in the future, when you may be thinking about switching to cloth diapers, be sure to factor in the cost of the electricity and water of washing them.

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    1. I don't really have anybody around to split the cost with :( But my SIL has a membership so I might jut go with her to pick up a few things (like Costco wipes that I adore) so we don't have to pay extra.

      As for cloth diapers, that's exactly what I keep in mind too. I don't mind cloth but not very early (more like after six months) because of the price of water, electricity and, more importantly, time. I actually read a blog once by a girl who used to be hard-core about using diapers until she did some math which she posted on her page, and it was quite eye-opening.

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  2. My third pregnancy was also twins, so I understand. If you have any questions-see my blog, post a question anywhere with your private email and I'm hapy to write back! Somhow, it all gets taken care of! No worries! : )
    Carol in CT
    CTonabudget.blogspot.com

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    1. I definitely will! Thank you, Carol!!

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  3. I too would be worried but you are so far ahead of the game, I don't think you realize it. You have a plan and know that a lot of the things that you do already work. I promise you will handle this like a champ. I would go through the budget and cut, cut, cut!
    I'm so happy for you and I'm proud of you for all of your hard work.

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    1. Thank you, my dear friend! You are too sweet.

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  4. My experience with Costco is that I spent way more money there than I did when I shopped at my neighbourhood grocery store. Maybe it works out to be less money in the LONG run (say over 10 years!) but I don't think so. If you have a friend with a membership they can always pick something up for you if there's a great sale. Ohhh Lena I'm so excited for you!

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    1. And that's what I'm afraid of :)

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  5. you are turning to God first and that is the most important thing!! I think you will do amazing!! It sounds like your priorities are well thought out. Good Luck!!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer, for your kind words!

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  6. At one point we had four boys aged six and under, so I completely get how challenging this seems. You are doing everything right, Lena :) Try not to panic, and don't forget that many folks you are talking to DON'T have your skills at household management, so it is difficult for them to imagine your situation.

    At different times in our family life, I worked full or part time, or as SAHM. The last one was definitely easier, and surprisingly, better financially. One note I would add is to take VERY good care of your own health, physical and mental: it is easy to forget in the business of life as a Mum, but small breaks and lots of happy helpers are vital to keep your ship sailing on smooth waters :)

    PS, the cloth diapers worked for me when I had two in diapers for a while (middle two born 16 months apart) and those two were the easiest to toilet-train. Coincidence? Also less rash from cloth as we tended to change them more often, I think. But when you have a baby shower, make sure everyone knows it is diapers you need most (call it a "Diaper Shower"). You probably have almost everything else you need :)

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    1. Thank you! Taking care of myself is definitely a challenge sometimes :) But I realize how important it is, and will be even more important when these little ones are here...

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  7. We have a Sam's membership through my dad's work. It's about $18 per card per year. So for a long time, only I had a card, but when we moved out here - their gas was better priced and convenient so now Adam has a card too. Lately, our Smith's on 90th has better gas prices, so I don't know if Adam will get a card next go round or not. But I do shop there for some things. It used to be that their milk beat ad match prices every week, but not anymore. I know you know your prices and what is a good deal, so you probably wouldn't buy a ton of stuff there, but it might be worth it. Give me a call if you want to do some investigative shopping. I wouldn't mind spending a morning or afternoon with you there.

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  8. I have both a Costco membership (I got it free this year) and a BJ's Warehouse membership. There are certain things that I buy solely at BJ's, but I try to go only once a month. (It's just too darn expensive otherwise!) The Costco membership I hardly use because the people who happen to shop there are very rude (at least in my area). I think you could get diapers and such couponing at CVS for a lot cheaper than Costco. You could try it for a year and see how it goes. I got my Costco membership off of a Groupon and it ended up being free with all the giveaways for signing up.

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  9. I have found that membership stores don't have the best prices on everything. We do share one card with a friend of mine, but usually what I buy there are few things like rice and cheese. As far as cloth diapers, I used them for the last 6 years with 3 children. I used prefolds (which I bought new but they were "seconds", aka small imperfections), which turned out to cost between $1-2 per diaper. And had 4 snap covers to rotate. With less than $100 you can diaper a child birth to potty training. I definitely believe it's worth it. Our water bill went up a whopping $5 per month once our first baby came along :) now that I don't have to wash any more cloth diapers, our water bill did not change at all. Air dry is the best when it come to cloth diapers (making them last longer), then again, make sure you wash the diapers while you still have one day worth of diaper change. Although prefold diapers dry pretty quickly since they are flat. I also used small doses of detergent (no fancy detergent needed) and no fabric softner. Both detergent and softner build up on fabric, making the cloth less absorbent. Our electric and water bill have stayed pretty much the same with our without cloth diaper washing. Trust me. I did the math several times in the last 6 years. Most of the time we had 2 in cloth diapers since our children were so close in age. Finally, do what you think it's best for you and your family. You will have your hands full.

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  10. I don't think I would choose cloth nappies for the cost only. If you are very environmentally conscious I think the hardship is easier to put up with!

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