think i may need somehelp?

Avatar for cosmotori
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
think i may need somehelp?
5
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 3:56am
fortunately for dh and i there is no problems financially. we have no kids, and we both work. i want tob desparately save up some money as we are starting with adoption. it may be up to a year and the cost is $18,000. i want to be able to save that much in the time we are waiting so i don't have to take out a loan. the problem is we are both such spenders. here is a breakdown of us...think we can do it?

his income=take home $3300/month

mine=$1700/month take home

bills:

mortgage=1354.15

celica=$380

camry=$436.25

insurance for 3 vehicles=$140/mth

phone=avg $85 (figure i can cut out all the extras and save $30/mnth)

electric=avg $75 (between summer and winter...give ortake)

water=avg$25 (if we change the hottub water)

mobile phone=$60/month

garbage=$50 for three month

satellite tv=87.99 month (can cut that to basic)

two credit cards with aprox 1,000 between the two...not worried about them As i plan on paying them off in the next couple months.

We really don't eat much so food, (if we stop going out for dinner) about $300/mnth

i have way too many clothes that i can get by without buying much for the next year, but with dh's uniforms let's say $100/month

gas avg about $120/mnth

any other expenses that i can be forgetting about??

ok by my calculations we can have the full amount in aprox 10 months without having to take out a loan....can it be done? GOSH we waste way too much money....value village here i come!!!

can anyone see where in i can cut more money? i really would like to have most of the cash for this without a loan or tapping into retirement plans. help me be more frugal!!! i already started by grooming my own dog instead of paying $30 a month to have someone do it! i think that is a great step but i have to start realizing that i don't need to spend money and just because i see something doesn't mean i have to have it! i'm really embarrassed by this because now that i put it all out, i realize that i should hAve started saving long ago, but we bought a new house lastyear and everything we have extra has been going into this...new floors, doors, paint out and in,new roof...the list goes on! but the sad thing is now i realize that the only thing this house really needed was paint and a new roof. any advice?

Avatar for triptakers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 7:17am
First off, congratulations & good luck with the adoption!

I think this is a good idea, to try & pay outright for the adoption costs - and becoming more frugal BEFORE becoming a parent will be great - you can learn new habits before all the big kid-related changes happen! OK, I'm going to brainstorm here, forgive me if some of the things aren't applicable - I don't know what you're already doing/thinking....

A couple of thoughts, some of which you've already noted - yep, eat out less, if you can (also, restaurant.com sells $25 certificates for some local restaurants for $12.50, I've done this once so far). And for eating in, if you can try & get less of the processed, prepackaged foods (cook from scratch now & then), you'll save beaucoup bucks, and also be eating more healthily - something you'll want to do once you've got that kiddo with you! And reducing the satellite tv bill will definitely help!

About the phone/cell phone -what sort of plans do you have on them? Possible to switch them around a little? I make all my long distance calls from my cell phone now, it's much cheaper (and of course I try to wait till after 8 pm and on weekends, when the calls are free, lol). And I was able to find 2.5 cents a minute for home long distance, for when I run out of cell phone minutes....

OK, the cars. My first thoughts were - do you *need* all 3? Don't know what the third one is, but I recognize a Celica as one that's a little tougher to cram a kid into. You could ditch a car payment/registration/insurance if you got rid of the Celica, or at least insurance/registration costs if you got rid of car #3. Just a thought, I'm by no means giving you grief - we have 3 cars too, and one is a 2 door convertible. Not exactly a family truckster. LOL.

Well, that's all I thought of just now. You CAN do this, and 3 cheers for pro-actively trying to figure out how - you sure don't want to start a trend of being in debt!

Good luck to you. Hope I've helped a little.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 8:21am
Hi! I just wanted to add that even if you have to borrow some of the money, remember that there is the Adoption Tax Credit of $10,000. Many employers reimburse for a portion of the adoption expenses. If you can, start living off of one income while you are waiting for your child. That way you will know that you can stay home if you decide to do so. I think its great that you want to save up all the money without going into debt! We borrowed the money for this adoption (Jack's been home since 7/2!) since we know that we will get employer help and the tax credit to pay it back. I stay home with our children, so it is harder to save up for the fees! Best of luck to you! Adoption is the best!

Christa

Christa

 

Avatar for sarahfran
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 9:58am
Good luck with the adoption! I think you're really smart not only to want to pay the expenses outright instead of taking out a loan, but to get into frugal habits that will hold you in good stead when you have a baby to care for, too. Adding up all of your expenses, it looks like you could easily live off of just your DH's income while saving your income for the adoption. You may want to try that as an exercise--have your own income deposited directly into a savings account so you don't have easy access to it, and then you'll be less tempted to dip into it when you see something you want but don't need.

Of the expenses that you listed, the only things that struck me as possibly missing from the list were entertainment and gifts, so you may want to budget for those as well. The only things that struck me as fairly high costs were the car payments, but then, I'm not up on what a normal car payment is, so those expenses might be completely average. If you were coming here with those expenses and not enough income to cover them, I'd recommend cutting ALL non-necessities--satellite t.v., cell phones, all but basic service on your home phone (with long distance provided by Sam's Club/AT&T calling cards), and trading in your two cars for less expensive used ones, or even getting rid of one car. But since you live well within your means, I don't see any reason to make any of those changes.

One thing you should think about for your future is what your budget will be like after you adopt since you'll have increased baby-related expenses (not just formula and diapers; if you have difficulties passing up purchases for things you want for yourself, you're really going to find it hard to pass up cute clothes and new toys for a baby!), and daycare costs if you're going to keep working. At that point, too, you may want to pick up some life insurance if it's not covered through work, and you may have increased health-care costs as well.

Good luck!

Sarah

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Avatar for cl_lfbennett
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 12:57pm
You're off to a great start by planning ahead. I don't have a lot of time on line right now, but I'd suggest setting aside your savings as soon as you get your paycheck before its spent on anything else. Maybe open a separate savings account and have a set amount from your paycheck automatically deposited on pay day. That way the money never even crosses your wallet, so can't be spent at the mall. :) But also if you start out overzealous in your savings and need access to it for an emergency, it wouldn't be impossible to get to it.

We have an ING account for vacation savings so that it's not easily accessible via the ATM. It works out really well.

Congrats on starting the adoption process!

Leslie

Leslie
cl-lfbennett @ Frugal Living

Avatar for cosmotori
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 2:17pm
wow thank you, ladies! great to know about the tax credit, and we do know the military pays up to $3000 of costs so i guess i'm not looking at an awful lot to save as we will get almost all of it back after theadoption. as for the cars, the 3rd one is almost 10 yrs old and a truck...never know when you need to haul anything. of course dh could get ridn of his celica but we just got both cars this year, both will last a long time, so in 7 years when he retires from the navy we won't have car payments and both will be paid off in a few yrs, when i assume kids get more "expensive" as they "want" more. the celica is more a commuter car for him, great on gas and all. it had been almost 10n yrs since he got a new vehicle and i had 3 in that time, so i traded in my brand new explorer for 2 new cars. that is one area that i cant cut back on because we got them with the intention of keeping them 10 yrs or more. so right now it would cost us more in thelong run to get rid of one. i guess if i'm wanting to play it safe we could put $1000 away a month and take a loan out for the remaining.

thankb you for your input!!!