Middle America: You Can Have Kids Without Going Broke

family on moneyAccording to CNN Money,  a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims that the average cost of raising a child climbed to more than $245,000 in 2013.

To reach that number, they took the average costs of housing, food, clothing, education, health care, and child care into consideration, along with things like hair cuts, cell phones, and extracurricular activities.  Sounds legit, but are those numbers right?  Does it really cost a quarter-of-a-million dollars to raise a kid in America these days? [Read more…]

A Mattress in a Box: The Cost of Upgrading Kid’s Rooms

Anyone need a broken Dora bed?

Anyone need a broken Dora bed?

My daughter has been sleeping on this Dora the Explorer toddler bed for the last two years.  I bought it off of craigslist.org for $15.  Score.

But a couple of weeks ago, she managed to crack one of the plastic pieces that was holding the bed together.  You know what that meant; it was time for us to upgrade her bed.  In other words, moolah out the door. [Read more…]

My Kids Are Getting Expensive

teeth

The tooth fairy visited our house this week!

It’s easy to budget for your family when your kids are babies.  But as I’m finding out, it gets a lot harder as they grow up. [Read more…]

Confession: I Paid Someone to Clean My House…And Liked It

Gloved hand cleaning toilet bowl using brushA few weeks ago, I felt like I might have a nervous breakdown.  We were getting ready to leave for our frugal trip to St. Maarten, and I was totally buried in work and struggling to get ahead.  And around the same time, Greg’s work got hammered so he spent a few weeks putting in overtime instead of helping at home.

The laundry was piling up.  The dishwasher was full again.  We were almost out of food and I desperately needed to get to the grocery store to stock up. [Read more…]

You Should Never Pay Full Price for a Vacation

A plane coming into the airport near Sonesta Maho Beach.

A plane coming into the airport near Sonesta Maho Beach.

Yesterday, I turned 35-years old, and today I’m on a plane heading to St. Maarten to celebrate.  I’m really excited, and not only because I’ve never been to St. Maarten, but because we are heading to a brand new resort that just opened on December 25th.

We are only staying for five days, but we plan to make the most of it by spending quality time together, snorkeling, and probably eating and drinking more than we should.  My plane lands at 2:00 p.m. EST and I cannot wait to take off these winter clothes and ease right into vacation mode. [Read more…]

How Long Do You Shop for Big Purchases?

ipod

I’m low-tech, baby.

Just the other day, I was browsing Facebook when a status update from David at Young Adult Money caught my eye:

 

 

“I’m the kind of person who talks and thinks about buying a tablet for well over a year, but never buys one.”

-Young Adult Money

My first thought was, “that’s hot.”  Then I realized that it was also really funny because I can totally relate.  After all, I’ve been shopping for a new ipod for at least a year.  But there’s a reason why I haven’t purchased one yet. [Read more…]