Month 1, Week 2: Money Talks
|toddler's version of our 'gulf fish in papillote'|
We decided to keep M in preschool during my maternity leave. Well actually, it was more a given between us - we never considered not keeping him there. Even though I am only partially paid for some of my time off (we can cover this hot topic later...) I wanted to give Baby Sister my full attention, realistically be able to take naps if I need them, and really take the time to go to things like a lactation group and Mommy and Me Yoga. We were fortunate enough to have some savings to help us keep covering the cost of daycare (and the regular bills) during my time off.
This week's focus in One Hot Mama is coming to terms with your new budget, be it temporary or permanent, and all the ways this might come into play.
Of course, when you aren't working, you're pretty much spending money (why does it seem there is no middle ground?) So, I wanted to get a good jogging stroller, a key to making a work out, and even just getting out of the house, more realistic. But I couldn't come to terms with a $600 price tag, especially when we already had strollers that technically worked just fine for their purpose. So I found the one I wanted gently used on Craigslist and saved half.
I mentioned my weekly meal planning before in regards to saving my sanity and time during the week, but it helps in the $$ department, too! Having a plan for our groceries keeps wasted food to a minimum. I find that meat is the priciest item in our food budget, so planning at least one meatless meal per week helps here. Also I can plan to split meat between meals, like using half a rotisserie chicken for Monday's meal, and the other half later in the week, or buying a bulk package of ground beef, etc. and doing the same. Feel free to look at some of my weekly menus by clicking on the recipe key word on the side.
If a class at the gym or a Stroller Strides group isn't in your budget, you can still get some good, regimented fitness. The book gives a suggested workout schedule for a full three months, that allows you the flexibility to choose what you like to do (for example, one day's prescription is '30 min walk, 20 min jog, or cardio class at the gym'). I downloaded a Free 'Couch to 5k' app on my phone that gives me three walk-to-run workouts per week, and even gives audio cues on when to start/stop running, and can incorporate music from my own phone. Additionally, Erin's book gives some great strength and yoga routine ideas. I even started to dig up my old workout DVDs that I haven't seen in a year!!
Some of my favorites:
Yoga for Surfers, Peggy Hall
Postnatal Rescue, Erin O'Brien (has some gentle stretches you can do as soon as you get home from the hospital)
The Biggest Winner series, Jillian Michaels
Yogini Workout, Ellen Barrett
Erin gives some other examples of what she thinks are worth splurging for - and how you can set a goal to get the cash for them.
Erin is graciously giving away a *FREE* signed copy of her book - for a chance to win it, answer this question -
*** Question: What ways have you made room in your budget for your new addition? ***
Find the other One Hot Mama posts here.