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budget

Money

The September Budget Breakdown

August 31, 2015

Welcome back to the budget breakdown here at True Good and Beautiful!

After 9 weeks of traveling this summer, I am happy to say we are HOME.

PRAISE THE LORD!

We had wonderful adventures this summer but man oh man am I glad to be back in Colorado sleeping in my own bed. I can tell Josie is thinkin the same thing.

It feels good to settle back in and nothing makes me feel grounded like budgeting! 🙂

With that, let’s dive into September’s budget post.

In these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. No uploading of photos this month…due to forgetting. Eeep!!

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of September:

  • Back To School Season
    • New clothes
    • Tuition
    • Backpacks
    • School Supplies
  • Labor Day
    • Getaway
    • BBQ
  • End of Season Deals (only if you really need it) 😉
    • Patio Furniture
    • Grills
    • Swimsuits
    • Clothes
  • Holidays Travel (always some good flight deals this time of the year)
    • Thanksgiving
    • Christmas
  • Fall Activities
    • Football games
    • Baseball games
    • Football parties
    • Fantasy Football fees
    • Apple Orchards
    • State Fairs
  • Christmas (good idea to start saving a few months ahead!)
    • Gifts
    • Decorations

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like vacations or gifts.

Happy budgeting y’all!

Parenting

Are Cloth Diapers Still Worth It?

August 7, 2015

We’re nearly 9 months into our cloth diapering journey and the question has been asked…

Are cloth diapers still worth it?

I wrote about cloth dipes early on in Josie’s life.  Basically we chose to cloth diaper because it’s economical, environmentally friendly, and mega cute.

Those are wonderful motivations, right? But, Amanda, tell me like it is. What are the downsides?

Well I am here to tell you what I’ve found to be the tricky spots of cloth diapering.

1. Never Ending Laundry

Every 2-3 days I run a cloth diaper load in my washer. First, I do a cold wash with a little Tide powder to shake the ickies off. It’s followed by a hot wash with a cold rinse and LOTS of Tide powder to make sure my dipes get squeaky clean. Then it’s off to the dryer on low. Finally, once they’ve cooled I sit down with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (gasp!) and have a diaper stuffing party with myself while Josie plays nearby.

It feels like I do a lot of laundry but if I am being honest, I kind of like doing the monotonous work of stuffing. Probably only because it means I get ten minutes to watch my shows in peace. All in all, laundry is not as big a negative as I thought it would be.

Still worth it? You betcha.

2. Leaking

All brands of cloth diapers will eventually leak if they get over saturated or if you don’t properly fit them to your baby’s unique body shape. This can be a pain because the baby is constantly growing and there is a learning curve with how to fit a cloth diaper to those little legs. They also reach saturation point much quicker than disposable diapers. Like much much quicker. So you have to change the baby way more often to prevent leaking.

I will say that Josie has been known to leak #2 out of disposables on a consistent basis. She’s only ever leaked #1 from a cloth diaper so that’s a win for cloth in my mind.

Now that we’ve got our learning curve down and I know how to fit them to her body AND I know how often I need to change her, we’ve gotten into a routine that more or less prevents the dreaded leaks. It still happens on occassion but we typically have a spare outfit with us so it’s no big deal.

Still worth it? Yup.

3. Starting Solids

For the first 6 months of Josephine’s life, she was exclusively breast fed. That means all her poo was organic material that could be dissolved and washed off in the washing machine. I didn’t have to do anything to remove it before hand. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

But then she started solids…and this nearly broke cloth diapering for this Momma.

All of a sudden their poop begins to take shape when solids are introduced. And it’s no longer OK to simply throw it in the washer to dissolve. It must be removed.

AGH!!

This has to be the worst part of cloth for me. Most of the time her poo has been “plop-able” from diaper to toilet which isn’t that hard. But every now and again it’s “peanut-buttery” poo and I have to use the dreaded diaper sprayer to remove it. Let’s spare y’all the details but I have ended up with a poo and water splattered bathroom on many occasions due to my steep learning curve with the sprayer. Ugh.

I am getting smart though. I bought a pair of gloves to wear while I spray. I also purchased the Spray Pal to contain my spraying power. I’m also just getting better and my Rookie mistakes from the early days are becoming a distant memory.

Still worth it? Oh yea.

This summer Josie actually spent about 6 weeks in sposies while we traveled. Sure, they were convenient because I could just throw them out when I was done with them and they had a stripe in the middle that revealed when she was wet, but when it was time to go back to cloth I was actually relieved. I was glad to be back in our routine with cloth and most of all I was so happy to no longer have to budget for diapers any longer. Disposables are PRICEY y’all!

As you can see, there are legitimate cons to cloth diapering but at the end of the day, they are still worth it to me! 🙂

Money, Monthly Budget Breakdown

The August Budget Breakdown

August 1, 2015

Welcome back to the budget breakdown here at True Good and Beautiful!

 

We’re still on the road…

Yes there have been many adventures but we are ready to be home. Only a couple more weeks until you start hearing from us regularly once again!

Until then, lets get down to some budgeting.

In these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. No uploading of photos this month, due to being on the road.

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of August:

  • Back To School Season
    • New clothes
    • Tuition
    • Backpacks
    • School Supplies
  • Labor Day
    • Getaway
    • BBQ
  • Utilities increase
    • Air conditioning
    • Fans
    • Water bill
  • End of Season Deals (only if you really need it) 😉
    • Patio Furniture
    • Grills
    • Swimsuits
    • Clothes
  • Wedding Season (finally the tail end!!!)
    • Gifts
    • Travel

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like vacations or gifts.

Happy budgeting y’all!

Uncategorized

The July Budget Breakdown

July 1, 2015

Welcome back to the budget breakdown here at True Good and Beautiful!

I apologize for being more or less absent this past month but we’ve been on the road adventuring. We’ll be home in about another month so if you hear from us before then, awesome. If not? Don’t worry, we’ll be back.

This post is only happening because I simply couldn’t leave all you avid budgeters hanging!

Let’s dive back into some good ole budget accountability and fun!

In these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. No uploading of photos this month, due to being on the road.

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of July:

Adoption, Money

Adopting Again…How Soon is too Soon?

April 14, 2015

This is a topic that’s been on my heart lately.

I love being a mom. I really really love it.

Not only am I content and joyful with having Josie, I find myself being hopeful for future siblings for her to be close with while growing up.

But then I come up against the facts – siblings for Josie will likely happen through the means of adoption and not a miraculous pregnancy. Now, I am certainly not God nor do I claim to know his will for our family but by looking at my medical history…adoption will probably be how our family grows.

It’s no longer getting pregnant and watching my belly grow that fills my dreams now.

I dream of the adoption process and getting to do it all over again.

Filling out paper work. Having our lives examined and cross-examined. Connecting with a birth family. Being chosen to raise and love the most precious gift of all. Meeting our newest little one at the hospital. Taking the full milk supply I’ve painstakingly built for Josie and getting to continue breastfeeding both my babies.

And everything else that goes with adoption.

But then one thing stops me in my tracks: Money.

We fundraised a majority of the $25K+ for Josephine’s adoption. It was such a gift, honor, and privilege to have the love and support of so many behind us. I can’t tell you how humbled we were and still are that so many people walked our adoption journey by our sides.

But when is adopting again too soon? And can we actually fundraise again or will we get the stink-eye from people?

I don’t want this to come off wrongly but Josie is almost 6 months old…and if I had healthy fertility and was yet again cycling, Jonathan and I would likely begin trying to have a sibling for her. I really like the idea of having a few kiddos close in age to one another, no matter how crazy life would temporarily be. I would rather condense the wild and sleepless years together into as brief of time period as possible….

I can already hear God laughing at that one, as he prepares a nice curve ball for me. 🙂

With a natural pregnancy, the wait time is typically 9 months from conception through birth. With adoption? The average wait is 2-3 years!!!

I am well aware that our first adoption happened from start to finish in under 6 months. Highly unusual! I can’t say it wouldn’t happen that quickly again, but statistically it won’t.

That means that if we start the process all over again in a couple months time…we *might* have a second adoption by the time Josie is 3 or 4 years old. Still pretty close in age for siblings but it’s about as far a part as I would like.

This is when I start to get nervous though. We couldn’t afford adoption the first time around without significant help. We likely won’t be able to a second time around either. Part of me wonders if those cheerleaders from our first round will still be around for the next one. Did we wear our welcome? How soon is too soon?

If we were talking about natural conception, we wouldn’t have to factor in anyone else’s opinion…but I feel like with adoption we HAVE to weigh others opinions and perceptions…since we will likely rely on their help once again.

Hopefully we can start saving right away for future adoptions and be MUCH more prepared and not have to do as much last-minute fundraising. I also plan to do more adoption grant applications that we didn’t qualify for this first time around since things happened so quickly.

But what if we do need the help of others?

Will people judge us for trying for another adoption so “soon” not knowing we could be waiting around for 2+ years? Will people think we are free loaders who want handouts? Do people think we are not sacrificing enough lifestyle to save for adoption on our own? (Trust me when I say your jaw would drop on how little we spend on lifestyle as it is.) Should we be fundraising a higher annual income than we currently are, to build in the cost of future adoptions and not have to fundarise for adoption specifically at all?

These questions come from a place of prudent planning but also of fearing others. I don’t want to be there but I admit some days I am.

The other part of me remembers how special fundraising for Josephine was. I felt united to a large family…people cheering us on from around the globe. People who knew that by giving to us…they were primarily giving to God and doing his work. People happy to give, knowing it was not only a blessing to us but it was a blessing to them to be part of the story. Those memories are wonderful and make me believe fundraising again is possible.

Only time will reveal God’s will for growing our family and other’s reactions to how soon we choose to move forward on another adoption. We will keep praying about when and if God will call us to move forward on that.

Until then, I’m just going to think out loud with you here at True Good and Beautiful.

Feel free to let me know how this topic makes you feel.

Really. I am curious.

What is your gut reaction to us thinking about adopting (and mostly fundraising to adopt) again? You can always email me using the contact us page if you don’t want to share your thoughts publicly in the comments section. Thanks y’all!

Money

The April Budget Breakdown

March 31, 2015

Well hello again.

It”s yet again time for some good ole budget accountability and fun!

Again, in these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. Then we have a photo link up portion where YOU can upload a photo of your budget committee meeting for the month!

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of April?

  • EASTER!!
    • Festive Meal
    • Party
    • Gifts for family/friends/children/people becoming Catholic
    • Easter Egg hunts
    • Travel
    • Fun activities for the octave
  • March Madness
    • Championship game party/outing
  • Spring Cleaning Supplies
    • Mop, Broom, Vacuum
    • Organizational boxes
    • Filing Cabinet
  • Vehicle Maintenance
    • Car Washes or supplies
    • Oil change
    • Windshield Wipers
  • Expenses Related to Taxes
    • Accountant/CPA
    • Turbo Tax, etc.
    • E-Filing Fees
  • Birthday gifts
  • Wedding gifts
  • Summer vacation/wedding flights

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like birthday and wedding gifts. We tend to get slammed with Wedding gift expenses during the summer months and it’s so much easier if we put away a certain amount monthly for that time.

We are excited to have travel to Nebraska in our budget this month to see a friend enter the Catholic faith!! We haven’t spent Easter with family in almost 8 years so it will be really nice to be around them. We also have the last of our adoption expenses this month before Josie’s finalization in May! 🙂

Now it’s time for your part!

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