I want to thank everyone for your support with my recent job change and our drastic lifestyle change! It was so kind and encouraging to read everyone's supportive words.
Today I'm going to talk about a few of the decisions we made to accommodate my approximate $18,000 pay cut.
Yeah, I hate doing the math. Excuse me while I sob while looking at that number.
The biggest thing has been of course me not needing daycare other than my awesome neighbor who lets me drop Callie off for 10 minutes if Nate gets caught in traffic. According to google, not sending my newborn to daycare saves me on average over $11,000 a year. I'd say that's a pretty big leap towards making our ends meet.
The most trivial savings that has shown up in our day to day has been me eating at home for breakfasts and lunches. It was too easy to grab a coffee and bagel on my way to work, as well as have Jimmy Johns delivered to my desk (or when I was pregnant a hot Dub and Cookies) so the approximate savings based on my bank statements last year was well over $2100 (and honestly probably more since I'm home to make Nate a sandwich to take to lunch)
This means just between food and daycare I'm already over a $13,000 salary for myself.
Next would obviously be cloth diapering. Now, since we didn't pay for our diapers (because we used amazon gift cards from baby showers) we didn't add that to our monthly expenses. It always makes me kind of twitch when people say that cloth diapering saves so much money. Saving money to me indicates spending something and then not spending it anymore. Like, I am saving on cable by cutting my service- Boom- I just saved $50 a month. If I was doing disposables and switched to cloth I still wouldn't be saving money because I would have had to buy diapers.
I just didn't do anything. My diapering budget stayed constant- $0.
We have our utilities on a high average bill- meaning I told them to bill me slightly more than my monthly average. At the end of the year I should have a credit which should cover the increase in our water and electric usage.
But, if we are going with the "how-much-I-make-staying-home" scanario, according to the googles again (I figured I'd keep my sources to the happy box that comes up when you ask google a direct question- I'm fully aware these numbers may not be accurate for my area, but I'm rounding) if we had gone the disposable route, I would spend about $2,577.35 over the course of Callie's diapering existence.
I also breastfeed. Though while I do use my AMAZING Kiinde system (which I will promote until the cows come home) and that costs me money for my breastfeeding pouches, I am saving money on not having to use formula as well as the health benefits that the breastmilk provides. I am not going to put a monetary amount on this because it is just an impossible situation to tell.
Also, can you put a monetary amount on the cuteness of a daddy feeding his baby (and giving you a break in the process?)
We have had other simple "savings" as well. This includes things as simple as I'm happy to be home 98% of the time with my baby. I'm happy to be singing show tunes to my nursing baby, doing laundry and texting my mommy friends all day. And emotional happiness is saving us a lot of money. Even though it's honestly the hardest work I've ever done, I don't feel the need to go drop $300 on bullshit because I had a hard day at work, or my boss made me angry, or I just needed to be out somewhere. And, when the time comes for me to run over to the studio for a few hours I'm happy for the break! It uses a different part of my brain and allows me to not get vomited on for 3 hours (always a perk).
Another thing that has come from this is MOMMY FRIENDS. I have lived in this area for 5 years and never really clicked with anyone. I was too young to hang out with the older married couples but too...married to hang out with the younger couples. Kids are the world's greatest age equalizer. Hey, you have a kid? ME TOO! Hey, you nurse? ME TOO! You cloth diaper? OMG NO WAY.
This alone is worth the paycut to me.
Though at the end of the day, if you add the basics up, and put in my little salary from the art studio, we are just over breaking even to my full time job with the expenses of having a newborn.
So yes, I still took a paycut, but I'm happier, healthier, and I get to watch my child grow up. Which is worth a billion dollars to me.
What changes did you make when you had your children? What are some of your biggest successes and failures while adapting to a budget change?