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Saturday, August 16, 2008


Okay, so I've been thinking about doing this post for a while and it might actually have to come in a couple of installments.

There was a time when we were DINKs. That's Double Income No Kids. Then, all of a sudden we went from being DINKs to SIWKs. Single Income With Kid.

July 25, marked our 1 year anniversary of Abbey's last full-time paycheck. In the past couple of weeks, a few people have said, "How do you do it?" So, here's my attempt to explain how we do it.

Being on only 1 regular income makes you really have to think about the things that you buy and the way you spend money.

Some things we did when we were DINKs:

1. We had a housekeeper who came 1 every 2 weeks.
2. We ate out several nights a week.
3. I ate out almost everyday at work.
4. We went to Target at least once a week and ALWAYS made a purchase.
5. We pretty much spent money exactly the way we wanted too.

Now, we also paid our share of stupid tax. Me especially. I've had quite a few different cars since Abbey and I have been married. We also leased one car (MISTAKE!). Now, though, we have a Jeep that's paid for and has 147,000 miles, and a van that is not paid for. We bought it used and thankfully, bought it almost a year before we got Reed. It should be paid for within a couple of years. I wish that we would have doubled up payments when we were DINKs.

As SIWKs, we have a few things that we are trying to do to make sure we are wise with our money.

1. We tithe.
2. I still contribute 7% of my income to retirement. My employer also contributes, so that is a helpful addition.
3. We try to pay down our debts.

So, all that to say, how do we do it?

I'm not exactly sure, but I can tell you what we do.

1. We pay our bills. We try to be conservative with our energy usage, so that those bills are as reasonable as possible.
2. I carpool. Abbey limits how much she drives.
3. We limit the number of times we eat out.
4. Abbey plans our menus for two-weeks and shops accordingly.
5. My CVS habit (yeah, you've made fun of it) has kept us from having to buy things like deoderant, shampoo, body wash, medicines, etc.
6. Abbey does get income from writing, which we normally put directly towards bills.
7. Abbey works a night a week when possible at the Catfish House. We use this money for "fun" money.
8. We try to be thrifty with Reed's clothing purchases. Abbey and I are going to be thrifty too, but we haven't really bought any clothes for ourselves.
9. Whenever we get money for gifts, we always try to use it really on ourselves, because it is the only time we really get to splurge on something for ourselves.
10. I take my lunch to work, although I do eat out 1 day a week usually.

I am sure that there are a few other things, but one thing that I think is very important is that you take time to go out to eat, or do something fun. If you become so intense on trying to be thrifty you will go crazy.

Some things we don't do are:

1. Save a lot of money. We put what we can away, but that is not very common. That's why we are careful to still put towards my retirement.
2. We try not to add anything to credit cards. If we do pay for something with a credit card, we try to pay it off when the bill comes. (Note: we are still paying on our trip to Taiwan).
3. We don't rush out and make purchases larger than $25.00. Sometimes, we don't even rush out and buy groceries. We learn to make do.

So, why do we do it?

1. At this point in our lives as parents, we feel like it is God's plan for Abbey to stay home with Reed. Can that change? Yes, but at this point, we are thankful that God has helped us make it this far.
2. Have you been looking at those pictures that have accompanied these picture? Every financial strain or sacrifice we've had to make is completely worth it!

Things to think about:

1. With such financial pressure, how will we afford to bring home Ava? We're praying about that, and we'd love for you to pray with us. We are in the process of exploring some options.
2. Last year when Abbey went to work as a full-time mom, gas prices were $2.26 a gallon. Assume a gas usage of 10 gallons a week per Land vehicle, and then an average gas price of $3.75 (thankfully, ours has dropped to $3.49), but that's about 1.50 more a gallon. That's a difference of $30.00 a week. That's $1560.00 more per year. Now, that's not the only price that has risen in the past year.
3. Faith. You've got to have it. There are times when you want to throw in the towel and say, "Abbey's got to go back to work," but it's during those times that our faith has to be strong that we are following God's will for our lives.
4. I don't think that we will ever have an experience that we will say, "I wish that Abbey could have spent more time at work." Being able to help Reed grow up is an incredible blessing.

So, are you more confused than ever?

That was all heavy, so I will lighten things up with this picture. Reed had a blanket over his head and thought it was so funny.

This smile was plentiful today! Reed was so happy!

He had a blast tonight with Miss Candace. We had a choir party.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating, WE ARE SO BLESSED!

P.S. Reed went to sleep with very little fuss tonight!
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