Childcare costs and financial independence

Childcare Costs – Balancing Finances & Family When Working Toward Financial Independence

As parents, it’s easy to meet single professionals in their late 20’s who are well on their way to an early retirement (or already living the dream) and think two things: “Darn, I wish we would have started earlier” and, “But they don’t have kids!” FIRE envy aside, one big question working families with kids must tackle is how to deal with childcare expenses.

If we both work full-time, how can we minimize childcare expenses? Should one of us cut back to part-time or fully stay at home? What other sources of income can we create to offset these costs? What is best for our kids and our family right now?

These are all questions we’ve asked and over the years, we’ve tried quite a few different arrangements with work and childcare to find the right balance between finances and what is best for our family.

Here’s our experience and tips for managing costs. Continue reading

March Budget (and Spending Freeze)

🎵 🎵 “We’re going on a spending freeze, a spending freeze, a spending freeze. We’re going on a spending freeze, will we succeed?”🎵 🎵

As we’ve written about before, we periodically do a spending freeze (or “no spend”) month when we want to reign in our spending and reset our mentality about buying unnecessary stuff.

So, here’s our plan and budget for March. We’re sharing to keep us accountable. Wanna join us? Continue reading

Curbing Consumerism in Kids

Curbing Consumerism with Our Kids (and Ourselves)

We do our best to teach our kids about money and spending decisions… but there’s no getting around the fact that consumerism can be a big hook on our kids (and on ourselves).

It’s a fact of our modern society. Ads, shopping, and consumerism are all around us. They surround our kids, too, who see 40,000 commercials each year. Forty-thousand! With all these messages around buying, needing, and consuming, it’s no surprise many parents struggle with too many toys and too many “can I have this?” at the store.

Which begs the question… Continue reading

Needs vs. Wants – Teaching Kids the Difference

Identifying wants vs. needs is a helpful tool for curbing spending – for both kids and adults. I mean, how many times have we heard our kids say, ” But I just need those new jeans.” Or, “I just have to get the newest Xbox game.”

I’m guilty as well! “I need these new yoga pants. And also this big box of wine.” Do we really need it? Really? Continue reading

How (and Why) We Became a One-Car Family

Last year, we decided to give back our leased car and become a one-car family. We often get questions about how we “get by” with only one car, especially as a busy family of four. Here’s why we decided to go this route, and how we do it. Continue reading

2017 – A Year of Intentional Living

As my husband and I sat down to brainstorm and prioritize our goals for 2017, a theme came up over and over – to live intentionally.

The definition of intentional is simple – “done on purpose; deliberate.”

In all areas of our life, we aim to be thoughtful and deliberate, rather than falling back on old habits. To slow down a bit. To think in the big picture. To be flexible, but focused.

Here is how we aim to live intentionally this year, and how it is shaping our goals for the year ahead. Continue reading

Ditching Paper Towels for Good

A few months ago, I was shopping at Costco for our large monthly grocery haul. Paper towels were on the list, and as I stared at the mega box our family would blow through, I thought, “Do I really want to spend $20 on paper towels?” The answer was no. Instead,  I bought a dozen white dish towels for $10. Without giving it much preemptive thought, operation ditch paper towels had begun. Continue reading