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Posts tagged with: baby shower

Money Down The Drain

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First, thanks for the responses, comments, and helpful feedback on my last post.

Edited update: I did type up a full proposal and email but, after thinking better of it, I never sent it. Instead, I sent an email asking for a brief meeting sometime in the next couple weeks and already received a reply that we’ll meet on the 20th. Further out than I’d like, but better than nothing. Then we can discuss the changes in roles/responsibilities and the mis-alignment between contract and current duties in person. One commenter suggested asking for the changes to be implemented in the next financial cycle (like future planning) instead of insisting on immediate change. I think that it makes sense for me to be flexible and open to that, if thats what’s necessary. Ultimately, though, all this will be discussed in person. Not via email. I’ll keep you updated. I sincerely thank you for your suggestions!

 

Today I just wanted to tell you a little story of how being more aware can save you money (or, rather, how failing to be aware COST me money).

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One of my friends is due with a second child in October. She had a baby shower over Labor Day that I had to miss since I was in Austin. I still wanted to get her a gift so I decided to shop Target.com since 1) she is registered there, and 2) I have a Target card so I get free shipping and 5% off all purchases.

Cool.

So I log in and pick out a couple things for her baby (a book for big brother and a 3-pack of onesies for the new baby). I thought it was a nice touch to throw in the “big brother” book. I try to stay around $15-25 for most gift-giving occasions (weddings, baby showers, birthdays, etc.) and the total cost of the gift was right at $25, so I was in that range.

But…

I have another friend who is organizing a big Lego drive for kids with cancer being treated at our local children’s hospital. One of her friends (an acquaintance of mine) has a son who has been battling cancer for 3 years (after 3 relapses at only 4 years old). I generally don’t do “Go Fund Me” or similar such things, but I felt moved to donate to this Lego drive for kids fighting cancer. So I added two $12 Lego sets to my Target.com order. My idea was to let my girls help wrap them up and go to drop them off at the Lego drive (they’d each have one to give).

With the legos added to my cart, my total was now right around $50. The Legos, alone, were about half of the total amount.

After placing my order I received the standard email from Target (I order from Target.com for most of my gift-giving occasions, so I have an account with them, etc.). The order looked correct, I saw the dates things would ship, and all was good.

Then a few days later…

I get a text from my friend with a ‘thank you’ and a picture of her son playing with one of the Lego sets I bought!!!

WHAT????

It turns out that since I ordered off her registry, it automatically shipped my order to her house. I didn’t even notice!!! Because I have an account with target.com I never have to enter my shipping information (it’s all saved), so I didn’t even realize that the gift wasn’t coming to me as I’d intended!

I immediately texted that I was so embarrassed it had gone straight to her – I thought it would come to me so I’d have an opportunity to wrap it, etc. She lol-ed and that was basically it. But because her initial photo was of her son playing with the open Legos package, I didn’t feel like I could ask for the other one back to give to the kids with cancer. And she didn’t inquire about why I sent 2 identical Lego packages (clearly not intended for a newborn baby). Left it at that.

Lesson learned.

Failing to pay more attention to what was going on caused me to spend an extra $25 (basically doubling the price of my “gift”) AND means that my donation didn’t happen. Not sure what to do about that one, as I feel guilty not donating to the cancer kids, but I also didn’t have planned to donate an additional $25 worth of stuff. Thoughts on that one?

Have you ever experienced a similar shipping snafu? If it were you, would you have asked for the other Lego package back, or just chalk it up as a lesson learned?


Learning to say thank you…

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I decided to gratefully accept the offers of my coworkers to have a baby shower at work – especially since I was asked twice more after I posted the question.

To be honest, I had kinda hoped for a tiny shower held in a janitorial closet involving only the lovely ladies who had specifically asked. By day’s end however, the event, originally scheduled in the smallest conference room, had to be moved to the largest one. The e-mail invitation was forwarded around the office like a fast moving virus.

On top of that, one of my co-workers gave me some items his grandson had outgrown including a swing and a bouncy seat. ‘I wish I would have known earlier! I would have given them to you months ago!’ he said.

For those of us digging our way out of the debt mess we made, it’s easy to slap away the hands seeking to help. I keep thinking, ‘I’m the idiot who got myself into this mess, I need to learn my lesson and get myself out.’ But part of the lesson we need to learn is…

Humility.

Foolish pride has got to go.

My husband and I have made great strides in saving money but we still haven’t met our goal amount to get through my leave and pay the hospital bills. Spending a bunch on baby supplies isn’t an option. Accepting help is a great lesson in humility AND a great reminder that we have some wonderful, wonderful people in our lives.

Don’t slap those helping hands away. Smile…

and say ‘thank you’.


The Gift Dilemma… AGAIN

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I hate being the center of attention. I don’t shine in the limelight, I look dreadfully uncomfortable. Trust me. I’ve seen photos of my wedding. Loved, loved, loved getting married… hated, hated, hated standing in front of the crowd.

Some wonderful ladies at work have approached me about throwing a baby shower at the office. Need I bring up my other issue? The one where I struggle accepting gifts?

Limelight and gift acceptance? Sounds about as awesome as my latest root canal.

BUT, hubby and I have nothing for the baby, we really need the help, and we could save money if we accepted their offer.

I’ve turned my co-workers down twice, gently and sweetly of course, but they asked yet again on Friday.

I guess this is the part where I work on getting over my pride and start appreciating that the folks in my life are genuinely interested in offering a great set of helping hands.

The only problem? I’m a bit miffed as to whether it is ‘proper workplace etiquette’ to accept their offer. This wouldn’t be the first baby shower thrown at work but I was a bit flustered when a co-worker said, ‘I heard the some ladies are trying to throw you a baby shower at the office and you turned them down. Good idea. Baby showers at work are so tacky!’

Well shoot! Now I don’t know what to do! Advice?


Newbie Registry Mistakes…

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I’m not very good at accepting gifts (or help for that matter) from others. It’s a horrible pride thing and a genetic trait according to my father. When my husband and I got married, I HATED putting together a gift registry. It seemed presumptuous to assume folks were buying gifts and something else altogether to tell them what to purchase. But I listened to my sweet mother who said, ‘Well how else will they know what you need?!?’

Registering was no romantic or joyful occasion. We didn’t dance around the store choosing dishware. It was more of a, ‘No honey, you can’t put a lava lamp or camping gear on the list. Necessities ONLY’ shouted to my poor husband to be.

My sister-in-laws are throwing me a baby shower and asked if I had created a registry yet. A feeling of dread filled my brain. Fortunately, I’m trying to get better at the whole, ‘my friends are the sweetest people, would like to buy gifts, and I better keep my self-righteous mouth shut… plus… I REALLY need help’, so I smiled and said I’d get to it.

My husband, remembering the last registry experience, wasn’t too excited to wander Babies R Us wielding a scanner with me. But, as with most registries, the store is willing to give us 10% off anything we don’t receive as a gift so at the thought of saving money on the horizon, I promised to behave.

We arrived at the store, registered our information, and started the trek. We hardly made it into the bottle section before realizing we had made a HUGE newbie mistake…

Neither one of us have any idea what a baby needs.

Sure, Babies R Us provides a list of a million items ‘babies can’t live without’, but common sense tells me the list is slightly exaggerated. Problem? I don’t know which items I don’t need and I’m not about to waste money – mine or someone else’s – on junk.

Two hours and 5 phone calls to my mother, my sister, and my sister-in-law later, we emerged with a concise list of necessary items. Sure there were a few statements I made a bit too loudly like, ‘No honey. I’m NOT putting a teething ring on there. The kid won’t get teeth for like 18 months. Oh. Um. 12? Wait. When do kids get teeth?!?’ To which my husband responded with a firm grip to my hand dragging me to another section while laughing loudly as if I had made a joke, then he’d say through gritted teeth, ‘Don’t EMBARRASS me!’ By the end, I think he was truly terrified Child Protective Services was going to jump out from behind the crib section like undercover CIA agents ready to arrest us for parental stupidity before our child is even born.

Thankfully, CPS didn’t arrest us, the list is done, and no… there isn’t a lava lamp on there. Though, my husband did manage to sneak a Dr. Seuss book on when I wasn’t looking.

Whew!


Pick Today to be Happy…

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I went to a baby shower for a woman I work with.

And yes, I know I ended the above sentence with a preposition but sometimes, ending sentences with prepositions is the only way to not sound like Yoda.

Anyway – She is upper management and comes from a wealthy family. It didn’t cross her mind that, in a company full of employees who have been on a salary freeze for two years, it’s inappropriate to ask for six car seats. Yes. Six.

Heck, it’s probably inappropriate in any crowd.

She said she needed one for each of her cars… and then threw in that she needed six cars because she has six houses.

Financially, she’s where I want to be. Wait… she’s way past where I want to be. But the reality is, she keeps talking about being ‘happy tomorrow’. She’ll be happy when ‘this’ happens or happy when ‘that’ happens. Those things come and go yet her anger and resentment stay.

I wanted to shake the unhappy look off her face and scream ‘Lady! You’ve got money, a husband, and a healthy baby. What are you waiting for to be happy?!?!’

Hmm.

What am I waiting for to make me happy? Will being debt free be the one thing that puts a permanent grin on my face?

I know the answer to that and yet I still place my happiness in tomorrow.

Perhaps that’s something I need to work on.