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Final Update from Adam and Emily

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Finally, the most important update of all! Shortly after we stopped blogging in 2014, Emily and I learned that we were expecting our firstborn daughter! We had been hoping for a gift from the stork and were overjoyed by the news. We spent most of last year in anticipation of our arrival, and she came into the world on Thanksgiving Day last year with our family all around us! It was the blessing of a lifetime. She is perfectly healthy and is one of the happiest babies we’ve ever seen. She’s now 5 months old and is doing very well, above the 99th percentile in height. We are blessed beyond measure and had a fabulous holiday season. Emily has done a great job taking care of her as a stay-at-home mom.

baby family

Financially, adding to our family was not the impact I expected it to be. We are grateful for a generous insurance policy that minimized our out-of-pocket medical expenses. I didn’t track it precisely, but I think we probably paid about $1000 out of pocket for all of Emily’s prenatal care and labor and delivery costs. We are thankful to have been able to pay it in cash (although I milked the hospital’s 0% interest policy to wait until our tax return arrived to pay the final bill). Friends and family have been more than generous with supplies and clothing and gift cards! Emily did a great job of thrifting and finding a ton of the stuff we had to buy at a deep discount used. I believe our Jenny Lind crib was about $30 used in perfect condition. We painted the nursery ourselves and I made some floating shelves, and we bought some cheap Ikea curtains and a used Pottery Barn changing table/dresser for I think $60, and a used daybed for the nursery for $75.

I also noticed that although there are some extra costs associated with the baby, like diapers and clothes, I have a hunch that we actually haven’t increased our overall spending, because we don’t eat out or go out as much, and have probably been spending less on things like personal care and other things for ourselves. I’m sure child costs will go way up as she gets older, but for now it’s probably been a wash financially month to month.

In the flood of emotions that a father-to-be experiences in anticipation of his daughter, I also made a toybox out of reclaimed cedar fence pickets that turned out so well it may become an heirloom piece! That was a fun project.

toybox

Emily decided not to keep refinishing furniture during her pregnancy to make sure we didn’t take any health chances with the baby and chemicals/fumes. She picked up a couple different retail sales jobs through 2014 to help us get ready for the costs of the baby as well. Her extra income really made a huge difference in offsetting the little costs that pop up, and we also took a quick Baby-moon to Puerto Rico last fall that we absolutely loved! A babymoon vacation is a splurge to be sure, but PR has great airfare rates, and we planned our own itinerary at reasonably priced hotels and ate well at local places for a decent amount of money. And another getaway for the two of us is nowhere in sight, so I’m glad we did it.

Odds and Ends
Thanks for reading and commenting on all of our updates. As I mentioned we’ve been busy, and we’ve made great financial progress, and are almost debt-free! Here are some additional odds and ends that might tie off some threads from our previous blogs.

– Our cars now have 210,000 and 85,000 miles. The older one is going to have to be replaced soon. I had hoped to get 250,000 miles out of it, but I have my doubts, as things keep breaking. I am tempted by some of the new pickup trucks on the market, but I am committed to never paying another car payment again in my life. We’ll be saving toward a car during the next year or so as well.

– We never have done a great job of getting back onto a monthly spending plan. I did start direct depositing the money needed for monthly bills into a separate account to pay bills directly, so our checking account gets whatever is leftover and that’s all available for spending. We are managing to keep our spending under control overall just by making sure we don’t blow our checking account.

– I also took a risk and signed up for a rewards credit card last year. We had desired to do more travel to see family, and so we thought that playing the miles and points game might enable us to afford more travel. So far it’s been great, but I don’t recommend it for everyone…the temptation is always there to spend more than we can pay off every month. But we’ve been able to put some monthly bills directly on the credit card to rack up points on spending we’d do anyway. I ended up signing up for the Chase Ink card which had a 50,000 points bonus if you signed up inside the branch. It’s a business card, which they let me have because I have rental properties, and interestingly, doesn’t seem to hit my personal credit report at all.

– I have been using the website Credit Karma to monitor my credit and I really like the changes they’ve made recently. You now have access to 2 free full credit reports all the time. After some late payments on my rental property in 2010 that hit my credit score, I have finally rebuilt my scores to the 740 range. Not that I plan to use it anytime soon, unless we decide to purchase a home in California.

That’s about all I can think of to bring you up to speed on!  Maybe we’ll check in again in the future as we get closer to knocking out that student loan or as we get on our feet in California.  Godspeed!

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13 Comments

  • Reply Cheryl |

    That was a great update. What an adorable baby, that picture with you kissing her is priceless. Good luck in the future. Cute room too. Cheryl

  • Reply Angie |

    Congrats! I’ll admit my first thought was, “EEEK! They’re going to have to find a two bedroom in Silicon Valley!”

    Take care!

  • Reply Kim |

    Congratulations!!!!! I just had my daughter in early December, so I absolutely know the joy a baby brings to your life! I’m so jealous of Emily for getting to stay home! The financial impact of our daughter has been HUGE! I hate that $850 monthly daycare bill!!!! I hope you guys continue to keep us updated through the move, etc.

    • Reply adam |

      Thank you Kim! Emily has been sort of thinking about going back to work, but then the move came up. So we’ll re-assess when we get moved.

      Check out the book The Two-Income Trap – it might change your thinking around staying home vs. working.

  • Reply Ashley |

    Yay!!!! Congrats to you and Emily! I was suspicious that this may be the case. ; )
    I, too, hope you’ll continue to pop in from time to time with updates (especially the big “We’re Debt FREEEEEE!!!!!!!” update) Good luck on your journey!

  • Reply Alexandria |

    Wow, that is a doozie of an update! Congrats! (I didn’t see it coming). P.S. Forget the 2 bedroom. Get used to the idea of a 1-bedroom. 😀 Actually, you can probably easily afford a 2-bedroom condo if you aren’t too picky on location. (Our 3-bedroom condo in Bay Area is worth about $300k today and we didn’t pay much less than that. At the time we owned it (2000-2002) it cost $3,500 per month to rent the same apartment. !!! You may seriously consider condo ownership. I probably didn’t think to mention since I Didn’t realize you had a child).

    Honestly, I think having kids has made us save more money than we ever would otherwise. There are certainly more expenses and obstacles, but now that our kids are 10/12 I also think we will be able to retire much younger than we ever planned before. It’s relative. We used to save my spouse’s entire income and certainly that would have been the fastest pace to an early retirement. (Instead he’s been home with our kids for 13 years). BUT… We never would have been motivated otherwise to get our expenses down so much, otherwise. So we have learned to live very comfortably on WAY less. Of course, many people in your shoes spend tons and tons on new baby gear and it sounds like you have been more sensible. In a lot of ways it is as expensive as you make it.

    • Reply adam |

      Thanks Alexandria. We’ll add condos on to our list of things to look at. We are really nervous about housing in SV.

  • Reply Sarah |

    As a gal from SV, I would love to know where you end up and what you do about housing. The real estate market goes up and down here and right now, things are crazy. I was just reading about a one bedroom renting in SF for $3800 per month. Just nuts. I hope you can find something affordable that you like.

  • Reply Sue |

    That toy box is absolutely beautiful (as is the girl it was made for) – definitely something that would be handed down in our family!!! Good luck!!!

  • Reply T'Pol |

    CONGRATULATIONS! That is such a sweet baby. Wish your family a long, prosperous and healthy life!

So, what do you think ?