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Posts tagged with: discount

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!


Ways to get by while on unemployment…

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My budget was already threadbare but living with 50% less salary and on unemployment benefits has forced us to find ways to somehow reduce more.

First, we cut our dental and vision insurance. This is something that can easily be re-instated but the $25 a month can help me now.

Second, I cancelled all my appointments health related or otherwise. None of my appointments were an emergency and I requested that my doctor renew my prescriptions without the annual check-up since the last 6 years have been clear of any problems. These appointments and tests run in the neighborhood of $500.

Third, I called my cable company to cancel our cable, reduce our internet speed, and reduce our phone service. I explained our situation and was surprised when they offered reduced internet costs, reduced phone costs, and added free services and free channels for a 12 month period. I would tell you how much I’m paying – but I’m afraid they’ll figure out they made a huge mistake and ‘correct’ the discount… or fire the guy who gave it to me. I would have cut out the internet and phone entirely but my husband needs internet for school purposes and job searching late at night when he gets home (free internet at the library is closed) and I’m uncomfortable without a home phone for emergencies.

Fourth, I contacted my student loan company for a deferment.

Fifth, my husband and I contacted friends and family and let them know we’d be available for odd jobs. Since unemployment doesn’t start for nearly a month after a job loss, my husband has done everything from pulling weeds to insulating walls. I have been helping a company with paperwork at night after work. We use this money for groceries and for the important bills like electric and water. At no time should you feel you are ‘too good’ for any type of job.

Sixth, we cut off all our subscriptions and memberships. If you’re like us, you may not even remember you have some of them since they are automatically billed to your credit card and you may not look at each item on your online statement. Some examples: gym memberships, club memberships, magazine and newspaper subscriptions (some automatically renew unless you cancel). Savings – $50 a month.

Seventh, we’ve been using more public transportation. It takes twice as long to get somewhere, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s far from fun, but it saves $50-$75 a month.

It’s not a lot, but each item buys us a little more time.


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