The frugal student is now a frugal mom of a precious newborn baby girl. So I have added another angle to my life and another "hat" as one of my favorite blogs, http://www.4hatsandfrugal.com/ calls it. I now am a student, a landlord, a wife and a mother. Let the craziness begin.
I do plan to take a page from another favorite blog, http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/, and track how much I spent and spend on the baby. I do also plan to include some of the eating out during the pregnancy, since normally I just would have gone home. Look for the first post of that series soon.
I've learned a lot over this pregnancy and my time in the hospital. Prior to this I was like so many of financial blogger, planning down to the last penny. Well, I have figured out that does not work when it is not just you,especially when you are in transition. When you are in transition, having flexibility as well as a budget seems to be key. So is savings to be honest. We did not have flexibility in our savings because I thought I had figured all that I needed and I found out I got into graduate school a few days before I found out I was pregnant so not much flexibility there either. So how did we make it work? Well, we got creative and we asked for help.
I let people know that we planned to shop at consignment stores, so they knew we would take used items. A professor who had just finished having kids heard and gave us a lot. Obviously I also did shop at the consignment shop as well as craigslist and got some great deals. Also, we took help when it was offered. One of my friends threw me a baby shower and my husband's family did the same when he went back to their area for a conference. We received a bunch of things we had already budgeted to buy, as well as other useful items we would have never thought of. This, thankfully, gave us some flexibility, which we definitely needed because we missed a lot of things, including not planning for an insurance miscommunication which cost us over $100. Also, once I got into graduate school, I knew that we would get a federal tax break on my tuition costs. I added it up and realized that I could add an additional exemption for 2012. This gave us some higher cash flow during my pregnancy, instead of a large refund in April. You might wonder why I don't expect to get my refund earlier than April. I have classes, my daughter, sleep, lab work, a rental to list and show in March and April as well as this blog to do. I have inputted some of our tax information but we do have a lot between both my job and my husband's, the rental, the interest payments (consider a high yield checking if you have an EF) and our tuition expenses. I also have to keep up with regular bills. Taxes will probably end up on the backburner for a little while. If I have extra time, I'll do them early but I won't plan for it.
I have discovered that being a college student and then having a kid comes with a strange benefit. College students are used to running on low sleep for short periods of time. My husband and I have been catching cat naps of 3 hours at a time and are still coherent a week later. Since he is back at work already, I kicked him out of the room last night so he could get a full night sleep, and he will spell me this weekend. Hopefully between the two of us, we can keep in up for the six months it takes for little ones to get better at sleeping at night.
So that is what is up in the crazy life of the frugal student.