A friend of mine said to me yesterday, “I’ll be interested to see how you are able to maintain your frugality when the baby comes.”
Ahem, yes. I’ll be interested in that myself.
I certainly won’t be able to bake as much. I remember that when my girl was smaller–it was next to impossible to have 10 minutes to do food prep without her wanting mommy. It was as if the very act of putting my attention toward something else made her want to be with me MORE!
So, the same goes for meals. How many meals will I be able to make from scratch compared to now? Right now it’s close to 100%, but I’m sure it will change with 2 kids clamouring for my attention.
Also, home made gifts will probably fly out the window.
And forget about canning or preserving.
Hmmm . . .
But on the other hand, I’m sure there will be things I can hold on to. For one, once we stop paying the babysitter and my Mat leave starts, my income will go up somewhat, which should help to accelerate the debt reduction.
Another frugal change with 2 will be less travel. MUCH less travel, I hope! When our daughter was born we headed down to Toronto with her 3 or 4 times and it was always much more costly than we thought it would be. We cut that out when we started our belt-tightening, but it was a cost in those early days that I know we won’t have again.
And I’m planning to cut back on entertaining. Not that we do it often, but it always costs a extra to put food on the table for 6 and a half intead of 2 and a half. Or if we do entertain, we can stick to breakfast and lunch dates, which are always cheaper and easier, and interfere with schedules a whole lot less.
Some other strategies I will consider:
– getting/finding a bread maker. Then all you do for bread is stick the ingredients in and press “go”. I know this is one item that most people end up getting rid of after a couple years of not actually using it. But, to paraphrase Tobias and Lindsay, “Could it work for me?” “You know, I think it just might!”
– using the crock pot, especially for things like veggie chili and veggie curry that require little-to-no extra prep (browning of ingredients before adding)
– not moving apartments. When our daughter was born, we had only really been here for about 7 months. We still had boxes to un-pack and much of the space was simply not optimized. When Tiny Baby arrives, we’ll have been here for just over 3 years and our use of the space is much more refined. We have much further to go, but the rule still applies: a more efficient home is less costly.
– continuing our low-key lifestyle. Basically this means, we stick around home a lot. We go to the park and use the library. We invite my brother & his girlfriend over. We take neighbourhood walks and check out what’s going on in the outside venues. We don’t go to the mall any more than we have to, we don’t shop as a hobby, we don’t visit expensive theme parks, etc. By keeping things simple we save a lot of money.
I know that once the end of September rolls around, things are going to change–big-time–and I’m sure we’ll end up ording in for pizza and buying grocery store barbecued chickens more often than we plan for. But if we can maintain some of the essentials of frugality, I think we can get through #2 without too much of an additional strain on our budget.