Do you like family entertainment? Who doesn’t, right! But the price tag these days can put a big dent in a family budget, that’s why it is a great option now to stream shows and movies instead of watching them on the regular cable. Even more than that – with Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player you can also watch live TV, YouTube, or look through photos straight on your TV from all your family’s devices.¹
Here is what you need to cut down the costs associated with your cable. Get Google Chromecast here – http://bby.me/8mht4
Stream from your phone to TV
Plug Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV and to power and stream your favorite entertainment right from your phone with just a tap. Watch shows, listen to playlists, and more. And while streaming, you can still use your phone as you normally do.
Works with the streaming apps you know and love
Enjoy TV shows, movies, videos, songs, games, sports and more from over 2000 apps like Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW. Find more at g.co/chromecast/¹
Start streaming with just your voice
Just say what you want to watch from compatible apps and control your TV hands-free, with Chromecast and Google Home working seamlessly together.²
“Ok Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my living room TV.” ¹
Upgrade your TV for less
Expand your home entertainment without buying a new TV. It’s so affordable you can get one for every TV in the house.
High-speed wireless connectivity
Built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi connects to the Internet through your wireless home network (wireless router required and sold separately).
Compatible with your existing HDTV
Easily connects to high-definition televisions with HDMI connectivity.
¹ Subscriptions are required to view some content.
² Google Home, Chromecast, and compatible content required to cast to a TV using Google Home.
Web-based services and content require high-speed Internet service. Some services may require a subscription.
Just over a month ago we welcomed our new baby daughter into our family, and I have promised to write all about it. It has definitely been a journey so far and will continue to be for a few more months. Probably one of the more challenging journeys we have had to experience so far. I have been away from the blog for quite some time now, focusing on the tasks at hand at home to help with what needs to be done for our baby.
No two babies are born the same, this is true for our family as there have been challenges with every baby we have had, and they have always been different. Every sibling has their own birth and growing up story, and overcoming difficulties has been something we have been doing for most of them. This latest baby has been a lot of work, and we are hoping that all that she has had to endure so far will be resolved, and just make her that much stronger in the future.
As we have had to face a few medical challenges, we have also had to face the fact that we need to save more now that we have 4 children, and a challenging baby being one of them. When you are working through some of those medical problems, thinking about the money side of everything can be quite devastating.
Luckily each issue she is dealing with medically is not a permanent condition and should get resolved within the near future for her. We have been fortunate to be able to use our medical insurance for most of the expenses related to our baby’s needs, but there are still many household expenses that need to be considered and dealt with.
I have decided to come up with a list of ways to save for the future before and after you have a baby. If you are planning for a new baby coming soon, I hope you can find some ideas in this list that you can use in your daily life. And please let me know in the comments if you have any additional advice on how to save before and after the baby is born, what can be modified in your lifestyle, and if you have tried any of the tips that I am listing.
Look into getting good medical insurance for your newborn.
If you are planning to travel, are between jobs or are thinking about moving to a new location, ensure that any medical needs for your newborn are met. It is important to have good pregnancy checkups and follow-ups but not every problem can be found before the baby is born. And while hoping for the best is a good coping mechanism, you should always be prepared for the worst situation and try to deal with it to the best of your ability. The best way to do that is ensuring that the newborn has health coverage that he/she needs. Inquire about the available plans through your job, or an insurance agency where you live, or are moving to, and be ready to get the coverage that your child needs. We haven’t had to worry about a lot of medical expenses despite all of the medical issues we had to deal with as we have a good medical insurance. This year we have been able to save the amounts equal to most people’s mortgage or school debt due to the fact that we have medical coverage, and we won’t be paying a whole lot more as we have already maxed out our family out of pocket expenses.
Save on baby’s needs by reusing what your other children had to wear and play with growing up.
Instead of throwing away some of the used equipment, mixed up toys and older style clothing from your other children, go through everything that you have on hand. Things can be washed and mended, anything broken can be fixed, and parts and pieces that have been lost you can try to find and put together again. We have gone through a lot of older toys and have been able to find parts of games we thought had been long lost. We have gone through and washed all of the clothing that our children wore when they were little – we haven’t thrown anything out, and it has been possible not to have to buy any additional clothing for the newborn so far, just through using what we already have – that’s quite a bargain!
Save money on home care and household help.
After the first few days after our baby’s birth I was panicking and thinking I was going to need to hire a nanny in order to keep up with all of the new tasks that I need to fulfill caring for my baby and the rest of the household. I thought the only way to overcome the frustration with not being able to keep up would be hiring some help. I even created an ad online trying to recruit help but ended up not using it… despite the fact that our baby actually requires even more care time than was apparent at the beginning. Fortunately, we have managed to find a groove to care for her without any outside help.
The way to manage is delegating and engaging help that you don’t need to pay for. If you have friends or relatives you can ask them for help if you need it, they will be happy to provide it when you ask. We have managed to engage our older children to contribute to the family more so far, and the tough first few weeks are almost over now. We have settled into a routine, and there doesn’t seem to be a need in any outside assistance at the moment. We are able to manage without any paid care provider.
Make a set of things that need to be done daily and delegate tasks to different family members to get the job done. If you have a baby that needs regular medical interventions, learn if there is something you can do at home instead of always going to the doctor’s office. Don’t be intimidated by the tasks, try to settle in the routine, and it is guaranteed that you will be able to save money if you try and manage the tasks daily with everyone’s participation. So far, we have managed to avoid tens of thousands of spending associated with home care assistance, babysitting and house cleaning costs.
Saving on daily expenses for the baby
Some of the most important expenses for a new baby are food and diapers. This is where you need to focus to keep the costs down.
If you can, breastfeeding is best for baby and the least expensive option. Sometimes pumping expressed breastmilk is the only available option if your new baby is unable to breastfeed for whatever reason. Some Mommies return to work shortly after the birth, and so in order to provide adequate nutrition for the baby, the Mommy will have to continue pumping milk while at work. Most workplaces provide accommodations for lactating mothers; however it may be a very difficult journey to try to do to ensure your baby gets breastmilk. In my experience pumping breastmilk is a very tedious process, and it is hard to establish, as well as maintain. Many struggle with adequate supply or get discouraged by just how difficult it can be to have to pump milk, and also then find time to feed the baby, and deal with all of the washing of supplies as well. According to the CDC, “The percentage of babies who start out breastfeeding increased from 73% among babies born in 2004 to 83% among babies born in 2014.” However, not all of the mothers are able to continue breastfeeding for much longer than the first few months due to all of the difficulties. It is ok to start formula at any time if you have to, however, not having to purchase formula can mean significant savings over the first year of the baby’s life when breastmilk or formula are the only food apart from the solid food that the baby needs.
Saving on diapers is an important part of the overall savings strategy. So many brands are out there but we have been trying out Signature Care diapers and have noticed that while the quality is perfect for our baby’s skin, there are significant savings associated with this brand. Diapers have always been a big expense for our family as we have rarely used cloth diapers, and the brands that we would usually buy cost a fortune. Trying out Signature Care baby diapers has been a great experience, and I feel I can rely on these diapers, and can concentrate on my baby’s needs without having to worry about rashes or sogginess.
Have you ever tried this brand of diapers? If so, let me know in the comments if you like them. And if you haven’t tried them yet, right now there is a deal available for Signature Care diapers. After you fill out a form http://bit.ly/2OCmDZm, you will receive a free 5 count sample of Signature Care diapers and a $2 off coupon to use on any Signature Care diaper or Training Pant product!
As we have been transitioning from a Newborn sized diaper to Size 1 diapers I have noticed that the smaller size does not provide enough leakage protection any more, and we need to feel confident and to not have to worry about constant laundry. The diapers from Signature Care provide that assurance and I don’t need to worry about leaks for up to 12 hours. I love the wetness indicator that changes color from yellow to blue when it is time to change my baby – I don’t remember having this feature years ago with my older children and can’t believe how useful it is to know exactly when to change the baby. This feature is available in most of the more expensive diaper brands, but also in Signature Care brand, which is more affordable. Signature Care is all about quality and value.
My babies have always struggled with diaper rashes that they would get from some brands that we would try. I am happy to note that Signature Care diapers are very breathable and keep the baby dry and comfortable.
I have mentioned a few tips that we have been using so far to help us cope with the costs of having a baby, and these tips have saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars in total. Compared with the savings, our out of pocket costs to keep up with this baby are very minimal, considering the fact that the baby has so many health challenges. Please, comment on the post describing how you have managed to cope with the cost challenges of having a baby, and if you have tried any of the tips mentioned in this blog post!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Signature Care diapers.
Lucy Gingham Check Cardigan. <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Add some fun and colour to your spring wardrobe with this super cute Lucy gingham cardigan! It has a crew neck, elbow length sleeves and six mushroom buttons, and can be worn with a high waisted skirt or jeans! You can also wear it as a button-down jumper or open and thrown over a dress! </span></p><p class=”p1″> </p><p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>• Material: 100% Cotton </span></p><p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>• Care: 30 degrees machine wash. </span></p><p class=”p1″> </p><p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>< Size & Fit > </span></p><p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″><span class=”s1″>• Fits true to size. </span> </span></p><p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>• Length: From the shoulder to the hem 18 inches. </span></p><p class=”p1″>• Please see the <span style=”color: #000000;”><a style=”color: #000000;” href=”http://www.weekenddoll.co.uk/Sizes.html”>Collectif’s size </a> </span>guide. </p>
“Absolutely no crop tops, ever, unless they’re layered over a longer shirt, ideally a button-down. Tank tops are best when they’re more structured, like a sleeveless shirt. Otherwise, wear them under a lightweight blazer or cardigan, and make sure that the straps are wide enough so that your bra doesn’t show.”
Meena with her daughter Nainika at the IIFA Utsavam Awards • South India Fashion
I think this might be the most color I’ve worn in my entire life. It doesn’t help that my hair is bright a$$ blue. My brother calls me “Blue Mands Group” and honestly, it’s funny and clever af so I don’t mind. If you got any witty nicknames for ya girl send em’ my way. I’m blue (da
Can You Spot What’s *Very* Wrong With This Skin-Care Chart?
Forever 21 Crop Top, Target Pants (can you believe it?!), Steve Madden Heels I get so many women who tell me that they don’t know how to wear camouflage pants, or camouflage anything. The simple and easy way to wear camouflage pants is to pair with a solid color top. Camouflage pants will
Boohoo satin blouse, $30 / MANGO blue jeans, $40 / Nicholas Kirkwood black sandals, $449 / Gucci shoulder handbag, $4,900 / Wedding band ring, $3,200 / Diamond jewelry, $2,020 / Eddie Borgo gold je…
If you like this post, please, let us know in comments which fashion trends you like the most, and we will try to discover more offers for you that you like! For more fashion ideas, please read more posts on our blog here – http://boxroundup.com/category/fashion/
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To be honest, this is my biggest challenge for every spring – the tax season! It actually takes me weeks and weeks to put together my taxes every time. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but by the time I am ready with my paperwork the deadline has almost always already passed. I usually ask for an extension as there is no way I am ever ready when it is due, but once I send it my paperwork I do often have to wait for quite a while to receive my refund, provided there is a refund, and I find it difficult to wait for it.
This wait for the tax cash can take quite a bit of time, especially if I am filing late, and the way I usually file taxes is all on paper, manually, so there is usually quite a long lag to wait till I get that refund in my hands.
Luckily, there are ways to go about it without going completely broke without any money while waiting for a refund. I am not sure if you are familiar with this service, but there is a company called Check Into Cash that will take care of just that – there is not need to wait for that tax refund any more. Check Into Cash is a national leader in providing short-term small dollar credit solutions that are affordable for anyone – http://fmtc.co/82f3617f?sid=115.563
Our main problem is usually two-fold. Almost every month of the year we have emergencies with money issues. Some emergencies we could be putting money away for but we are not, some are truly things that we have not expected. What’s up this year? Not sure if I have shared this on the blog yet, but we have recently had a small car breakdown, actually had the car totaled, and just recently had to get a new car. Now we are in a payment plan to be paying both the old car still, and the new car until at least the fall, then it will just be the finance offer for the new car.
Another news story from our family – our older kids just got braces, and while we knew this was coming, we didn’t really know when that would be the time to do them, and finally it kind of just fell on our heads now, the car and the braces, like a big snowball, the size of a snowman’s head. The snow on the head has melted away with the first few rays of sun, and not sure if those were tears in the eyes, or the melting snowman’s head, but we are completely soaked in bills, and are sure not too happy about this money expenditure. Now we have to, all of a sudden, find funds to cover those two big money outlays that we did not budget for at all. This is on top of the fact that we are daily overspending on food and living expenses. Yeah, money is really tight here right now. Well, who is not in the same boat? Most people are, I would imagine. Now, with the tax refund coming, oh, I don’t know, I still have to file those taxes, remember, I would say the help from Check Into Cash is not just appreciated, but more than welcomed! I will be happy to any cash advance I can get!
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Today I actually feel like I have accomplished something. I have been trying to get organized all day, and I can say that I have done quite a few little things that I have been postponing, and it feels good to get stuff accomplished!
My middle daughter helped me with my graphics today as well – this has sped up my blog posts quite a bit. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of projects left to do for the blog – everything is coming back to the routine slowly after the holidays, and I am really hoping to get caught up with all of my tasks in the next few days! Can’t wait to get everything organized with my blogging tasks, and looking forward to what is in store for my blog development – stay tuned!
I have been numb about my budgeting issues for a while – now I want to organize everything, and will hope to finish this blog post with two budgets that I construct – I want to show what we have spent on food and other groceries for the months of November and December.
To start, I have to say that most of our family birthdays fall into these two months. We have a tradition of going out for those birthdays every time, sometimes a couple of times for each birthday, so it definitely adds up. Birthdays in our family are a huge deal. This year we have also gone on a trip to New Orleans this past December, so that was quite a money outlay as well – even though our hotel had a kitchenette, we did not have time or energy to cook in our room. When in New Orleans, in downtown, your best bet if probably going out to eat, and that is what we did. We loved the food, but I am scared to look in my budgeting for the month now – we have to keep in mind that while we try our best to stay in our budget, we also want to continue living in the circumstances that we are in – we can try and save only so much.
Overall though, over these two months, we have been quite careful about our food and grocery spending. We have been using Costco less often. We have been buying more from Amazon Fresh, just what we need, and adding to what we are missing in our pantry at any given moment. We have tried to use coupons when going out to fast food places, and save money whenever possible.
Also, other than the trip that we went to, which I am actually not including here – the birthday parties, we also had Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – all nice meals that we love to buy more expensive ingredients for to cook with.
Dairy orders – $53.44
Amazon deliveries – 100.14
Food – $117.94
Restaurants – $195.46
Whole Foods – $320.64
QFC – $156.09
Birthday meals – $349
Albertson’s – $94.39
Central market – $692.36
Total – $2079.46
dairy deliveries – $53.44
Amazon deliveries – $330.98
QFC – $207.07
Costco – $615.85
Central Market – $332.83
Trader Joe’s – $362.27
Total for December – $1902.44
January so far –
dairy deliveries for the month – $66.80
Amazon – $55.82 and $12.56
restaurant – $110
Central Market – $173.75
Birthday – $212.00
Food – $59.67 + $65.10
Drinks – $3.30 + $21.48
Drugstore – $75
Delivery – $7.92
Total as of January 15 so far – $863.40
So, all in all, we spent in November $2079.46, in December $1902.44, and so far in January – $863.40. Now, as I have said, I haven’t included the food we had on our trip, which was quite pricey, and I may have forgotten a few restaurants and deliveries that we have had should not be over $300 in total for those. So, all in all, I see a tendency for more savings this month of January. We’ll see where we get to at the end of the month, but we have a lot of supplies actually for now, as far as non-perishables go – all of these bills include both food and any other household groceries we buy – a lot of things that I call consumables – we have to use those products, and this is almost like a constant cost for us – I am not sure how we can save money on things like toilet paper and such.
Research on Food and Grocery Budgets
Today I have actually done a bit of research, and found that a typical expense on food and groceries for a family of 5 of our size and age group according to USDA right now is $1492.80 just for food if you are liberal with your spending. If you are on a thrifty plan, a family of our size could live on $767.80 spending on just food per month. Now, my expenses also include other groceries as I have said, so we could probably allow about $300 or so per month on those.
Analysis of our spending
I have already pointed out our issues these few months – birthday celebrations and holidays have really added up to our budgeting. We have overspent considerably every month, even compared with the most liberal spending plans.
One big ticket item in our expenses are diapers. While they are consumables, and we cannot really substitute them with anything else, I am hoping that our baby is going to potty train completely soon enough, and we will start saving some money in this area of expenses.
Where we have been more successful – we are trying to go less on large shopping trips not to overbuy. Often times, on the weekends, we ended up going shopping, and then ultimately eating out because we’d be stuck in the mall areas, and have to eat there. We are actually doing this less now, and are eating more at home. I feel that we have been avoiding going out at least once a week for the last few months.
One other change that will considerably impact our budgets is that my daughter is no longer going to her classes in downtown. We used to go with the whole family every weekend for her class, and every time ended up eating our lunch out, which is so expensive in the downtown area even though we would always eat in the food court. We would also often end up going to museums in the downtown area, buying souvenirs or tickets to places. Because we are not doing any classes in the next few months for her, as the classes have been cancelled, I think we will feel a lot of savings on those lunches and other expenses as well, looking forward.
Planning for the year and this month in particular
What else can I plan for the next little while? I feel that we can easily stay under $2000 every month for all of the expenses. Now the question is – could we try harder and have even lower expenses?
I have difficulties now distinguishing what exactly is being spent on what – where the expenses go – whether on food, restaurants, or consumables. I am hoping to be able to take note of my expenses in the next month a bit better hopefully, and track better what is spent on the consumables, and what is spent on food and restaurants. This is a big task for me, not that I am lazy, but I find it to be difficult to track everything just perfectly, but I will try. Will not give you my word, but I will try my best.
I want to try to track down what happens with the food that we buy, how it is turning over from the receipt to my meals, and how much my meals actually cost me when I cook them from scratch.
Here is what I want to do – in the month of January I want to spend in total $1500 on my food expenses and then $350 on my consumables. I am giving myself a generous amount here, even more than USDA has calculated for the most generous liberal spending plan, and I am still going to have the total of $1850 as my budget for the month, so I am not going to stretch myself too thin, but at the same time, I want to track what I am doing.
What I find to be true is that even if my spending is not capped very strictly, if I am simply tracking my spending carefully, I already see some progress, and do usually try harder to try to meet my goals. This is the same, I think, that works for people who are trying to lose weight – if they track what they eat exactly, even if they do not really try very hard to eat that much less, I think the act of tracking itself helps to see exactly what you are eating, and keep that under control a little better.
We’ll see where we will be at the end of the month, and I will do my best to track my spending, as much as I am able to.
I know that if you are reading this post you are probably struggling with your bills and are looking to see some ideas and advice on how to tackle the planning better. I would love to help you out by offering a giveaway for $100 + worth in coupons – hoping that you can save some money in the next little while with these if you win! These coupons are for food, groceries and health products, as well as pets and beauty products. I will send you your envelope with the coupons if you are picked as the giveaway winner by the giveaway widget, and you will need to provide your US residential address. No returns, substitutions, or refunds will be provided once the coupons are shipped to you.