One of the major challenges that we faced last year was when we found out that we have a very low chance of conceiving naturally and that ‘s our most likely chance of starting a family is through IVF. Of course, this has put us in a huge financial distress, especially as we decided to opt for the “shared-risk option” which gives us six IVF rounds for a hefty flat fee of $22,000 that is not covered by our insurance. When we decided that we want to do this , we didn’t have this amount of money available in cash for us to use. We also decided against using any of our emergency fund, which was created solely to prevent us from losing our house if any one of us lost their job.
It took us around six months, but we managed to save $10,000 for the shared-risk option. As for the remaining $12,000, ah well, we don’t have any choice but to put it on credit cards and work diligently to pay the debt as soon as possible. We decided to do this because this might be our only chance of starting a family. We are planning to sign the IVF contract today and mail it tomorrow, which means further belt-tightening starts now, hence I’m back to blogging. This is a very private and sensitive subject that is so hard for me to share with people I know. I’m opting for this anonymous blogging to give myself an outlet and also to keep myself motivated while me and my husband take on this huge financial stress that will eventually pay off.
Frugal Newbie is back, and this time for a while.
I started using a spreadsheet this month to balance our house budget. In addition to that we always use mint.com to monitor our day-to-day spending. In my experience, you need both. The Excel sheet gives you an overall idea if you are living beyond your means. Surprisingly, my Excel sheet is showing me that we will have some extra money this month that I will use to pay off some debt. It is very easy to find an spreadsheet on the web. I just did some google search and I found one that I have already customized for our house. So far, I’m happy with the result and I encourage everyone to use both.
My husband ‘s birthday was last week. Since we are slowly embracing a frugal lifestyle, I struggled for months about what to get him. Six months ago I was thinking about Nintendo Wii. I scrapped the idea after I realized that $300+ for a gift should be the last thing on my mind if I really want to achieve my goal.
Eventually, I decided to buy him $75 dollars worth of stocks. While the market is still down, I thought the best thing to do is simply not buy a toy that might end up gathering dust in the basement, but get something that might actually make profit.
I told my in-laws about my idea and they loved it so much that they copied me and gave him a $100 specially to invest in stocks. My husband loved his gift! He has already bought his stocks and is enjoying watching the market seesaw.
The fascinating and most satisfying thing for me is that I would have never thought of this idea last year. I would have bought that Wii and charged it on my credit card. Long gone the days of irresponsibility.
I did something that broke my heart last week. I canceled my New Yorker subscription. After three years of enjoying the New Yorker every week, I bid my subscription adieu. I know this is a small step in the scheme of things but I have to start somewhere. It is really about the discipline. I can live without it. When I’m debt free I will re-subscribe, but for the time being I have a goal. Goodbye New Yorker. You will be missed.
I decided to start this blog to document the journey of my financial awakening and my attempts to pay off debt, build an emergency fund, save for retirement, while keeping my sanity. The road is long and bumpy but I’m willing to embrace it. I need all the help and support out there.