Budget. *shudder* We love to hate them…
YOU TOO can stop the cycle and budget your finances. You don’t have to pay off cards… you can do it just to help you get less stressed when bill time comes. Message me if you choose YNAB, or join us in the family>thrifty>dave Ramsey forum. We are there every day… SEE YOU THERE!
We recently tried to purchase a home.
We got pretty far into the process. We got right to the part where they say “sign here” on the purchase agreement. And that was when my husband and I looked at each other and realized that to get this house, we would be doing the following:
- Giving our whole emergency fund in a down payment, which still wasn’t 3.5%
- Add monthly payments to the builder to get to 3.5% over the course of the next few months, effectively cutting us off from refunding the emergency fund.
- We would literally more than DOUBLE our mortgage payment.
And so we walked away. We cried. We drank. We put our 3 year old to bed, and then cried and drank some more.
And then we wondered: WHAT THE HECK ARE WE DOING? WHY AREN’T WE SAVING?????
So yesterday Mommy started the Mommy Budget. We are using the You Need a Budget software (you can google it), but are using it to follow the Dave Ramsey budgeting plan (you can read about that, too). The two philosophies work just as well as the other. YNAB focuses first on wealth building, while Dave focuses first on debt relief.
Posted 01-31-2014 at 11:39 AM by yoliyoda
So I’ve decided to brave mama cloth. I say brave, and I do mean brave. The entire concept had my nose turned up for a long time. And honestly, I’m still a bit iffy, emotionally–though logically I know that it makes sense.
For those who don’t know, mama’s cloth is essentially reusable sanitary napkins and panty liners. And while the idea of dealing with pee and poop in my son’s cloth diapers is fine, the idea of a bloody reuseable cloth napkin *shutters* gets to me.
However, I had to take a step back and realize how far I’ve come in relation to making my household a cloth-friendly one… and assess how far I was willing to go. We have unpaper towels, which I love, that double as cloth napkins. I have cloth cleaning microfiber rags and sponges instead of using paper towels. And of course, lots of cloth diapers. There was a logical reason connected to each clothing decision that I made. Usually economics and the environment had something to do with each decision.
So what about mama’s cloth? On the low estimates, I’ve heard that women can use about 12,000 pads or tampons in a lifetime. Let’s say she has her period for 40 years: that’s 300 a year, and 25 per month. Forgetting the fact that most of us have several types sitting around, some with wings, some without, some with blue stripes down the middle, some without… let’s just say that a woman buys one bag of pads or tampons per month at $5. Yes, that is very conservative, but let’s just lowball it. That is $2400 over her lifetime.
Do you know what I could do with $2400? A lot. And remember, those are lowball figures.
You can buy mama’s cloth cheaper than you think. As a rough average, you can get 4 pieces for $20. If you’re like me, I’d probably be
Posted 01-22-2014 at 09:29 AM by yoliyoda
It’s going to happen if you are a part of the thrifty online mama community: you’re going to have a bad experience with a Work-At-Home-Mom. It’s probably nobody’s fault. Most WAHMs are honest, straight forward, and hard working. Selling made-at-home wares, products, or services is just how some of them pay bills, or make a bit of money for themselves. They have no intention to create problems for you, or headaches for themselves. However, they are human and life happens. So just what is a tactful, respectful, way of dealing with a fellow mom when a deal goes south? What can you do to prevent problems?
Before you buy
Be clear about what you’re buying. Sometimes problems arise simply because one of the parties isn’t clear about expectations or desires. Get a clear understanding of turn around times, expected delivery dates, and just what is included for the cost you’re paying.
Ask for references if you don’t feel comfortable. We’re all on different budgets, and the money that you’re about to hand a WAHM might be hard earned for you. So if you want references, like reading reviews from past customers, you’re within your rights. Awesome sites like this are great, because you can often see feedback from previous customers right in the feedback rating of the WAHM. Also, don’t discount the buzz-factor. Some WAHMs are extremely busy. They’ve built up a clientele of satisfied customers, and that says a lot.
Keep good records. If you buy alot of items from alot of sources, keep one main list that tracks what you’ve bought, from whom you bought it, how much you paid, contact information, and expected delivery time. If that delivery dates comes and goes without a package, contact them with a friendly question about your order’s status.
Perhaps you want to cloth diaper, but you are on a very strict budget. Perhaps you had cloth diapers but your dryer exploded and burned them all and you can’t afford to replace them all right now. Perhaps you have just started researching cloth diapers but the hardcore cloth diapering fanatics who spend $80 on one diaper cover or stay up all night waiting for a chance to bid on a hyena or something totally scare you off. You are in luck. You do not have to buy a single cloth diaper, ever, if you want, but you can still cloth diaper anyway.
Your kitchen drawer: an untapped source of potential cloth diapers. Even more so when you ignore the popsicle stick on the ground.
“You are one of those crazy fanatics scaring me off,” you might be thinking right now and I cannot, in full conscience, deny the “crazy” part, but I am serious. Our distant ancestors would think we were speaking in tongues if we ever uttered the words “bumGenius” or “Fuzzibunz” in their presence. There was no such thing as an all-in-one or fitted. When I was visiting my grandmother last summer, she came outside while I was hanging a bunch of diapers on a drying line and said, “Oh! Everything is so modern. We did not have this newfangled diaper when I was growing up.” Naturally, I thought that she was referring to my pocket diapers, but to my surprise she leaned over and picked up a prefold! So clearly, before the advent of disposables and modern cloth diaper designs, people managed to diaper their kids with what they had on hand. That means we still can as well.
Posted 11-26-2013 at 09:38 AM by yoliyoda
Tide for our linens, Dreft for baby clothes, BumGenius for cloth diapers, homemade soap for everything else–it was all just too much!
It seems that if you asked 100 cloth diapering moms how they tackled laundry, you’d get 100 different responses. So, to see just how diverse viewpoints were, I took a poll here on the site. I asked moms what type of laundry detergent they preferred. As of the date of this article, of the moms that answered about 63% used a major-labeled brand, 15% used cloth diaper specific detergent, 14% used a home made or natural option, and 8% weren’t picky about what they used.
One of the detergents that I noticed kept coming up in the thread was Tide. Some mom’s opted for the Free & Gentle version, while others stuck to the traditional. Some moms used powder, while I’ve heard other moms swear by the liquid. Some moms went for the more generic brands like Foca and Kirklands.
When it came to the natural store bought option, Charlie’s Soap kept being mentioned. For the price of $24 for 128 ounces, it is an affordable no-frills natural option for those who want to keep it basic. Allen’s Naturally Liquid, at around $42 for a gallon, was another option mentioned.
The option of making your own powder is always near and dear to me. I actually enjoy making our laundry soap, other household and beauty options. A few moms used SoapNuts, while others mixed their own concoctions. A few were even nice enough to share. One of the recipes is listed below for newbies.
Other factors that came up in the discussion about which type of detergent was selected by moms for their cloth diaper loads is the type of washing machine that they had, and if the local water supply was hard. High Efficiency machines and standard top loader seem to need different type of soap. Also, just like hard water can
I have been trading on Diaperswappers for several years now. Trading has been a great way for me to build my stash, get rid of things I do not need and not spend a lot of cash in the process.
Breaking into the trading world on diaperswappers can seem a bit daunting to a newbie trader. There are two main areas that trading takes place on the site. There is the ISO/IHA forum, this is where you post a thread listing all the items you have available for trading and what things you are looking for. The same rules apply to this forum that apply to the rest of the fsot boards.
There is also a swaps group that you can join on diaperswappers. You have to opt into this area once you meet all the requirements. The swap area of diaperswappers is a lot of fun. There are all kinds of different swaps that go on and I have been able to get a lot of new diapers and woolies for my stash from these swaps.
I have put together a list of tips for newbie traders. These are all based on my experiences over the years and things I have learned along the way.
1. Be very descriptive.
- Posting an IHA (I have available) is just like trying to sell your items. When you post make sure to include details about your items. This is very important for diapers and woolies. Posting size, any issues and other details will make people more likely to message you. I know that I will skip over posts that do not include this information. I do not always want to take the time to PM for details when I am looking for a certain item.
2. Do not undersell or oversell yourself.
- Be fair in your pricing. You are more likely to get trades with well established traders if you are fair with your stuff. People would not want to buy from you if you over price, the same goes with trading. You do not have to undersell yourself either.
I totally get why some people suspend cloth diapering their kids while traveling. Our closest family, geographically, is a 4-hour drive away, so when we visit them I always have an extra bag full of cloth diapers, covers, extra wetbags, wipes, etc. It’s not a huge deal since it’s only a 4 hour drive and we know we have access to a washing machine, etc, while there, but it is still one more bag to pack and worry about. I can’t blame anyone who says “screw it” and picks up a pack of disposables so they don’t have to deal with cloth on top of all the usual traveling stress.
Who wants to think about cloth diapers when you have this view to look at? Oh, that’s right, me.
However, I have a tendency to never do anything the “easy” way so we do cloth full time, all the time, no matter what. Reasons include:
What is a COOP?
- A coop is a large group buy where you can get a product at a discount. The “host” is who communicates with whoever you are buying from. You add your order to a spreadsheet ( or in some cases you give your order to the host ) and you pay the host. The host then pays the company. In most cases all the items are shipped to the host, who then sorts and ships each order to the buyers. There are a few coops that are called drop ship, these coops are where the company mails directly to each buyer.
There are a ton of diaper coops out there. I have taken part in several of them and they are the reason I have been able to have a large stash. I have also bought diapers as gifts for other people from coops. When my friend first started using cloth diapers, she had a very limited budget so I wanted to help her out. The best way for me to get her a large amount of pocket diapers, was to order them from a coop.
Diaperswappers hosts many coops, facebook has coops and there are many other places as well.
Almost all the diapering coops that I have taken part in are diaper companies from china. I have several alvas and sunbaby diapers. I am on a diaper buying break until after I find out the gender of my baby but I plan to hit up coops as soon as I know what the baby is. I will be buying from overseas as well as wahms.
Posted 10-3-2013 at 08:36 AM by yoliyoda
In today’s society we tend to obtain the things we need in rather traditional ways… “Will that be cash or charge?” However, if you started cloth diapering for financial reasons it’s good to remember that there is another option–bartering.
Bartering, often called trading, is where two or more parties swap or exchange items or services in their possession in order to obtain things that they need. Doing so can help you get the items that you need with little or no cash exchanged. The cloth diapering community is especially trading friendly. You’ll find groups all over the internet to swap or trade items. Take a few minutes to look over the IHA (I Have Available) or ISO (In Search Of) boards on this site and you’ll find that the movement to get what you need without exchanging cash is gaining momentum.
However, trading is an art form. Once you get a hold of it, you might realize that you can obtain the cloth diapers you need without blowing your budget! One of the most skilled traders on the site is expaik. I was able to speak with her to find out a few secrets for trading newbies….
Why did you start trading items online?
I find trading to work out much better than selling. The value of what I can get in a trade is typical 2x – 3x the value of the paypal I could get from selling.
What is mama cloth?
- Mama cloth are reusable cloth menstrual pads.
- They come in several sizes and can be custom made.
- Ranging from panty liners to postpartum flow.
There is a large variety of different fabrics available for mama cloth. Most are PUL or fleece backed, I have both in my stash. Tops can be cotton, flannel, OBV and more. My personal favorites are minky or OBV, they are very comfortable and both work very well. Mama cloth is widely available online. You can buy individual pieces or sets of mama cloth. You can find mama cloth makers on etsy, facebook, hyena cart and diaperswappers. Washing was easy. I wash my mama cloth with my diapers most of the time. I keep the cloth in a small wetbag after use until wash.
I have been a mama cloth user for several years now. The biggest thing that made me switch was the money saving end of it. At first I was hesitant to make the switch. I liked tampons because they were discrete and easy to use. After reading several threads on diaperswappers about mama cloth, I started to get curious. It did not take long for me to see that mama cloth was a much better fit for me.
- Reusable, saving you time and money
- Free of harmful chemicals that are in disposable pads and tampons.
- Very comfortable