So as you all know, Mike was on deployment for 6 months and during that time (as most military couples do) we decided to save money! I mean, we would be getting extra money for the separations and with it just being me and the boys, we don't need to spend the same amount as when it is all of us together....right? Well, a little more than half way into the deployment, we re-evaluated our finances and budget. Me being very transparent here...we realized we weren't saving much money at all. I felt and still feel really guilty about the whole situation and we can give excuse after excuse about why money was spent here and there. In the end, we knew we needed to change our spending habits.
Just so you newly marrieds or even long-time marrieds know...I feel like finances are a tough cycle. Over the past seven years of marriage we have saved, then spent, then re-budgeted, saved, then spent, then re-budgeted, etc. And God has been more than faithful to us! We have seen Him give us money when we needed it most and we have seen Him strain us when we needed to be pulled back into submission. Anyways, finances are a horrible thing, and I don't think we will ever EVER get it right.
Since this last time was such a wake-up call for me personally, I started to find ways to save money. One of my vows, was to NOT use a credit card for six months. (Either you are saying to yourself...I never use mine, or I always use mine...what is she thinking!). What would end up happening is I wouldn't keep track of how much money was in our account so I would use a credit card just in case we didn't have enough in our checking. Basically the WRONG way for us to budget our money. I am VERY VERY proud to say that since that decision I have NOT used a credit card! (2.5 months) That means I have adjusted where money is spent, when and how...it feels sooo good! We have still saved:-) It is also crazy to think of the money spent that didn't need to be. Ok...this is a MAJOR tangent so I am getting back on track here.
One of the ways I discovered that could save us much money on our tight budget was....yes...switching to cloth diapers. AAAHHHHH! I know some of you do cloth diapers and love it and some of you may never consider the idea. Well, I was one that just never really thought anything of it! I never knew anyone who did it and really thought it old fashioned. I have met several people as I have more kids that do cloth diapers and after MUCH discussion (thanks Kaylee and Lindsey!) and MUCH research (thanks to Mike for those late night debates) we did a comparison chart for just the first six months; as far as cost goes. It was so undeniably cheaper to do cloth diapers that we are jumping right in, even with Austin. I have to admit that part of me was a tad disapointed and nervous when we realized the cost difference because now I am committing to something that isn't too convenient, very messy at times, and some what time consuming.
I do like the fact that it helps the environment and it is more gentle on my kids sensitive skin, but about 90% of the reason we are switching to cloth is the cost factor.
So we got our first AIO (All In Ones) the other day which are going to be used for Austin now and the new baby once it gets older. For the third baby as a newborn and the first several months we are going to do pre-folds with covers. Those basically look like these AIO's but inside the pre-folds (cloth) is laid out and changed with every diaper change but the cover doesn't have to be. Very convenient for newborns since they pee and poo so much. Plus with this babe, the poos shouldn't be that bad for the first several months since it will be breastmilk poos. I had my first day with Austin in the cloth diapers and so far no leaks and even the poopy diaper I changed wasn't that bad at all! Now ask me in several weeks when I have two kids in cloth diapers...hahah! Mike and I both know that if this just doesn't work for us (since we are an out and about family) we can resell the diapers and get pretty much all our money back. Disposables are still in our future, but definitely used less! Well, that was a LONG post...sorry, just wanted to give a background for our new decision and our fun new adventure!