Satellite Radio

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I've had Sirius satellite radio for a longggg time.

My dad actually first got a family plan, and both my brother and I, himself and my mom all radios for Christmas one year when I was still in college.  It was one of my favorite gifts as I spent so many weekends driving back and forth between Alberta and BC.

I didn't actually realize until several years later that there was an annual subscription cost for them!?  I felt so silly realizing that it was a Christmas gift that just kept on giving.

Well, once Jordan and I bought our own vehicles with built in radios, we wound up signing up ourselves, and started paying our own way.

Each year the radios have come up for renewal, I've been able to negotiate better prices than the standard renewal...but this year, well this year maybe I'm just cheap?  or no longer see the value?

I got an email that said my annual renewal would be $175.89 plus fees and taxes.  I called in to find out how much the fees and taxes were, and to confirm that this was for both radios.  I was assuming that the $176 was for both...but holy hannah was I wrong!

After fees & taxes, the first radio was going to be $213 and the second $154 - for a grand total of $367!!  Wowza!  So I told them that I was going to have to cancel, because I thought $176 was too much for one radio.  I was passed on to customer retention and went through the same conversation...the best price they could offer me was $105 inclusive of fees/taxes for each radio - so still $210.  I told them again, that I thought $176 was too much, so $210 was still not possible.

Well, that was apparently as low as they could go, because about five minutes later, I had cancelled both subscriptions.

If we call in within six months we can re-activate either radio,and they will waive the $30 re-activation fee...

So, we'll see if we realllllly miss the radios in the next few months - but my bet is that we'll be too busy with baby to notice.

July Spend Report

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I was going back through the last few months of (few) blog posts, and realized I missed posting my July spend update.

So, here it is. Our July spend, plus the average for so far this year.

July is always a bit more expensive for us because there are a lot of birthdays (mine, my mom's & Jordan's to name a few).  We don't go into debt over it though, this is money that's saved up as planned spending throughout the year.

Gas was about on par, but groceries spiked.  This was in part because we went camping and had to to a big stock of the trailer so it's ready during the rest of the summer and fall.

Alcohol went up a bit more than normal - this actually includes some beer for Jordan and some near-beer for me. It just wouldn't have been camping with out it.

I picked up a few more outfits because I was running out of clothes that fit again, new shoes because swollen feet, and got my nails done.

Vacation was the camping trip we went on for four days or so - it was absolutely lovely.  This is a picture of our view, and the picture below is Aries (our biggest dog), sleeping after the trip - she was sooooooo wiped.

There's a big chunk of reimbursables for July too.  I went to Ontario for a week for work so this was hotel, food etc.  It's been paid back now.

Wow...and there's only two weeks left in August.


Photography

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When Jordan and I were planning our wedding, I knew I wanted a photographer. I didn't want to go bankrupt over one, but I wanted someone who's job it was to catch all the moments I wouldn't see that day.

I had some people tell me I wasn't spending enough, and others tell me that their favorite photos were taken by friends and family - and it was a waste to pay someone.

I have to tell you, it was the best thing that Jordan and I spent money on that day.  The very best.  Not long after we were married, we found out that my dad had lung cancer.  A few short months after that, he passed away.

We have amazing photo's from that day, of my entire family, of my husband and I, of our grandparents, and of my dad.  A guy who hated having his picture taken.  My family still cherishes those photos, photos we never would have had otherwise.


I'm thinking about this today, because on the tail of yesterday's post about priorities, I found myself emailing that same photographer asking her about baby portraits for our budding little family.  I was looking at the cost - weighing it it my mind.  This isn't a safety or frustration issue here - this hits straight at my third budgeting for baby priority.

So here's the thing, even though it's going to cost us $500-$800 depending on the package we choose.  I still want to do it, I want to enjoy the moment, and the pictures captured afterward because you just don't know when it's going to be your last picture.

Priorities

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People are very quick to tell you that babies don't have to cost a lot of money.  That we, as a population, spend far more then is actually necessary.

To be fair, by people, I mean people who are 20-40 years older than me - at least those are the ones in my life who generally make the comment; I'm sure others have other experiences.

The first time my grandmother said it to me, I responded with "you're right - they don't have to cost a lot.  Do you know what does impact finances - not working for a year."  She took a minute, and then agreed - because while she worked later on in life, while she was raising her five children - she didn't work, and didn't have to.  In fact, it was expected that she wouldn't.  There also weren't the options that exist now.  Sure, there were baby carriers - but not nearly the options that we have today.  There are more choices now, more options.

Here's the thing - I think it's okay to spend money.

It's a tool and while I think it's important to have a stash for emergencies, planned spending and all that good stuff, it's also okay to spend the money you do have for discretionary things on just that - things that are discretionary.

So, yes, my stroller was pretty pricey...but its the best stroller for my families needs.

Jordan and I decided pretty early on, that our decision making tree for baby would put money last, not first.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't completely lost my frugal wits, we just decided on what our priorities would be before making purchasing decisions.

  1. Safety
  2. Frustration Level
  3. Money
Safety's first, always.  Next comes frustration level - I tend to run pretty hot.  I wasn't graced with patience a mile long like my mom, I'm more like my dad - short/quick temper & no grudges.  So, with that in mind, I knew that any equipment we bought for baby - be it a stroller or a car seat or something else, it had to be easy to figure out.  I'm going to be stressed already as a first time mom, scared, learning, and I don't want to buy something that I know would set me off.  Last, is money. 

We saved up for a long time for this baby, three years, and so while we do think about money and look for sales it's not as important as number one and number two on the list.

Time is Flying By

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Wow...how is time moving by sooo quickly right now.

Today, I'm 31 weeks pregnant - so anywhere from 6-11 weeks left (ish) before baby arrives.  I only have four more weeks left of work before I start my scheduled vacation, which will convert to maternity leave once baby shows up.  Four more weeks, and I head to BC to join my husband and actually live together again!

Wow.

I'm pretty excited!

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