Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby on a Budget

Ok, time for the monthly blog post. That’s right, I said monthly. I’m not gonna conform to these Byzantine “one post a week” rules. Actually, one of the reasons I haven’t been posting much is that I was working on another book. An Ebook, and it’s called BABY ON A BUDGET and is out now.

Most books exist in both “regular” and “E” versions. But this one is only an Ebook because it is chock full of links to help you budget and save money in the first year of parenthood and poorenthood.

I’m not the best at budgeting and money management. I’m really not and never have been. So when I was asked to write the US version of BABY ON A BUDGET I was a little hesitant. What did I know about budgeting? I am a writer and a comedian. It was like asking a NASCAR Driver to do heart surgery. But then I thought for a moment. What better time to learn? Budgeting, not NASCAR driving. Hey, I even tried to make budgeting funny. That was a bit of a challenge. As a rule, budgeting is not so funny. Unless your adding machines are being operated by monkeys wearing tuxedos. Okay that’s funny, but too expensive.

So I dove into writing the US version of BABY ON A BUDGET for the website based in New Zealand. And the first thing I learned is that things are very different in other countries when it comes to childcare and healthcare in general. What has this got to do with budgeting? A lot, actually.

There are a lot less people in New Zealand, but the government seems to care about them more. I had to jettison whole sections of the book dealing with all of the government aid and subsidies you get just for having a child over there. Including help with healthcare. Here, we don’t get squat except a $1000 tax credit.

But there was a lot more to learn, like how to use online shopping, budgeting websites, and hand me downs to really lower the cost of having a baby. Some of these tips I already knew, some of them were knew and some of them I REALLY which I had known back when we were having our first child.

So while I was writing, I learned a lot about budgeting and how much more I had to do. Budgeting is like dieting. The only way it works long term is if you change your lifestyle, not going on a crash diet. This whole “spend less than you take home” thing, is kind of a new concept to a generation raised (and almost destroyed) on and by credit. But you have to do it. I’m tired of being at the mercy of banks and insane interest rates. Not to mention crooked business practices. Bailout, anyone? I’m sure you are sick of it too. Of course it’s easy to fall off the horse, with dieting and budgeting. We all come home with a box full of donuts now and then. I mean that literally and possibly metaphorically.

So why not do something about it? We’ve started and our personal debt is now finally going in the right direction: down. It will take some time but I think we’re on a better track now. It’s actually not that impossible. You just have to have a starting point and an understanding of what you need vs what you want. And for some of us, it started with having a baby. Do we NEED designer crib sheets? Do we NEED an expensive nursery “theme”? No. You can buy diapers online and on sale. You can wear hand me down clothes. (OK, it may look weird if you start doing that but it’s fine for the baby) We do hand me downs with clothes, why not toys? Ah, see? I just saved you money right there.

You often learn by reading. This time, I learned by writing. And I really hope it will help other people too. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a baby. Budgeting pays off many times over. It just takes a little more time, effort, and energy to save money. Because not all of us live in New Zealand.

BABY ON A BUDGET is available at on Kindle (you don’t need a Kindle to read it, you can download a free reader). Just click on the link to the left.


Juli said...

Good luck with BABY ON A BUDGET. Sounds like a must-have book for new parents!

P.S. I can vouch for the childcare and healthcare benefits that we receive here in New Zealand. But the cost of living in NZ is so high. You Yanks have it better than you think.

Brian Miller said...

best wishes on your will certainly be useful

Everyday Goddess said...

i really like how you've made me interested in your process of getting a book written.

sounds like it was a great learning for you, and that will make for a great learning tool for others, i believe.

i gave you one of my weekly goddess awards that you can collect at my place anytime.

That Janie Girl said...

Came over via Goddess.

Love your book idea, gonna buy it now - we already have a beautiful Goddaughter that just turned 1, and now we have a grandbaby en route!

Chris Mancini said...

Thanks everyone and welcome to the new peoples. I will try to post more frequently. Awww, who am I kidding? I could barely get this comment typed without one of the kids trying to kill me. And not with love. More like a Geo Trax engine.

Everyday Goddess said...

Hi Chris,
I just read your comment over at my place.

Great news!!

Wishing you continued success!

In joy,

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