Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.
12 weeks! And our big news is that we found out the gender this week!!!* Knowing has made it so much more real to me, even though this whole pregnancy still feels crazy surreal and like a dream.
I think we actually all may have agreed on a name!! It’s very different having older kids who have very strong opinions about these things! Also, the NIPT test came back perfect. And I had a little more energy and a little less nausea this week.
I’m pretty sure I’m starting to feel those first few flutters. I didn’t for sure feel movement until 15 weeks with Silas, but I’m almost 99% sure that’s what I’m feeling.
Also, my appetite has increased big time — which has been weird and I’m still trying to adjust. I’m usually the type of person who eats when I’m hungry and then eats until I’m satisfied. But right now, I feel hungry almost 90% of the time — even right after eating!!
I’m so grateful to have the desire to eat, though, because it definitely has been super hit or miss for the last 6 weeks and most of the time I was just making myself eat so I wouldn’t feel worse because my stomach was empty. It’s so nice to actually *want* to eat much of the time now!
Oh goodness, have the cravings been intense this week. I feel like all I do is talk about and think about food. (This is SO unlike me! My kids keep saying, “Mom, you are so WEIRD when you are pregnant!”)
Speaking of weird, yesterday and today I wanted a taco from Taco Bell. Y’all, I can’t remember the last time I’ve even eaten at Taco Bell!! But, thanks to Jesse, I had a taco for dinner AND breakfast (he was smart and just went and got a whole BAG of six tacos last night!!)
4.5 pounds (I usually always gain around 30 lbs. and at the rate I’m going, I don’t think I’m going to have any issue doing that again.)
*At this point, we don’t plan to share the gender before the birth. That could always change, but we kept it a family secret last time and it made it so special so we are thinking we’ll likely do that again.
In other news, I bought this sweatshirt this week and can’t wait for it to come in the mail!
And I was thrilled to once again feel well enough to go to the grocery store for a quick shopping trip!
Silas played both baseball and flag football this season. His first playoff game was Friday night and their team won, just barely! So they move on to the next playoff bracket next week.
Reading right now: I Will Always Write Back and Come Matter Here (My book stack in my room is getting way too high — and then I have three shelves in the library full of books waiting to be read ASAP. I guess it’s a good problem!)
Watching right now: Silas, Kaitlynn, and I have been watching The Masked Singer.
Listening to right now: I finally came up first in line for Atomic Habits on the Libby app again, so I’ve been listening to the last hour and half of it (that I didn’t get to finish the last time I had it “checked out” on the Libby app).
Loving right now: The fact that it was cool enough weather this past week to wear my favorite booties (shown above).
In Case You Missed It:
30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money — what would you add to this list??
30 Quick & Easy Protein Snacks — some of my favorite go-to’s!
How to Finally Break Free From Anxiety & Stress — this is one of the most talked about episodes of the podcast I’ve ever shared! It’s SO good! Have you listened to it?
How to Save Money on Groceries When You Only Eat Whole Foods — check the comments for lots of additional ideas! [...]
When Christina Rodriguez divorced four years ago, she had no idea how she was going to make ends meet. After all, during her marriage, she earned $38,000 per year as a visual designer, and even with her husband’s income, the couple lived paycheck-to-paycheck and accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Rodriguez’s share of credit card debt was $10,000.
“Here I was struggling with two incomes, and now I was on one income,” says the 35-year-old mom of two. “It was scary.”
Like so many people, Rodriguez stayed awake at night, worried what she might do should she need to replace her car, especially if her credit were poor because of her debt burden. She spent her energy juggling bills and minimum credit card payments, barely staying afloat.
“I realized, ‘I can’t live like this. My children don’t deserve to live their life like this’,” Rodriguez says. “It was about figuring out how I could get to a place where I would truly feel free.”
Fast-forward four short years, and Rodriguez is debt-free, invested $22,000 in a home purchase and remodel, counts $7,000 in cash savings, and has increased her annual income from $38,000 to $128,000.
Themes of Rodriguez’s success story:
Cut back all extra expenses and focus on paying off debt. At the time of her breakup, Rodriguez had $10,000 in credit card debt. She also had a new, tricked out Chevy Malibu and regularly got her hair and nails done. “That was a huge part of my identity,” she says. “But it wasn’t more important than my kids having food on the table.”
Think big! You can only cut so many costs, but your income potential is infinite. “I realized I was taking on jobs that paid $300 or $400. Why wasn’t I taking on jobs that paid $3,000 or $4,000?” she says. “When I realized my time and skills are valuable — that is when everything changed for me.”
Put a dollar value on your time. Rodriguez’s income ballooned when she stopped taking low-paid side gigs, and started investing without guilt in child care and housekeeping.
Splurge on experiences, not possessions. Christina could easily afford to upgrade her Nissan Rogue, but chooses instead to travel with her kids. “My daughter says: ‘More meetings means more vacations!’” Rodriguez says.
Focus on setting up a life within her control. Rodriguez’s worries included rent increases, job instability, financial instability, depending on her kids’ dad, and a long commute which took her away from her children during the week. “I realized that the kids could only depend on me,” she says. Her focus on home ownership, high earning and self-employed income and a job close to home helped her regain power.
At the time, her budget breakdown was:
Car payment $450
Car insurance $155
Childcare $250 (her half)
Plus food, gas, entertainment etc
Credit card minimum payments $125
Nails and hair $75
Subscription services $8
Cable TV $149 monthly
Private school tuition $480 monthly
Upon her divorce, Rodriguez cut her cable, subscription services, nails and hair, and downgraded to less expensive car.
She then focused on both paying off debt and earning. Rodriguez got a new job where she earned $45,000 per year, and also built up her side business doing freelance graphic design work, carefully selecting jobs that paid a high hourly fee, and helped her reach her goals. “I only work side jobs that meet a specific goal financial goal, because if I was going to dedicate time away from my kids it has to be with purpose,” she says.
A couple years ago, Rodriguez saved up $15,000, quit her full-time job, and focused narrowly on building her design portfolio. Then, a local health care company near her Kissemmee, Fla., reached out via LinkedIn, and offered her a new job. Today, Rodriguez earns $77,000 salary, plus an annual bonus of $5,000, and last year her side business grossed $46,000, bringing her income to $128,000.
One of the biggest changes Rodriguez made with her new financial status is buying a 2,300-square-foot home in a gated community. She also purchased a 20-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy, and focuses on travel. She is looking forward to a trip to Paris soon, and she and her grade-school-aged son and daughter are 5 states into their goal of visiting all 50 before the kids graduate.
Rodriguez also hires a housekeeper twice per month — without any guilt at all.
Today, Rodriguez’s budget:
Mortgage, taxes and insurance $1471
Car payment $311
Car insurance $155
Internet and cable $125
Disney annual passes $138
Life insurance $38
Cleaning service $140
Says Rodriguez: “I’m still really frugal. But living a budgeted life works for me. I know where every penny goes and that allows for more opportunities, to make more memories. It also allows me to spend without buyer’s remorse. I think the best feeling though comes from teaching my kids about smart financial decisions like my parents did with me.”
The post How to Create an Amazing Life on a Single Mom Budget appeared first on MintLife Blog. [...]