<%3Fxml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"%3F> Sell brand viagra » Canadian pharmacy | Low shipping rates. It does take more effort, but the cost per serving is quite a bit less than the store bought baby foods.   I am not doing it just because I am cheap but I am just a bit wary of the jarred babyfood on store shelves.  Some of them have preservatives and some of them have added sugar and I’m not sure if that’s the best thing for a little baby.  I think making my own baby food is also positively impacting how we eat since I am shopping for fresh produce more often now.  I definitely would like to cook more for myself and the hubby, too, but it is hard to find the time.

As to our finances now, we are still saving around 40% of  our gross income even with the kid.   The biggest new expense is just childcare.  My husband has deemed my a success since the baby consistently does his business on the potty now.  This allowed us to save a lot of diapers and also a little bit of money.  When I think about it, if there are no childcare costs, then a baby is really not that expensive if you feed him or her breastmilk.  I guess what I am trying to say is that there are “cheap” ways to raise a kid if you put in the time and effort, and that is not necessary a bad thing.

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]]> http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/04/12/taxes-and-baby-a-random-baglady-update/feed/ 1 Sell brand viagra » Canadian pharmacy | Low shipping rates. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/02/20/early-toilet-training-saves-money/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/02/20/early-toilet-training-saves-money/#comments Sat, 20 Feb 2010 08:37:43 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/?p=522 A long time ago before I had a kid I wrote a post that basically rambled on about howand how wasteful that was. One of the comments I got was from aka Mike that said ”

All I can say is:

1. Have a child.
2. Teach them to potty as soon as they can walk.
3. Please blog about your results!!

Just for the record . Canadians do the same thing. :)

Mike

This post is for you, Mike.

Now I have a baby and I just started potty training him this week and it has been quite exciting.  He is 4 months and a week old now so he can’t walk yet, but he certainly can communicate.  I bought him a little(affiliate link)  from Target, and he can sit on it with a little bit of support.  The method of potty training I am employing is called Elimination Communication in America, but in China it is really just a normal part of childcare.  Basically, you take your baby to the potty when it seems like he needs to go. For my son, I take him when he wakes up from a nap, or when he suddenly becomes fussy.

On the first day I tried this my son peed into the toilet just once, and that was extremely exciting.  The next day I tried he pooped twice and peed once in the toilet.  Today he did extremely well and peed into his potty a total of nine times. I missed his poops because he was outside and not home, but he was wearing his diaper.  Each time it took around two minutes for me to get him in and out of the bathroom and every time he peed into his potty I felt like telling someone like it was the best news in the world. I have found that he is a lot less fussy since I have started taking him to the bathroom, and every time he finishes a poop or pee on the toilet he lets out a huge satisfied smile.

In hindsight, I really should have started this earlier because my son used to give a very clear signal when he needed to poop or pee.  Our whole family knows it as the “O” face and we have many photos of this phenomenon.  Basically he shaped his mouth into a very tight little “O” before he peed and pooped.   Now he no longer gives this signal because I think he got used to pooping in the diaper and this is a behavior that needs to be unlearned.

Currently  I have cut down the diaper usage from seven or eight to three or four  a day because I managed to keep his diaper clean and dry for hours.  Hopefully by the time he is mobile he will just know to go to the toilet.  My mom said that when I was a baby I carried my potty around to do my business.  Many people have told me that I have to wait until the baby shows interest in the toilet to start training him, but how would a baby show interest in the toilet if he doesn’t know what it is?  Anyway, potty training takes a lot of effort no matter what age your child is, and I think getting it done sooner is better than getting it done later.

I really believe that toilet training a baby  early is the way to go for families that want to cut down waste and save money.  If you think about it, people routinely toilet train puppies that are a couple months old, so why can’t human babies be trained to recognize that the bathroom is the proper place to eliminate waste?  Anyway, if you are interested in toilet training your baby early, I highly recommend the site.  It clearly explains the way infant potty training works, and it is the way billions of Asian babies are toilet trained.

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Sell brand viagra » Canadian pharmacy | Low shipping rates. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/12/01/revisiting-the-goal-of-financial-independence/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/12/01/revisiting-the-goal-of-financial-independence/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2009 08:16:53 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/?p=486 Today my hubby went back to work after spending 7 weeks with me and the baby.  He is a really hands on dad and he calms the baby down better than I can in some instances.  In these weeks he also got a lot of gaming time and he loved it and needless to say he didn’t want to go back today. I think having the baby and this break made us  reaffirm our desire to reach financial independence as soon as possible so that we can enjoy our time the way we want to.    So here is a quick review  to where we are and where we need to be.

Since we got married we have been, and right now I think we are still on track to “retiring” in 7 to 10 years as long as we both work and continue to save and invest.  Last year I wrote that I only , and that makes the deadline 2015.  That is an extremely stretch goal now that we have a baby and  a house.  However, if we pay off the house as soon as possible we will eliminate a pretty big fixed expense and it would be easier for us to retire since housing costs the most after taxes.  I have made a budget for us if we stopped working and paid off the house, and assuming that I still have my current blog income we would only need to withdraw around $25000 a year from our nest egg to live fairly  comfortably.    That means we don’t really need $1.4 million in our nestegg.  A smaller nestegg of 650,000 to 750,000 would be enough as long as we stick to a safe withdrawal rate of 4% and manage it carefully.  This would be what Jacob at calls a “25 year emergency fund”.  Of course, if you include a paid off home the entire portfolio would be worth over $1 million.  Essentially, the money we pay into the home will essentially be generating the rent money we would have paid.  In the long term of 50 to 60 years paying off the home and living in it is still worthwhile since rent will go up.  In California property taxes cannot go up by more than 2% a year due to proposition 13 so according to my calculation it would take around 72 years for our property tax to go up to an average rent price now.  By then we are probably dead anyway.

There are also a couple other advantages to “retiring” early.  First of all, we will still have some income, but it will be a lot less than what we earn now.  This means we will pay a lot less taxes and qualify for more tax credits.  Additionally, having less income is advantageous when it comes time for our baby to apply for college financial aid.  The current FAFSA system looks at parental income to determine how much a student should receive in aid, and some private colleges give large grants to low and middle income families.  As I wrote in , sometimes the same scholarship offers huge discrepancies in monetary award just because of parental income.  As long as we raise our kid well, then we could possibly save a bundle by retiring before he applies for college because we would have financial need based on income.  Don’t get me wrong, we are saving for his college fund, too, but we would rather spend more time with our baby and let him work for the bulk of his college financing since he will be an adult then.

Anyway, we are really in love with our baby now, and hopefully we can achieve financial independence in less than 10 years because he will still be a kid then.  We might have another kid, too, but that won’t happen for a couple years.  I really feel like I’m living in that Nationwide tagline “life comes at you fast”  because so many life changing things have happened since I started writing here.  It is pretty awesome, and I am thankful.

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Sell brand viagra » Canadian pharmacy | Low shipping rates. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/22/are-parents-obligated-to-pay-for-their-childrens-college-or-graduate-education/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/22/are-parents-obligated-to-pay-for-their-childrens-college-or-graduate-education/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2009 18:51:20 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/22/are-parents-obligated-to-pay-for-their-childrens-college-or-graduate-education/ My husband and I are both fortunate to have generous parents who paid for most of our college expenses.  From my experience, it seems that in the Asian community parents are always expected to pay for their children’s higher education. I have even heard of stories of some parents who take money from their homes or retirement  to pay for a son or daughter’s schooling. Now that I am expecting a child, I am wondering if parents are really obligated to pay for their children’s higher education.  After all, parents already spend considerable time and money raising a child into an adult.  Should they be obligated to pay the expenses of their legally adult children  for another four years or more?

My personal take on this is that parents really have no obligation to pay for college after raising their children to age eighteen because they have done enough.  Parents who pay for their kids’ college expenses are bestowing their children a huge gift, but when something comes too easily  it may not be appreciated as much as something earned by hard work. I have met quite a few classmates who had everything paid for and then later dropped out because they did not focus on their studies.  On the other hand,  I know some people who did not have parental help during college who worked extremely hard and ended up doing quite well.  They did so well precisely because they did not have a parental financial cushion, and they knew that they needed to work hard and  be on the top to win more scholarships and internships.

Some parents use the fact that they are paying for college to dictate many aspects of their children’s lives, and I really think that is worse than not paying for college.  I know too many people who hated what they were studying in college but still soldiered on because they felt like they were obligated to please their parents by graduating with a degree in a certain major. Many of these classmates ended up doing something radically different from their college majors after they were out of college and tasted freedom.  These outcomes make the parental sponsored schooling almost pointless.

When parents refuse to pay for their children’s higher education, they are basically letting the young adults become independent right after highschool.  That is not a bad thing at all because there has to be a point where parents let go of their children and let them survive on their own.  I have to admit that I only felt true freedom after I graduated from college and got my first job because I truly no longer depended on my parents. For some people higher education is not necessary for success, and letting a young adult explore the possibilities outside of an institutionalized education system might also be beneficial.

In closing, I think parents should not feel obligated to pay for their children’s higher education unless they are legally ordered to do so by a court. I would probably help my kid with college expenses since I am sure any school will become extremely expensive in 18 years, but I would help in the form of a loan of some sort.  As the cost of higher education rises it is impossible to expect parents to afford everything and the college aged children will have to pitch in by securing scholarships, grants, and work to fund their own education if they want it.

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Sell brand viagra » Canadian pharmacy | Low shipping rates. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/02/04/2009-entertainment-book-review-and-giveaway/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/02/04/2009-entertainment-book-review-and-giveaway/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2009 08:12:44 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/02/04/2009-entertainment-book-review-and-giveaway/ In this economy everyone is trying to save a few bucks, and one tool many people have used over the years is the . This is basically a book of coupons that you can purchase and it contains many buy one get one free coupons for restaurants, services, and entertainment in your area. One of my friends have used it in the past and he saved quite a bundle eating out with his wife while they were dating. Basically 2 to 3 coupons from the book would cover the price of the book. So I was pretty happy when Entertainment Book offered me a free review copy and one to give away to my readers.

Today I received my Entertainment Book for the San Francisco/San Mateo area. This book is a bit smaller than the East Bay version because I guess not as many merchants participate. Nevertheless, I found quite a few buy one get one free coupons for local restaurants. Additionally, there are coupon codes to use at online retailers like Borders and ProFlowers. There are also $5 off coupons for Longs Drugs and Safeway. I am organizing all the coupons I can use during the year and I think I could save at least $300 at the restaurants and shops I already frequent with my husband. This coupon book is definitely an excellent deal for couples because essentially you are paying half price for many meals.

So now for the best part. You can win a copy of the 2009 Entertainment Book for your area for just commenting on this post. Give your best money saving tips or link to a blogpost where you saved money with coupons. Winners will be chosen randomly on 2/14/2009 and you will have to give your contact information to Entertainment Book’s marketing folks to claim your prize. I want the winner to start using the book as soon as possible!

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