Dec 18 2008

A little trick for weighing large packages

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Earlier this month, I mentioned a web site to help you compare shipping costs.  When shipping a package, you’ll want to know how much it weighs so you can know how to get the best deal on sending it.

But what if the box is so large that you can’t see the weight on your bathroom scale at home?

Simple.

Get on the scale and weigh yourself. Then, grab the package and get back on the scale. Find the difference between the two numbers, and you should have your package’s weight.

I went to the site and found that for my three packages, it would be about $5 cheaper to go with UPS. But, I’d have to drive further than my post office, deal with evening rush hour traffic and stand in line for who knows how long.

Since I live superclose to a post office, I decided to drive by it to check out the line. There wasn’t one. Yeah, I could have saved $5, but it would have cost me at least a half an hour, if not more.

To me, my time was worth more than that $5 today.


Dec 16 2008

How much we’ve spent on our baby so far

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I’m 38 weeks pregnant and just about all of the things I had hoped to purchase before the baby comes have been acquired. I think we have enough things to get us through that first month (hopefully) but I’m fine with sending someone to the store or going myself if necessary.

Out of pocket so far, we have spent $1,086.31. This does not include the value of gift items (and gifts are listed in the sheet so you can see all of what we have).

If you’d like to see a detailed breakdown of how that was spent, you can see my list here. Here’s a categorical breakdown:

Medical: $8 out of pocket. Gotta love our HMO!
Maternity wear: $191.53
Baby clothes: $63.14
Carriers: $15
Car seat: $148
Crib items: $275
Baby’s room: $118.97
Books: $4
Classes/help: $123.94
Diapering: $112.12
Misc.: $26.61

Ways we could have saved:

We could have avoided buying so many baby clothes ourselves. We received a lot as gifts and also some hand-me-downs. In all, we spent about $63 ourselves on clothes ranging from sizes newborn through 9 months. Judging by my baby clothes inventory and his already-full closet, I think we have too many clothes already!

I got a lot of use out of most of my maternity clothes and I feel like many of them will be useful when I’m gearing up for our second baby.

We could have scouted more second-hand stores for storage solutions for our baby’s room, but I am happy with what we came up with.

Overall, I think we did a good job getting what we needed without spending too much. Still, we’ve already spent more than a thousand dollars, and the little guy isn’t even here yet! It has been tremendously helpful for us to set aside a “baby” fund. We threw all extra money into it until we had $1,000. Some things were purchased from our regular budget, just because. We still have a few hundred in the baby fund to use for the first month or so, if needed. And, we’ll continue to set aside money for diapers, clothes, gadgets, whatever.

I estimate that we’ll be able to reuse at least $650 worth of that stuff with our second child.

About how much did you spend on your first baby?



Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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