Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why I'm cutting myself off pregnancy magazines ...

OK, I have been a bad blogger lately, but tomorrow is a new month, and I'm going to get back into my writing routine.  This month I have been amazed at how much crap the baby industry has convinced the people around me that I am going to need.  I am not even halfway through the pregnancy, and I refuse to register for baby gifts, but people are already giving me stuff anyway.  But I can see how easy it would be to be brainwashed into it, which is why my new resolution is not to read any more pregnancy magazines.

When I went to my second ob-gyn (long story, I'll tell you later) they gave me a huge pile of complimentary pregnancy magazines.  I was flipping through them this evening, and according to them: (1) My husband views all pregnancy expenses through the lens of the 50 inch flat-screen TV that he now cannot afford. (2) I need a $1k crib and a $500 diaper bag now, not to mention a room full of expensive new baby-themed wall hangings and a million plastic strollers, toys, baby bouncers, etc. (3) But I don't have to worry about the cost, because it's the duty of my friends to buy all of this stuff for me at my baby shower.  (4) And I need to start planning now for my post-pregnancy body with a ton of girdles.  In fact, I give the scariest product award to ShrinkxHips, which promises to narrow your hips to their pre-pregnancy size or smaller.  Somehow permanently compressing my hips just doesn't sound like the smartest idea ever to me, I can't think why.

I consider myself pretty strong-willed, but I'm pretty sure that six more months of reading this drivel won't do me or my budget any good at all.  So I am cutting myself off; no more pregnancy magazines for me.  Speaking of cribs, my family saves everything, so I have the one my mom used for my brother and myself.  I'm going to need another, however, and I don't want to just run over to Wal-Mart and buy one.  Anyone have any good ideas for finding used (I know, you're not supposed to, but how dangerous can it be?) or reusing something into a crib?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taxes Finished!

Thanks to promethazine and ondansetron I finally got my taxes completed today.  Thanks to a big loss on CIGX (bought at $4.92, sold $2.03 so that I could pay off my debt) the feds are actually giving us back a few hundred dollars.  Thanks to Louisiana politicians changing the state tax rate, but not the withholding tables, last year, we're getting more than a grand back from the state.

All the money is going into my "baby fund" account.  Basically, my plan is to amass 3K between now and my due date (mid-October) and use that for baby expenses until I run out.  Then I will have some idea of a baseline for expenses and can adjust the budget accordingly.  Anyone have a better idea for budgeting for first time parents?

If you're a big tax procrastinator like me, and you use any Turbo Tax besides the free edition, you might try this link through the Scottrade Knowledge Center.  It gave me 30% off my federal return.  If you scroll down the page there's a link to the Turbo Tax website, and it should come up the same as the normal site, but with the fees reduced 30%.  I'm not sure if it will work or not, but since I didn't have to use my Scottrade log in or anything, I thought I'd share in case it helps.