Friday, September 10, 2010

Financial thoughts

Thinking about spending $30K+ on fertility treatment has made me think about the value of everything in my life on which I spend money.  Twice-a-month massages?  Sure, they help me manage my stress and cut down on my headaches, but they're not really necessary.  Things like pedicures and facials are nice and relaxing, but definitely something I can live without.  Does MM really need the HD expanded cable package with HBO and the Big Ten network?

I even find myself thinking about what our two golden retrievers cost us.  Two 80-lb dogs eat a lot!  Add in vet bills, medications, pet-sitting services when we are away, etc., and it adds up.  (We would never consider getting rid of our dogs to save money.)

I am slightly ashamed to admit that neither MM nor I is a saver by nature.  Prior to IF, we had a little bit of money put away--most of which we'd earmarked to replace my salary during a maternity leave--but we always thought there'd be plenty of time to save more someday.  Well, now someday is here, or at least fast-approaching, much sooner than we thought it would.

In brainstorming sessions with MM, we have discussed a lot of possible options to get more money.  Could we sell things we own and don't use on craigslist?  Neither of us owns a lot of unnecessary things, and certainly not any which would be worth a great deal of money.  Get a second job?  Given the demands of practicing law, that's probably not a viable option for me, if I could even find a second job in the current job market, and MM's employer places restrictions on his moonlighting. 

Home values in our area have continued to drop over the two years we've owned our home (we saw a house for sale in our neighborhood with our same floor plan for $100K less than we paid for ours two years ago), so refinancing and a home equity loan are both out of the question.  MM's parents have very generously offered to help us with the cost of fertility treatment, but they could only afford to give us $5K.  Neither of my parents have any money put away--truth be told, we'll be lucky if they are able to continue to be self-supporting for the rest of their lives--so there is no potential for financial help there.

The most obvious way for us to get more money is for one of us to get a better-paying job.  MM has been at his current job for over 12 years, loves it, and has no intention of doing anything else. . . . and even if he was willing to change jobs, his options would be very limited and would probably not pay much more than he currently makes.

So I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get an offer from the other firm with which I interviewed Thursday.  A change would do me good, and we could really use the extra money I will make if they match my salary demand.

5 comments:

  1. I hate the infertility has to run every aspect of our lives, including our finances. It's not fair. I don't think anyone ever plans to spend that much to have a baby. At least I didn't! Fingers crossed for this new job opportunity.

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  2. I'm always shocked by how much money I can sock away when I put my mind to it. Massage and big dogs are super expensive - as you know, the $$ was a huge factor for me with Gracie and I am astounded by how much more money I have now that I am dog free (I'm not implying that that's an option for you; just commiserating about the price tag!).

    Anyway, there really is no "someday" when it comes to saving. The figures are astounding when you look at the difference between starting to save in your 30s vs. 40s.

    My big eye opener was going on the cash-only diet. EVERYTHING got paid for with cash or my Visa ATM card that pulls directly from my checking account. I usually take $200 out of my checking account on pay day and try to make that last until the next one for things like dinners out, bottles of wine, manicures, etc... groceries and bills have their own separate "line items" In my budget.

    Microsoft Money or Quicken are both great programs to help you figure out where you $$ is going...

    Money alternately infuriates and fascinates me... but I have found that when I'm on top of things, it is fascinating, and when I'm being careless is when I'm infuriated (a problem of my own making).

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  3. The money aspects of this just suck. I hate that fertiles do not even have to think about this. While I agree that babies in general are expensive, its not like our RE's toss in a free crib with our IVF cycles. I really hope this job works out for you!!!!!

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  4. Like everyone else has said, it's just one more kick in the nuts that money has to play a part in our struggle to become parents. There are options in the States - e.g. shared cycles that reduce the overall cost and I think there are financing programs.

    I hope the job comes through for you!

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  5. The finacial aspect of infertiity treatment is very stressful! I opened a credit card account(for IVF) that had 0% finance charge for one year. Thankfully I paid almost all of that before the interest rate went up to 6.5%!

    I hope you get that job and pay raise! It sounds like you are ready for a change and making more money is always a bonus!!! Good luck!

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