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.