A testimony from Lydia who blogs at Five4Five Meals
There is this book we read to our son called Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You. The first line reads, “I wanted you more than you’ll ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.”
If I wrote this book for my son, the first line would read, “I wanted you more than you’ll ever know, so I did some serious saving to pay for the hospital bills.”
You see, when I was ready to have my baby I was a newspaper journalist working for cheap at a company that offered bargain basement benefits, so long before I got pregnant, we started saving.
Months later, I found myself pregnant, thrilled, and sitting in the insurance coordinator’s cubicle at my obstetrician’s office. She was telling me that my insurance was covering little and my deductible was among the highest she had ever seen. I was fully aware that my benefits amounted to a latex bandage and two chewable vitamins, not the $5,000+ it would take to have this little guy.
When I told her we had been saving for a baby her eyes grew misty. “That is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard,” she said.
We started saving six months before I was pregnant, cutting out everything from sodas from the drink machine at work, to coffee to lunch outings. Because of this, we were both able to sock away $50 a week from each paycheck.
We also saved any money we got for Christmas, birthdays, tax refunds, and the cash we were graciously given as shower gifts.
At the time, my husband worked out of town a lot, so per diem checks also went in savings along with spare change, gas reimbursement checks, funds from freelance writing gigs, and a few things sold on Amazon and eBay.
When my baby boy was born the night before our sixth wedding anniversary, I was not worried where the cash would come from to pay for his delivery.
I have to be honest, there was still a fair amount of sticker shock that came when the hospital bill finally arrived and I was grateful my husband and I had padded our savings. I was even able to get a 20 percent discount from the hospital when I paid our bill in full instead of in installments. That equaled a savings of over $2,000!
Life has changed so much since our son was born, and not just because we are new parents. My husband was offered a job — out of the blue — that pays excellent benefits and afforded us the opportunity to move closer to my parents and, due to our new-found savings habit, allows me to stay home.
This has been everything I prayed for.
While the saving was tough and the bills were expensive, my son is worth every penny. Some things you just can’t put a price on.
Lydia Senn is former stressed out journalist turned freelance writer and stay at home mom, who blogs about cooking on a budget and cleaning green. You can check out her blog at Five4FiveMeals.com.
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