We Paid Cash: Our Baby Boy’s Delivery

We paid cash!

A testimony from Jessica

Our “We Paid Cash” victory this past year came in the form of a baby!

I know, it’s a little odd for a “We Paid Cash” story, but as many other moms know, having a baby can be expensive! With no health insurance, and as a stay-at-home mom, we knew from the beginning that our 4th baby would be a stretch for us financially.

We were able to utilize a health discount program available in our state, with the only contingency being that all fees (doctor, hospital, lab work, etc.) were paid in advance. This meant that we needed to come up with roughly $5000 for my 4th c-section, in just 9 months, on an already very tight budget!

Here’s how we did it:

We continued to stick to our budget.

We worked hard at keeping our eating-out down, our spending minimal, and our grocery bill at $350/month for our family of 5.

I did a lot of freezer cooking and stock piled great deals from my local grocery stores.

I sold stuff.

I sold old books and children’s clothing on Craigslist and eBay. While it didn’t amount to a ton, it was something!

My husband took on extra jobs.

My husband was able to perform about 2 weddings each month. This money went straight to the hospital, and also gave us some built-in date nights as we celebrated with the lovely couples getting married!

Swagbucks.

I used Swagbucks to earn Amazon gift cards to pay for diapers, which freed up my diaper budget to go towards the new baby.

We sold our second car.

With my husband working 5 minutes from home, and with me homeschooling our children, we figured we didn’t presently need to be a two-car family.

This sale gave us cash in hand, as well as cut our monthly car insurance bill by $25.

My husband sold a guitar.

Sigh. This one was a little harder… BUT, the day after he decided he would sell his guitar to help pay for the baby, he was gifted another one that he really loves!

By the time our fourth child was born, we had paid off the doctor, the surgical assistant, the anesthesiologist, the hospital, all lab fees, two unexpected hospital visits, and the pediatrician!

The financial freedom after our little Levi was born was SO nice, and now we get to enjoy and love on the very best thing we could’ve ever “paid cash” for… our son!

our kiddos

Jessica is a wife and homeschooling mom of four children under 7. She blogs regularly about parenting, homeschooling, crafts, DIY, and yummy recipes at Mothering With Creativity.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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We Paid Cash: A Minivan!

We paid cash!A testimony from Kim from ProteanMom.com

We are big fans of paying cash for items. We use a cash envelope system (though for larger envelopes we actually keep the cash in our savings account) and we use a spreadsheet to keep track of how much is in each specific envelope.

We started using this system five years ago. And after we realized debt was going to limit our long term goals, we went to work on paying off our debt and changing our habits.

We paid off each account and celebrated our financial successes along the way. After working tirelessly for eighteen months, we paid off everything but our mortgage. And just in time, too! Our first child was born and we were so excited.

Because we were both committed to living debt free from then on, I was able to cut back my hours and stay home with our child.

Now we were debt free, but we didn’t have anything in savings.

Our vehicles, while still reliable, were already 7 plus years old. We wanted to be financially prepared for potential malfunctions or to replace the vehicles when the time came. So we pretended we still had a car payment – only we paid our “car payment” into our savings account and kept track.

When we began to seriously discuss having a second child, we realized we would have to replace my truck. We started researching cars and listed my truck for sale. We (thank the Lord!) managed to sell it for more than we had anticipated. That money went straight into the car envelope.

After some time we looked at our spreadsheet and we realized that we had met our goal. So we kept an eye out on local ads for a used minivan and found one that had the features we wanted – and it was in our price range!

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We called up the seller (a small used car dealership) and took the van for a test drive. After it passed inspection, we went to the bank and withdrew our car payment money. The dealer was so excited to be paid in cash that he gave us a discount!

All in all, it took us three years to save enough for our minivan. The discipline and happiness we have gotten from paying with cash has been worth every tear and penny. And our long term goals? They’re happening!

Kim is a wife, mother of two happy little boys, writer, family chef, and a whole lot more. She works in healthcare and blogs about finding fulfillment and better ways to serve in the variety of roles that life gives each of us at ProteanMom.com.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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We Paid Cash: A New Camera!

We paid cash!A testimony from Tanja

My husband and I live in the US, but I am originally from Germany. In January of 2013, we made plans to spend Christmas and New Year’s 2013/2014 in Germany with my family. As you can imagine, it’s quite an expensive trip — especially during the holiday season.

I knew I wanted to take a lot of awesome family photos while spending time with family. But there was one problem, my ancient camera. It just would not live up the my crazy picture taking. I needed a new camera.

In November 2012, I signed up for UserTesting.com and MySurvey.com, but I didn’t complete any surveys and only 4 website tests (worth a total of $40). However, after booking our tickets in January of this past year, I realized UserTesting and MySurvey could be the path to my new camera.

I did my research on cameras and memory cards and decided I wanted to go all out and get a Canon Powershot G15 (average price $440) and a PNY 32GB HC class 10 memory card (average price $30).

Now I had a goal!

I hoped to do about one website test per week. But I could only get 2 to 3 tests per month due to my schedule and what I qualified for (PC and Android phone tests). I then decided to also do some surveys on MySurvey.

Fast forward from January 2013 to October 2013, I had completed 28 website tests on UserTesting (10 mobile website test at $15 each, and 18 PC website test at $10 each). This totaled up to $330. I also earned $60 from MySurvey — plus the $40 from before.

The grand total was $430!

I placed all the money in my PayPal account since it would allow me to order my camera and memory card from almost any website.

At this point, I enlisted my husband’s online deal searching skills and he found a great deal for me.

new camera

At the end of October 2013, I purchased a Canon Powershot G15 from EBay for $399 and a PNY 32GB HC class 10 memory card for $25 — which left me with $6 leftover! The camera and memory card were both brand new and included shipping and tax! Now I have about one month left to play with my new camera before our trip to Germany.

When people ask about my new camera, I tell them it was literally free… and they can’t believe it.

Thanks MoneySavingMom.com for showing me a frugal way to a new high-end camera!

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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How Our Boys Saved Up & Paid Cash for Their Own Kindles

We paid cash!A testimony from Stephanie at Mrs. Debtfighter

Everyone around my boys seemed to have a Kindle Fire — or their own electronic gadget. And every time they were around any of these people my boys would tell me how they wanted their own.

Finally, over the summer, my husband and I sat them down and had a talk with them. We told them they could have their own Kindles but that they would have to pay for the Kindles themselves.

We wanted them to know and understand that we aren’t just going to buy them something because they really want it. We also felt that they would take better care of them if they had to save up the money and pay.

After two months of hard work, here’s how they saved the money for their Kindles:

1. My oldest son saved birthday money — Granted, this made a huge dent in how much money HE had to save but he still had to give up receiving toys from family.

2. We sold the family iPod — Selling the iPod also made a big dent. My husband and I got the iPhone 4’s last year for $1 each when the iPhone 5 came out. The iPod pretty much became non-existent then so there was no point in hanging on to it.

3. We purged their closets and bookshelves — The boys went through their closets and found items that they did not like anymore and haven’t used in a long time. We listed the items on Craigslist and sold them $5-$15 each. We were able to do the same with books that they outgrew; selling them on Amazon $5-$15 each.

4. We waited for the better version to be on sale — When they began working towards their Kindles I decided to start researching them. The 8GB was $159 and the 16GB was $199. I knew to be able to put more apps and books on the Kindle, we would need the one with bigger memory. While they were saving, the 16GB went on sale for $159; however, they weren’t ready to buy yet. They finished saving the money and we had to wait for them to go on sale again. My older son asked why, and I explained to him that he would have to save $40 more if we didn’t wait. So, he got a little lesson in sales, too!

new kindles

The excitement and pride on their faces the day the Kindles arrived was priceless! They were so excited to tell their friends (they even shared how they had to sell things to pay for them)!

Stephanie is a mostly-stay-at-home-mom to two boys and wife to her best friend! She blogs about her debt-fighting journey at Mrs. Debtfighter.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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We Paid Cash: New Bikes

We paid cash!A testimony from Jessica

My family and I live in a great house on the edge of town. Now that my kids are getting older, we decided that we should start biking more into town. The only problem was that no one but my husband had a bike!

We started looking on Craigslist to find a tag-a-long bike for my son (age 5) and a bike and trailer for myself and my daughters (age 3 and 1 1/2).

We were quite surprised to find a double tag-a-long that my two oldest could ride for $225. We also were able to find a good deal on a bike ($125), helmet (new from Craigslist, $25) and a trailer ($25).

0902 OnTheBikes (3)

All of this took some time to wait for just the right items since we live in a small town and didn’t want to add the cost of gas to our purchase.

In order to be able to afford the $400 cost of our new bikes I worked hard to sell things that I was able to clean out of our house.

It took several months and some deep closet digging, but I did it! I learned a few things along the way that made the process successful.

Facebook Sale group

I got hooked up with a local sale group on Facebook, and this is where I had the most success. Living in a small town, it was great to be able to sell things locally. I also discovered that people would be willing to buy one or two shirts from me since they didn’t have to travel far to pick them up. Selling things $1 or $2 at a time takes a while, but it still helped.

Craigslist

Craigslist worked better for larger items that didn’t have much of a market in my small town. I would usually list items first on Facebook and if they didn’t sell within a day or two put them on Craigslist.

Word of mouth

I sold a couple of larger items to friends that I knew were looking for them. I am able to sell some of the clothes my daughter outgrows to my sister.

Jessica is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids (5, 3, 1) and wife to an amazing husband!

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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We Paid Cash: A New Staircase

We paid cash!

A testimony from Katie

In March of this year, my husband and I were able to purchase our first home. It was a newer home in great condition, but it needed some TLC. The previous owner chose some interesting paint colors and neglected to take care of minor maintenance issues. My husband, Nick, is quite the handyman, so we saw a home with great potential!

Nick works for a university, so he had some free time during the summer months that he was going to dedicate to home repairs/remodeling. Since the home only needed minor repairs, we knew we could tackle nearly everything completely on our own. We also knew that by doing the projects ourselves, we’d save lots of money in the process.

The one area of the home that we absolutely wanted to remodel (and as quickly as possible!) was our staircase. The previous owner had the walls painted a “lovely” forest green, and the staircase was pine. One word came to mind for me: YUCK!

When we sat down to decide how we planned to tackle the project and what our expenses might be, I was absolutely shocked when Nick told me that he thought he could do the entire staircase for $70 or less!

He estimated the following costs and supplies:

  • One can purple paint for the walls (approximately $30)
  • One can white paint (approximately $30)
  • One can stain (approximately $10)

So, after two weeks of lots of hard work on the part of my husband — prepping, sanding, planing, painting, and staining the wooden stairs and landings all by hand — we had a new staircase!

Our total expenses for supplies came in right around $70, just as my husband expected! He guesstimated that if we had purchased all new wood to complete the project, in addition to the paint and stain, our costs would have come in just shy of $600. And if we would have had a professional come in and do the work for us, it would have been even more expensive.

But thanks to some pre-planning, hard work, and creativity on the part of my handyman hubby, and some extra time over the summer to complete the project, we were able to pay just $70 cash for a brand new staircase!

Katie and her husband, Nick, are young professionals, both working full-time and pursuing graduate degrees at a local university. They enjoy remodeling their new home and saving money on anything and everything. In their spare time, they enjoy couponing (well, Katie does!), bike riding, taking their dogs to the dog park, and traveling.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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