Testimonial by Mary from Practical Strawberry
When we found out we were expecting in October of 2005, we immediately started saving for the birth. My husband’s income covered most of our expenses, so most of my earnings from my work as a massage therapist went to the Baby Fund. Because we planned to use a midwife, we knew how much the birth would be and it gave me a very concrete, motivating goal.
I feel energized by literally seeing my money accumulate, so I kept a jar on my dresser labeled “Baby Bean” were I would put my spare change and tips from clients. As my belly grew, so did my savings.
By May, I had reached the Birth Fund goal and started to get excited that the rest of the money I earned between then and the baby’s birth in July could be used for some fun new furnishings for our house. Some afternoons after working, I would lay on our bed and mark pages of the IKEA catalog, getting excited about the idea of getting to spend some of our money on something fun, instead of bills, rent, groceries and cars.
Having been a “saver” all my life — although my husband was very sweetly encouraging (he’s the spender) — I eventually decided there was nothing that we really needed and I enjoyed the peace of mind knowing we had the extra money in savings instead of new stuff. And it was a good thing I did!
Our son ended up being breech and instead of the home birth we had planned, I had to have a very expensive C-section delivery and a bit of a hospital stay. Our insurance deductible and other expenses were almost five times as much as we had saved in our original Baby Fund!
Fortunately, the extra money that I had been able to save, combined with what we had been saving in our general savings account was enough to cover the bills. I was even able to negotiate a lower amount for the hospital bill because we paid it in full up front instead of dragging it out for years. It was such a blessing to not have a “baby payment” as part of our early life together as a family of three.
The Second Time Around
When our second son joined our family, we paid cash for his delivery as well, but the process of saving wasn’t as eventful. We just pulled the money out of our general savings account, which we try to add to each month, although the amount was much less the second time around because we were able to use our midwife.
What We’ve Gained
In telling our story, I often say “I” or “we” when referring to our savings, but am more than aware that our ability to save and the resources that we saved all come from God. I truly credit the Holy Spirit for calming my IKEA coveting, at least that time ;).
Many times we fail on our budget, but I know that God is conditioning my heart so that I won’t become overly prideful.
Mary blogs about the adventures of life with her crazy guys (husband and sons included) at Practical Strawberry.
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