Sunday, September 19, 2010

Penny Pinching

Well, I suppose "kuai/RMB/yuan pinching" (why does our currency have so many names anyways?) would be more appropriate but you get my idea. As most of you know, adoption is not a cheap endeavor, especially since they changed the laws in Ethiopia to require two trips to Africa instead of just one. It never made sense to me why it costs so much to care for orphans but that's just the way it is so we will happily oblige.

But in an effort to help our finances accommodate the mass exodus of cash from our bank account, I've gradually been making some changes. I've read all those articles online which are supposed to help you cut back on your spendings, but I haven't found them too incredibly helpful:

Get rid of your car--check, only bikes for us.
Cancel your cable--check, can't understand much of what's on TV anyway.
Limit your cell phone plan--check, only prepaid cell phones around here.
Ditch the credit cards & use cash--check, I think I'd get laughed at if I pulled out my credit card to pay for anything around here. And because of that fact, it has long since expired and I don't even think the new one has been activated yet.
Make a strict list at the grocery store and stick to it--check, there's not much tempting at our grocery store anyway. If preserved pig foot or dried fish scales aren't on my list, I think I can exercise some self-control not to buy it.

So what's left for me to cut out? Here are some recent thoughts...

Say goodbye to import food...I've never been the biggest fan of cheese or butter, but the exorbitant price tag it carries over here makes me even less inclined to incorporate it into our weekly meal plans.

Say goodbye to my hair...I hacked it off last month. I figure if I have less hair, less hair product.

Say goodbye to meat at least once a week...Tofu is so incredibly cheap here (like $.50 for an entire meal worth of it!) so I've been trying to go vegetarian. Last week was veggie meatloaf (which Kevin affectionately referred to as "poo loaf") and next week is meatless tacos.

Say goodbye to weekly laundry...We really do have more than enough clothes to go two weeks without washing. The weather is getting cooler so we're not sweating as much (a much more frequent occurrence here than in American where you can find A/C everywhere). I figure the phase of my life where I can get away with doing 6 or 7 loads of laundry a month will soon be expiring once the babies come, so I might as well take advantage of it now.

Say goodbye to the A/C...every month, we spend more money on electricity than any other family in our building. So we've weened ourselves to only turn it on at night when we're sleeping (or when we have other American friends over who can't stand to be hot). Now before you feel too sorry for us, fall is in the air and the weather hasn't been too unbearably hot recently. Maybe we won't come in 1st place for energy consumption this month!

I've always heard that motherhood is laden with sacrifices, but I've never thought about it from this perspective before. The things we're giving up are indeed sacrifices but I'm more than pleased to do it for the sake of these little ones. Money in itself is worthless; it's what money can obtain that has value. And what is more valuable than expressing our own adoption into God's family by bringing two orphans into our own?


Shayna said...

SO EXCITED for you and Kevin as you go through the adoption process! There are also quite a few grants that are available, if you've not already looked into those (Show Hope, Lifesong, Gift of a Grant, etc), and I think that there are some that are specific to Ethiopian adoptions as well. Congrats!

Brad and Carrie said...

Have we told you that we love you guys? Well, we do. And I will gladly sit in your apartment, sweat and eat poo loaf.

Nancilea Foster said...

Way to go! We are working on ways to penny pinch, too. I must admit, we have alot more ways we should slim down. Asking for the finances for your beautiful babies to come in! Do you guys have a fund set up for friends and family to help out?

Terra said...

I know that we won't be encountering nearly the expense as you guys, but bringing two babies in to your life is always an expensive endeavour. I'm proud of you guys for finding ways to make it work. We have been cutting down on different things as well to prepare. I cannot wait until you get to meet your babies :-)

Whitney said...

So excited for you guys and the babies on the way! You will be a terrific mommy and these babies will be so blessed by you and your home. Thanks for sharing about the adoption process - praying tonight for the Lord to provide over and above what you need!