Flying with a Lap Baby – Is it Worth the Risk to Save Hundreds?

flying with a lap baby is it worth the risk to save hundreds of dollars? andthenwesaved.com

Y’all, you know me. I (obviously) like to save money. With the holidays coming up we’ve been throwing around ideas about what we should do. We’re planners, we’re Virgo’s, we’re Type A (well, Aaron is more than me;), and we also know that the earlier we buy our plane tickets the more money we can save. I’ve even heard that for each day you wait to buy it’s an average of $5 that’s added, per day, to the price of the ticket.

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One of the ideas we have is to go visit my family in Lincoln, Nebraska. We’d probably fly because the tickets are so inexpensive, (relatively speaking), and the flight is a mere 1 hour long. If we drive then it’s close to 8 hours (or, it can be done in 7 hours if you only stop 2 times, and go 7 to 10 miles over the speed limit the whole time. Not that I would know.).

When thinking about flying with our little guy, Henry, (his 1st airplane trip) we definitely did not even consider the possibility of buying him his own seat because, I mean, duh. Babies under 2 can fly for free! So you better believe we were going to take full advantage of the chance to save some money!

 

What I didn’t realize though was that there may be risks to not getting him his own seat. I thought things like:

– “He’s so little it would be no problem to keep him on our laps. He might will be squirmy but it won’t be for long so it’ll be fine! Let’s save money when we can!”

– “That’s such a waste of money to be going and getting all spread out and luxurious on the plane! We’ll just be scrunched up for a little bit! It’ll be fine! Let’s save money when we can!”

– “Only people with money to spare (like lots of it) would ever buy their baby their own seat. I mean, come on. There’s money to be saved here so let’s save it! We’ll be fine! ”

 

I never thought about not going with “baby flies free” option because I never had a reason not to. You see, the other day I joined a Facebook group called Car Seats for the Littles. I was scrolling along thinking about how complicated this whole car seat thing is when it really shouldn’t be that hard, right? And then, this article pops up about changing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for kids under 2. My first thought was what it had always been: “Oh hell no! SAVE THE MONEY!”

But then, I read a this: Babies Have a Right to a Safe Seat with Proper Restraints – The Infant Seat Exception Should be Abandoned, and that completely changed everything.

Now, I feel like if we do fly anywhere before the baby’s 2 years old there’s no way I can justify not spending money on a seat for him after knowing what I know now. If, heaven forbid, anything were to happen I would never be able to forgive myself for not buying a seat just to save some money.

To me, it just isn’t worth the risk. I’ve got to say, there are some things that are far more important that money, and this is one of those things.

 

So, I have a hundred (6) questions for you: What do think about all this? Did you know about the risks associated with having a Lap Baby? Is it worth the extra couple hundred bucks?  Am I over-reacting? Why isn’t this something we hear about more? Why isn’t this a bigger deal to people? 

10 comments

in Family, Friends, & Relationships, Practical Solutions, Societal Pressures, Things To Do, Travel Cheap
Melanie vs. The Spending Diet – Update

spending diet emergency andthenwesaved.com

Melanie is sharing her Spending Diet adventures with us, and she’s got her August update for us below. – Anna

If you remember, I went over last month’s spending diet allowance. It was so much harder than  I imagined! In August, I committed to do better. I immediately took my $100 cash allowance out of the bank when I was paid and I stuck to it. But lo and behold, we had an emergency. Our air conditioning system stopped working on one of the hottest days of the year. And when you live in a tin can in the South, going without air conditioning is not an option.

Don’t emergencies always seem to happen at the most inopportune moments? Just when you think you’re doing better saving (or in life) BAM! something comes along to knock you down. Luckily in the past year, George and I have managed to get an emergency savings fund together. I consider 95 degree heat an emergency, so we had to dip into the emergency savings to fund a new air conditioning system. I really hated to do it, but I can’t sleep in that kind of heat, my husband can’t work and my poor pup was just plain uncomfortable.

I did experience some buyer’s guilt. I thought things like: “People for thousands of years went without air conditioning!” “It’s already August, it will be fall soon. We will only have to suffer for another month!” “I can’t spend $300 on a new air conditioning system, I’m on the spending diet!!!” But after a few days without air conditioning, I was whistling a new tune and I was ready to dip into those savings. Let’s just say that sweating immediately after stepping out of the shower is not a fun experience.  I’m not happy about it, but sometimes life is going to get in the way of a savings diet or savings fast. I just feel lucky that we had an emergency savings account to dip into.

Next month I plan to sell a few things in order to build my emergency savings account back up. I also signed up to teach a class for extra pay and for the first time ever, I’m receiving a small raise. (High fives for me?!) I know that I can get back on track with my savings but emergencies, man, they are really cramping my savings style!

 

How do you build your savings back up after an emergency? Let me know in the comments! 

16 comments

in Do Without, Paying Off Debt, Spending Diet, Spending Fasters !!NEW!!
10 Very Good Reasons to Get Renter’s Insurance

10 reasons to get renters insurance andthenwesaved.com

Many renters think a benefit of not owning a home is skipping out on the costs of insurance. However, as a renter, insurance should still be a consideration. One incident such as a fire or a burglary could seriously jack up your financial life. There’s no reason for that kind of stress when it’s really a pretty inexpensive thing to get considering all the peace of mind you’ll have in return. Trust me, after our recent car theft I am thinking about how awesome insurance is these days!

 

10 Way Good Reasons to Get Renter’s Insurance…

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14 comments

in Practical Solutions, Take Action!, Things To Do
Can We Want What We Already Have?

can we want what we already have andthenwesaved.com

I’m just gonna go ahead and leave this here. A little something  to think about.

Is the grass always greener? Is it possible to have enough? What is it that makes us want more, more, more?

8 comments

in Motivation
Melanie vs. The Spending Diet – Update

spending diet andthenwesaved.com

 

Melanie is sharing her Spending Diet adventures with us, and she’s got her July update for us below. We’ll get August’s update up before you know it, and then we’ll be back on track in no time for September. I’m telling ya, we’ve got a plan, folks. She’ll take it from here. xo, Anna

 

Ok, so first things first, this was so much harder than I imagined. I went over my allowance of $100 in the first two weeks! I am ashamed and to be honest I was a little shocked. (I feel like I’m such a saver!) But I learned from my digressions and I’m ready to get serious.

 

I went $100 over my spending limit in July for two reasons:

 

#1 – I didn’t immediately get cash out of the bank at the first of the month like I said I would.

Hey, I’m lazy and I hate making trips to the ATM. Instead, I told myself I’d just write down what I spent. What a joke. If I’m too lazy to go to the ATM, I’m too lazy to write down everything I spend. Now at the first of each month, I am vowing to get out my $100 spending budget and stick to only spending cash on my “Wants.” I’m also leaving my debit card at home so I can’t be tempted by that trickster. (I’m keeping my credit card on me for emergencies.)

 

#2 – I was too strict with my food budget.

I just simply didn’t budget enough for food. I hate buying food even though it’s a necessity. I thought by giving myself a super strict limit, I would spend less. Wrong! I spent more because I ran out of food and had to make extra trips to the grocery store. I’m going to give myself $50 more to spend on food each month because a girl has to eat. To even out the budget, I’m cutting my gym membership. I love it but I don’t use it often enough. I ordered some infomercial DVDs a while back and I’ve been hitting those harder than I ever hit the gym.

 

I still managed to save $1,000 this month which I consider a success. I also got real with myself. Looking back on this month, I realize that I spend more money than I should going out with friends. Instead of going out with friends, I’m going to convince my friends that we should cook at home– even if that means I do all the cooking! I’ve even started fermenting my own wine which has been super fun and much cheaper than wine at a bar or restaurant.

I have high hopes for next month. I’m taking on a side job to earn more income and I took out my $100 allowance as soon as I got paid.

Here’s to hoping next month’s spending diet report looks better than the last! Melanie

13 comments

in Do Without, Paying Off Debt, Spending Diet, Spending Fasters !!NEW!!
Thrifty Weekender – Start Your Weekend Off Right / 06

thrifty weekender - start your weekend off right - andthenwesaved.com

 

It’s been a little while since I did a Thrifty Weekender post, but, I think we should just get right back into it. Whattya’ say?

 

Here are some posts/things on the web that stood out to me this week:

  • I’m always on the look-out for inexpensive wedding dresses for other people. Partly because I shoot weddings, partly because of my recent obsession with Say Yes to the Dress (anyone else into that show?), and also because when I got married I scoured the internet, and local stores to find a reasonably priced dress, and there was nothing cute out there. So, what’d I do? I ended up settling for a dress, and then had it altered so I would like it more. That was a bad idea because I ended up spending almost as much as the cost of the dress justy on alterations! Not recommended. If I were to get married again, to Aaron;), I would be completely into these dresses: Gilded Grace Dress (this one is my fave), Alight of Heart Dress, Are You Gonna Be My Pearl? Dress, Romance with Me Dress (that just so happens to be 70% off), and Outshine the Sun Dress. I could go on and on but I should probably stop now. With a lot of the weddings we photograph the brides will also wear a short white dress for the rehearsal dinner, engagement shoot, and bridal shower so I could see a lot of these dresses being used for those purposes too.
  • We’re all so, insanely rushed, and busy ALL THE TIME. Can you do nothing for 2 minutes? Let me tell you, I really suck at it.

 

What are you up to this weekend? We have to go to Home Depot to get some parts to try to fix of garbage disposal, and Aaron’s birthday is Sunday so I’m going to bake him a huge, chocolate chip cookie “cake”, and then I’m going to frost it with a shitload of buttercream and sprinkles. We’ll eat too much of it, regret it, then vow to get healthy again on Monday.

I hope you have a great weekend, and keep that spending on lock down! Read these get out of debt pledges if you need a kick in the ass/jolt of motivation. I read them very often to keep myself in check. xo, Anna

8 comments

in Student Loans, Thrifty Weekender
Well Aren’t You Fancy, “Name Brand” Hand Soap

mrs meyers hand soap hack andthenwesaved.com
We’ve had lots of family in town lately which has been awesome. Right before our guests arrive we go through our place, and tidy up. Part of that process includes refilling the hand soap containers. There’s something about “name brand” hand soap that just feels luxurious or something. It’s got it’s pretty package, it smells good (like, REALLY good), and, oh yeah, it costs like, $7 bucks a bottle (booo).

I always imagine that wealthy people just buy the name brand, great smelling hand soap without thinking twice about it. Which is awesome, IF you want to spend your money on soap. Me? I’d rather spend it on other stuff.

I know this idea isn’t ground-breaking or anything, but this is what I do to still have my good smelling soap but without the cost…

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39 comments

in DIY, How To, Make Do & Mend, Practical Solutions
The Cost of Having Our Car Stolen

impound lot andthenwesaved.com

impound lot andthenwesaved.com

Last week I posted about how our car got stolen. Well, it was recovered about 5 miles from our house near the football stadium in town! As expected, all of the baby stuff was stolen. The car seat, the car seat base, the car seat carrier/stroller thing, as well as, Aaron’s prescription sunglasses, the stereo face, a multi-tool, a wood-cutting axe (super random, I know), and a few mix CD’s that I had made. (Hey, at least the thieves have good taste in music? ;) They also took the 10 month sticker off of the license plate. Really, though, I’m just SO incredibly relieved to have the car back. All of the things that were stolen from the car ended up being less than our $500 deductible so we ended up withdrawing our insurance claims since it wouldn’t’ve paid out anyway.

We had to pick up the car from the city’s impound lot (the above pics are from our multiple visits there), and then we’ve had the car at the auto repair shop since last week to see what, and if, anything was missing internally from the car, and to make sure it was safe to drive. We didn’t want to put the baby in there until we knew, for sure, that it was totally safe.

Today, we found out that there was nothing wrong with the car (!), all the parts were still in it, and there was, shockingly, no external body damage! I’d say as far as having had a car stolen goes we pretty much lucked out!

 

Cost of having the car stolen:

– New car seat (we went with one that he’ll be able to use until he is 65 pounds): $160

– New prescriptions sunglasses: $250-ish

“Club”for the steering wheel: $40

Total: $450 + a lot of time

 

I’ve learned to never leave anything of value in the car, and to always keep the auto and home owner’s insurance paid up!

Thanks for all the kind thoughts, support, and good vibes y’all threw my way on the last post! All that goodness really worked. xo, Anna

37 comments

in Personal
  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this!

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