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By Couple of Sense

Sarah and Scott are personal finance bloggers and coaches. They have paid off debt, paid for a wedding in cash, bought a house, completed home renovations, gone back to school and handled everything else along the way without going into debt. They want to share how you can do that as well! When they aren’t writing or talking about money you can find them at home, working on their home, in their veggie garden, binge watching some TV and snuggling with their cat.
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Financial Fads

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Are These Fads A Dream…Or A Nightmare?

The thing about the flavor of the month is that the month always ends and a new flavor emerges.  Same goes for the “Best of the Year” – once your year is up you no longer hold the distinction of being The Best…unless you regain your title.  While the development of financial fads is certainly not a new concept, the turnover rate seems to have increased dramatically in recent years.  So with the next big thing coming tomorrow – is sinking your teeth into today’s hot fad a mistake or a worthwhile risk?

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Life With a Baby: Month 4

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Life with a BabyLife with a Baby

In month 4 we dealt with schedules, our first weekend away, teething and mom guilt. By four months Ava started to change the way she looked and started looking less like Scott and more like me. She still has his mouth so whenever she is super upset she transforms back into Scott. Ha!

Schedules

When you have a baby the doctors and the hospital ask you to track things like feedings and diapers. They look at that information to make sure things are on track and are able to quickly call out if things aren’t going well. Being the nerd that I am, I continued to track. It was just data collection so I could see if there were any patterns in her behavior that I could mold into a schedule. Read more

Dad’s Diary – 6 Months of Fatherhood

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A Look Back on 6 Months of Fatherhood

In June of this year (2017) my wife Sarah and I welcomed our daughter Ava into the world.  Sarah has a wonderful series of posts about her experiences (both the wonderful and the struggles) of life with a baby.  As the year winds down and Ava hits 6 months I decided to take a quick detour from my usual personal finance post and talk about my experience as a father.  When Ava was born I took one week off of work but have been back full time since.  Sarah has been on maternity leave.  The term “off on maternity” is really inaccurate because it makes it sound like a vacation – far from it!  So I’d like to take you through a typical weekday.  I’ll also share my thoughts on this new phase of our life and fatherhood in general.

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How We Made a $400,000 Decision in 4 Hours

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HouseHow we bought our house in 4 hours.

I have seen some financial advice along the lines of “wait a long time for big purchases.” I get the concept of this advice but it is more to do with impulse spending. If you are prone to spending on a whim or tend to make a lot of unbudgeted purchases, wait to spend money. This goes for purchases that are big or small. Today marks 5 years that we got the keys to our house and it was the biggest financial decision of our life. I could also say that it was one of the fastest as well. If I think about advice to wait a year on a big purchase I know that for our home it doesn’t make sense. In honour of 5 years in the house I thought it would be interesting to share how we went against that advice and made the biggest purchase in our lives in 4 hours.

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Life With A Baby: Month 3

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Life With a BabyLife with a Baby: Month 3 – Sleep!

By the third month I felt like we had turned the corner. Ava was sleeping consistently through the night (we are so lucky) which made for better sleep for us! At this point I was more mobile and I went out as much as I could. Knowing that the winter was coming upon us, I know that it will be harder to get out every day so I was trying to soak it up when the struggle wouldn’t involve bad weather.

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Basement Laundry Room Renovation – Part Two of Two

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The Basement is FINISHED!

After months of finishing touches the basement renovation is finally finished.  There are some décor items that still need to be found but that isn’t much of a priority.  Several months back I did a post showing the mid-way point of the renovation.   Now we are very excited to have a finished area with nice tiles so we don’t need to wear shoes to do our laundry!

We are now in the midst of a renovation break.  We have some worked planned to redo the front of the house and possibly our powder room next year depending on finances.  Then after that we have to save up to do hardwood on the top floor of our house (and either stain or replace the hardwood on our main floor).

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Saving for Holiday Shopping

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Holiday ShoppingThe Most Wonderful Time of the Year:

It’s that time of year where the holiday music is playing non stop and ads for Black Friday are popping up.  In Canada since we have Thanksgiving in early October the unofficial start of the holiday season is right after Halloween; basically 2 months long.  In the United States it’s only about 5 weeks long starting on the day after the American Thanksgiving, Black Friday.  Here are some tips for your holiday shopping.

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Mo Money Mo Pablum

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How we planned and replanned for formula & diaper costs

Hopefully you are aware in June Sarah and I welcomed our wonderful baby girl Ava into the world.  This was not only a planned baby in the traditional sense of the word, but also the money/financial.  Sarah and I did some pretty extensive research and planning for the financial implications of the decision we were making.  We dug through blogs giving lists of must-have purchases.  Math was completed for what Sarah would be getting from her company for maternity pay.  The Canadian government also has an amazing maternity benefit through our employment insurance program for which we are extremely grateful.

During the planning we added several line items to our budget.  We had a line item to cover the drop in pay from the household second income.  A line for purchases we knew we’d need.  Registered education savings plan (RESP) on another and then a separate line to cover formula and diapers.  This was the most stressful line to figure out as the requirements were loaded with variables.

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Financial Privilege Isn’t Just A Trust Fund

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Financial PrivilegeAnother Post on Financial Privilege:

I mentioned before that we have had our own share of financial privilege. This is a topic that is so deep and difficult to discuss but I’m going to talk about it some more. This community doesn’t talk about it enough but it is so vital to some of the success that people have had that it needs to be discussed. I don’t think it is ever enough to stop talking about this one.

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