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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.
Connect in real time on Twitter: @coupleofsense

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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Life with a Baby: Month 2

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Life with a BabyLife with a Baby: Month 2 – FOMO

As mentioned in the Life with a Baby Month 1 update Ava struggled with eating. I was desperately trying to breastfeed but it wasn’t working the way it needed to. I was trying to feed her all the time and supplement with some formula but honestly we didn’t know how much formula to give her. We were giving her 2-3 oz at a time and then when she finished and still appeared hungry we didn’t listen to her and tried to soothe her in another way. This resulted her being only 5oz over her birth weight by her 1 month appointment. I didn’t really know how much we should give her or how much she should weigh. The doctor told us in no uncertain terms to feed her until she doesn’t want anymore. If she finishes 4oz put another oz in the bottle. Keep feeding her until she doesn’t want anymore. Read more

Goals, Priorities and Budgets

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Talking About Our Goals

Sarah and I were having a chat the other day regarding our financial goals which inspired me to write about the importance of goals in making financial choices.  There is also a difference between a financial goal and financial priorities.  The terms GOALS and BUDGET get misused quite frequently.  Too often, priorities don’t match up with either which is where you can run into problems with satisfaction in your life.

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Why I Don’t Regret My Expensive Wedding

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Expensive WeddingWould you throw an expensive wedding?

We just came back from a lovely wedding of a close friend of ours this weekend. It was an out of town wedding with 2 nights in a hotel. It was loads of fun even if we did have a 4 month old! The wedding had me reflecting on our wedding that was just 6 years ago (or forever ago depending on who you ask). The thing about reflecting is the line of questioning that eventually pops up is “would you do anything differently?” Scott has touched on this previously; financial regret only happens when things don’t work out the way you want them to.

We are happily married so I don’t regret getting married but do I regret spending what we did? Read more

The Tale of One Product and Three Sales Techniques

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A Look At Sales Techniques

As I mentioned earlier in the year, I am currently working in a role that is sales/commission based.  I am part of a fantastic team, very little cutthroat, quite supportive and am happier than I have ever been.  My team is comprised of a manager and one other account manager.  All three of us have a certain number of clients that we are responsible for and of course we are all focused on getting new accounts.  The service we sell is the exact same – yet we each have very different approaches.  This isn’t an “Art of the Deal” type of post; I don’t profess to know everything there is to know about selling/closing.  The approach I strive for isn’t important either – I’d love to hear your feedback on which you think is the most effective.  A combination of the three is the easy way out – but if you HAD to choose, let me know what you think.

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Why Having An Open Budget Works

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Open BudgetI’m Glad We Have An Open Budget

There was a point that every week there was a bag or a box hitting the front door.  I briefly mentioned to Scott that it is great that we have an open budget so there aren’t questions or concerns about what I’m buying.  Lots of packages have been coming to the front door.  It makes sense, I’m at home all the time with Ava and when I’m not at home I’m at the mall or my parent’s house. Read more

Life with a Baby: Month 1

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Life with a BabyWelcome to a Life with a Baby where we are sharing our journey into parenthood.  The first Friday of the month we will be sharing a story of what life was like.

Theme for month 1 would be struggling with eating and weight gain for Ava and us trying to figure out what to do.

All by myself:

After the first week at home Scott went back to work.  My first day at home with a 1 week old infant was scary to say the least.  I spent the first part of the Monday crying that I was going to make a mistake or mess up our child.  My recovery from the c-section was okay but I wasn’t 100% yet (still not). I was not able to drive and felt isolated and lonely.  There are still days I feel like that. Each day gets better than the last.    Read more

Mortgage Free, 2nd House or Upgrade?

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Choices to make as we edge closer to paying off our mortgage

Sarah and I are working very hard to knock out the mortgage on our house as soon as possible.  We are on track to be mortgage free by our early-mid 40s. This is depending on what life has in store for us in the next little bit.  The reason why we have been focusing on the mortgage is about commitments.  Math-wise it makes more sense to invest in our retirement savings.  We have RRSPs – and the money we contribute to them lowers our taxable income.  That leads to nice tax refunds which we then reinvest.  If we ran into any financial difficulties we would stop contributing. We would still have a fat mortgage to pay off.  Once we are mortgage free we can then focus on retirement.  Currently we do contribute to our RRSPs on a consistent basis. Any extra we come up with goes to the mortgage.  While that is our current plan, things might change as our priorities shift in life.

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How Being Debt Free Allows Me To Be A Better Parent

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Debt FreeWe Worry Less About Money Because We Are Debt Free

We are fortunate to be debt free at this stage of our lives. I’m grateful to be debt free as a new parent and I know that it is makes me a better parent than if I was not debt free.

Recently we had a baby.  She is a wonderful baby and makes us look like we are already at Level 1000 in the parenting game.  She slept through the night at 7 weeks and is a really happy baby. We are over the moon in love with her and I’m finally starting to get a hang of the staying home thing without it impacting my views of myself and worth.

(Another topic for another time – I need some more distance to gather my thoughts).

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