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February 2011 Credit Card Bill


We had a big surprise when we got the February 2011 credit card bill – it’s a lot lower than usual! As some of you know, Baby RB40 joined the team in February and I thought we would have all kind of expenses. We did have some unexpected expenses, but our overall bill was down quite a bit.

Credit Card

halo sleep sackGas – $71 (Gas price keeps going up, but we don’t drive that much)

Tracfone prepaid minutes – $70 (this should last us a few months)

Pet – $10

Breast pump rental and paraphernalia – $146

Diapers from Amazon – $26

<<<<Halo Sleepsack – $24 (The Halo sack works pretty well. The kid hates being swaddled, fights really hard for about 5 minutes, and then falls asleep after wearing himself out.)

The total credit card bill was $347, our smallest in a long time. We were just so busy with baby that we didn’t have time or energy to spend money.

Debit Card

I had to use my debit card for the first time in 15 years though. I joined Costco! Yes, I gave in to the evil Borg empire so I can buy Kirkland formula.

Costco executive membership – $100 ($20 back in gift card and supposed to get at least $50 back at the end of the year, we’ll see how it goes.)

If you read my financial pet peeve – Supersize Me, you would know I hate value marketing. It’s tough to go against my principle, but when the Mrs. wants Kirkland formula for baby…. We’ll try shopping at Costco a bit more and see if we can save money on a few bulk items like TP. πŸ™‚


We give ourselves $100 cash allowance each every week to spend on discretionary items:Β  groceries, shoes, shows, dinners out, and whatever else we want.

We didn’t buy anything big with cash this month. There were a bunch of small purchases like groceries, Kirkland formula, and some take out sushi.

All in all a pretty boring month. You can take a look at our January bill to compare if you’d like.

Bonus: Here is Baby RB40 in his natural Houdini state. πŸ™‚

baby houdini

3 weeks. You’ll never swaddle me! I am the champion! I shall escape all swaddles! I defy the swaddle! (Swaddle is such a funny word).

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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • 101 Centavos March 23, 2011, 3:39 am

    I presume that you’ll also be staying in more now, and that removes some outside expenses. I like the idea of a sleepsack. With our kids, I was the swaddler-in-chief: I got pretty good at making them look like little papooses.

    • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 9:28 am

      Yeap, we didn’t get out at all during the first month. When we were really too tired to cook, we ordered some food to pick up. We only did that a few times. I just added the little Houdini’s picture, take a look. πŸ™‚ We are getting better with a regular blanket now, but he still escapes most of the time. Sleepsack is tighter, but he gets hot in there so we need to monitor him more often.

      • 101 Centavos March 23, 2011, 5:26 pm

        Awesome picture. That is one mean ass-kicking machine! Congratulations Mom and Dad.

        • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 10:51 pm

          Thanks! He is busy kicking our asses the last few nights. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can nap!

  • FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com March 23, 2011, 5:05 am


    The kid hates being swaddled, fights really hard for about 5 minutes, and then falls asleep after wearing himself out.

    My one nephew would cry for an hour or more from being swaddled and coaxed to stay swaddled.

    I hear that Jenny from Geek in Heels really loves the sleepsuit. Her daughter Claire puts it on, and immediately knows it’s time to sleep.

    See link here: Sleep Training

    • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 9:31 am

      The little guy gets so angry when he get swaddle. He always strain to escape, grunt, cries, and bangs his head around. It was really difficult to sit through the first few times, but now that I know he’ll wear himself out shortly, I can handle it. I’ll go check Geek’s post.
      I should take a video to show him when he’s older. πŸ™‚

  • Everyday Tips March 23, 2011, 8:32 am

    Is that Baby RB40 in the picture? Love that photo!

    As always, I am envious of that credit card bill! You are doing such a fantastic job.

    I too became a swaddling pro. I had never done it until my first was born, but I caught on pretty quick. I miss those days- enjoy!

    • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 9:33 am

      No, that’s baby model. πŸ™‚
      I added a picture of Baby Houdini at the bottom of the post. It seems time makes you forget all the crying and waking up in the middle of the night. We’re looking forward to getting a non interrupted 4 hours of sleep…. So tired….

      • everyday tips March 23, 2011, 10:10 am

        Oh that picture is absolutely wonderful! It is so funny how babies love to sleep with their arms above their heads like that. (At least mine did.)

        He is so adorable, thanks for posting it!!

  • Squirrelers March 23, 2011, 11:06 am

    Sleep sacks are great for babies. Keeps them warm, safe, and it’s easy for the parents. Well worth it.

    Heck, I wouldn’t mind trying a sleep sack, as an adult!

    • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 10:48 pm

      This sleep sack has Velcro to wrap the arms to the body. I don’t think you would like that. You’ll need someone to unVelcro you in the morning and an astronaut diaper! πŸ˜€

  • Sandy @ yesiamcheap March 23, 2011, 11:35 am

    Baby Houdini is adorable!!! He has that “I am the winner” pose all down. I’m with Squirrelers. I would love an adult sleep sack too. The best was the onsies with the feet when I was like 10 or 11. I loved that thing. It was THE best. Do they make adult onsies? I smell a business idea.

    • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 10:49 pm

      heh heh, his arms shoot straight up as soon as you put him down. See my reply to Squirrelers. πŸ™‚

  • Khaleef @ KNS Financial March 23, 2011, 1:22 pm

    I think you guys are on to something with the adult version! They look so comfortable!

  • Lindy Mint March 23, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Swaddle is a funny word, isn’t it. If you read The Happiest Baby on the Block, I think it says that babies don’t really want to get out of the swaddle, they just wiggle free and we think that’s what they want…I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that the swaddle is the only thing that calmed my little Houdini down.

    I even had a friend sew some larger receiving blankets once he got too big for the standard store-bought size.

    Very cute picture. πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty March 23, 2011, 10:51 pm

      I reserved Happiest Baby on the Block and it’s still in the queue at the library.
      My guy does want to get out of the swaddle. He fights so hard as soon as we swaddle him, it’s tough to watch/listen to. He wears out pretty quick though. thx!

  • Crystal March 23, 2011, 4:33 pm

    Your Houdini is adorable! Both of my little sisters were babies who refused to be swaddled too, lol. And yes, swaddle is a funny word!

  • optionsdude March 24, 2011, 4:42 pm

    Interestingly enough, today is Houdini’s birthday. Love the picture by the way. Even though you will be staying in and removing some outside expenses, that will probably be offset by the formula and diaper expense.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2011, 8:42 am

      That’s pretty cool. I loved Houdini when I was little. It was so much fun to read about him and learn about all his escapes and stunts.

  • Nicole March 24, 2011, 6:55 pm


    Yeah, my DS also hated being kept captive. He hated swaddling. He hated the carseat. He hated being in my womb after his legs got long and just pushed himself out a couple weeks early. He had to be free!

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2011, 8:43 am

      At least our little guy can handle the car seat. We make sure to feed him before we go anywhere though. πŸ™‚

  • Money Reasons March 24, 2011, 9:55 pm

    Wow, you’re monthlly expenses are nice and low! And to think, I thought I was frugal! I thought for sure your expenses would be hire since baby RB40 is in the picture.

    Nice job keeping all expenses in check!

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2011, 8:44 am

      February was an anomaly, it was really low. The insurance took care of all the Mrs’ medical expense and we were just so tired so we didn’t have energy to spend money. πŸ˜‰
      Hey, that’s a great money saving strategy – be too tired to spend money. heh heh..

  • youngandthrifty March 25, 2011, 12:13 am

    That first picture looks like the child is in a straight jacket and restrained! hahah.. πŸ™‚

    It must be the good genes, your offspring defies all odds and escapes despite the Swaddler!

  • SavingMentor March 25, 2011, 11:31 am

    My daughter also was an expert swaddle thwarter but unfortunately she absolutely needed to be swaddled to go to sleep.

    In the beginning it was quite a challenge. You had to walk her for at least an hour until she was in a deep sleep, then lay her down on an already prepared swaddle blanket, hope she didn’t wake up the moment she touched the mattress no how gently you put her down, swaddle her in 10 seconds or less while hoping it was both tight enough and the act itself didn’t wake her too much to continue sleeping, and then hope that the swaddle held throughout the night.

    If any of those things failed, then you were in for another good hour of pacing the halls before starting all over again! If she managed to wiggle even one arm free then sure enough she would wake up and start wailing.

    Now she sleeps “like a baby” <– FINALLY and bedtime is a breeze! I honestly don't know how we had the patience for it in the beginning.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2011, 11:48 am

      We did pretty much what you described for a while, but now I don’t wait for deep sleep anymore. Waiting for deep sleep is really tough at 3am.
      If he’s a bit drowsy, that’s good enough. I swaddle him real quick. He would wake up and get really mad at me. He’ll fight and scream for 5-10 minutes, but then he’s all worn out and fall asleep. During the fight, I hug him and hold both of his arms down so he couldn’t escape. This works for me. I can’t wait until he can sleep through out the night.
      Now he wakes up about after about 2 hours and make these grunt and throat clearing noises and wake us up an hour before feeding time.

  • Buck Inspire March 25, 2011, 1:29 pm

    How do you keep your credit card bill so low? Amazing work. Adult sleep sack, isn’t that a hamock? Cool pic of Baby RB40 πŸ™‚ , funny how you just let him tire himself out.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2011, 5:19 pm

      We were just too tired to spend any money. This is definitely a blog post. πŸ™‚

  • The Saved Quarter March 26, 2011, 1:08 am

    My husband had swaddling down to a science. He could get the baby into an airtight little burrito wrap in no time flat, and there just was no escaping. It was a super talent he didn’t know he possessed until he was a father, and both of our kids were swaddle babies.

    Do you know about babycheapskate.com? It’s a blog that runs weekly diaper and formula deals, showing the best place to buy diapers each week and when to stock up, where to find coupons, etc. It can definitely save cash since those diapers can sure add up!

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