Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wants VS. Needs
Sometimes it is really hard to tell wants and needs apart. For example, I WANT homemade pizza for dinner, which means I should make some dough, But I NEED to take a nap....or is it the other way round, I WANT to take a nap, but I NEED to make dinner. See how hard it is. It is amazing that I even get up in the morning. Well no it is not amazing, but I do get up, and through the day I manage to get some things done, sadly I don't always do the things I NEED to do each day, but that is another story. Today's story is about the new baby and the $500 we have set aside to prepare for the new baby.
If the creation and use of Excel spreadsheets was a game- the likes of "World of Warcraft" or "Diablo II" Ken would be a Wizard- or what ever really high level you can achieve in those games. Our family has a spreadsheet for everything. The Family Budget- complete with what checking or savings account budgeted items will be paid for out of. The Personal Finance spreadsheet- which tracks EVERY CENT that we spend and categorizes it! The Lehi Expenses spreadsheet- that tracks how much we spend each month on things like Power, Gas, Telephone, it comes in very handy when we review our budget. Today I took a look at a new spreadsheet titled "Bonus Wants & Needs 2010" and the very first category was "New Baby".
Ken is a very good listener and I was pleased to see that 7 out of the 9 things I have been thinking that we NEED for the new baby were already on his list. I guess he has heard me talk about these items enough that he felt confident in writing them down. I added my last two needs and then I added some other things that he hasn't found yet, after all, in the game of Excel, I have achieved the level of Princess. Ken had a column of needs and a column for Price, I split the Price column in two and made one Used and the other New, then I added a Paid column. Then I started to enter the information that I have been collecting over the past month or two.
So this is what it basically looks like
Baby needs ($500 cap) Price Paid
Toddler Bed $60
Gate for Loft
Swing/Bouncy Chair $60 $107
Mattress ---- $40
Sheets (4) ---- $25
Mattress Cover ---- $10
Super Yard Gate $60
Double Stroller $130
I did a quick SUM and discovered that even with two items not having a price listed I was already over $400. It is becoming very clear that if each one of these things is really a NEED then some of them will need to be second hand items. There are some things I don't want to buy used- i.e. my baby deserves a new mattress and sheets, I can give that to my baby. But other things are very much worth trying to find "Gently" used. Like the Swing, I WANT the Fisher Price Smart Stages 3 in 1 Swing, it is a Swing, a Bouncy Chair and a Toddler Rocker, so both kids can get some use from it. I might even go look at one tomorrow that I found on KSL.com, I say might because the seller hasn't gotten back to me to say when they are available to show the swing, I am hoping to talk them down to $50, but $60 is a pretty good price.
Anyway, back to Wants VS. Needs. I feel like I NEED most of these things.
1-Little J will need a bed, because he will have to relinquish the crib to the new baby. In order to get everything to fit into the baby room (the only other bedroom on the same floor as the master) we will need to get a small Toddler bed which means we need....
2. A new crib size mattress.
3.We will also need a mattress pad/cover and new sheets to go with the new mattress- especially if we have a baby that likes pink, because half of our current sheets are blue.
Those are all definite NEEDS. But wait, there's more.
4.We need a gate for the loft, because that way, I can let J play up there on his own without wondering if he is going to jump out and see if he can land on his feet 10 feet down. I have delightful daydreams about J playing up there for an hour or two at a time, I am pretty sure they are semi-delusional daydreams, but even a half hour a day would help me out. And then there is....
5. The baby sling. You know those things that let you wear your baby. I have a feeling that J will be a very loving and helpful brother, thus this baby may be in constant danger and will need protection, I think that a very easy way to protect my second born would be to wear it. I know and trust many women who "Wear" their babies and I have been watching them. I don't really like the look of 10 yards of fabric draped around a mother or father, I like the simple sling, one loop over one shoulder and around the torso, with the baby right there in front. (Sadly, I saw on the news today that apparently some children have suffocated while in these types of devices, being a really good news source, I can't remember which local morning news program it was, while reporting the story they showed a picture of just about every type of baby carrying/wearing device they could find. So if in the next 5 months it comes out that baby slings are bad, then maybe this won't be on the list anymore) I do have a "Snugli"baby carrier that I used with J and I am sure we will continue to use with our next baby, but I really wasn't able to do much with a baby right there in front of me with it arms and legs dangling out.
So those things really feel like needs to me, but what about the swing, or the double stroller or the Super Yard gate.
1. The Gate, basically a large freestanding pen, will go around my treadmill. Then I can exercise while children are near. Right now if I want to use the treadmill I have to wait until nap time or for Ken to get home, because J is all about trying new things and new dangerous things are his favorite. I could wake up early or continue to wait until nap time etc. So do we really need this. (It could also go around the Christmas Tree.)
2. The Swing. I am not sure it is a need because we didn't have one with J. I wished we had one sometimes but we were able to get by without one. So it really feels like a want.
3. The Double Stroller. I found one I like, we even took it for a test drive. It is called the Baby Trend Sit N Stand "Havenwood" which retails for $129. As of yet I have not been able to find a used one for sale. But do I need a double stroller? I could wear the baby and J could sit in our current stroller, or I could put J's monkey harness on him, strap him to the front of our current stroller and let him pull the baby. I could also go for a cheaper stroller, but I really like this one. And that is why it must be categorized as a want.
In the end Ken has told me several times that this is money I can spend however I want. WANT or NEED it doesn't really matter. But I want to be wise. I don't want to waste money on something when the money really could have been put to better use.
So if you made it this far you deserve to give your opinion. Is there something that you had, or wished you could have had, that helped you out with your second child, (or first, or third, etc...) What do you think of my 3 wants? Or my 5 needs? If you could spend my money for me how would you do it? I really want to know.