We just paid our homestudy fee!
Adoption can be expensive, but there is a way to pay for it without having to get into debt. Background: I haven’t been too active on this blog since I recently have been focusing more on my herdesignedlife blog, a personal finance and lifestyle blog for women. But for those who have been curious as to how we are paying for this major life expense, here’s what we are doing. See how we started our adoption journey here.
- Save, Save, Save. Pete and I are DINK’s ( Dual Income, No Kids…yet) So once Pete graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree last year and landed his first PT job, we made a point to live on my income. So even though our income doubled, we save almost 50% of our paychecks and live very frugally.
- Budget. You can’t go anywhere if you don’t know where you are. This probably should be listed as number one. I have to say that I love using my bank’s app. Honestly, most larger banks have the ability to see trends about where your money is going, how you spent in the past, or create or edit savings goal. I’m also a big Mint.com fan. You can see my guest post about how I budget my month on my friend’s Frugal for Luxury’s blog here.
- Commit. Okay, here’s where I think is the hardest. During this step, I make it a point to commit to looking at our goals each week to see how we are doing. By honestly reviewing what I’ve done well, and I can see what I can stop, start, or continue to do.
- Make a point to give yourself a reminder by placing a check-in time on your calendar ( your phone, google calendar, or notebook) are just a few places you can start with to check-in.
- Make it a date by rewarding yourself with a coffee or cookie at Panera or someplace cheap when you look through your banking history.
- Questions I ask myself are:
- What bills are coming up?
- What can I do to limit my spending? Can I pack my lunches and snacks?
- What can I do to increase my income? Can I work overtime or take on extra part time jobs? See my post about 15 ways to save 1,000 here.
- Research. I think this went into the beginning stages of looking into our international adoption. I learned a lot by looking up what the overall costs of the adoption are which included but aren’t limited to ( international legal and processing fees, travel expenses, domestic adoption legal fees, adoption agency fees, homestudy fees, just to name a few). What I found is that my adoption agency was the “cheapest” when it came to international adoption for the Philippines in my state. I had a friend of a friend also refer me to this agency. Things to think about when you first talk with your agency are:
- Do you have a fee schedule listing out all of the potential fees?
- When are the fees due? Can I pay installments or must I pay in lump sums?
- What kinds of financing options does your agency have for adoptive parents?
- Are there other required trainings I must pay for outside of what your agency has to offer?
- *If international adoption* Can I pay for the travel costs on my own, or must I pay through your agency?
- Ask your friends and family to donate money.
Like Forest Gump said, “Life’s like a bowl of cherries, you never know what you are going to get.” These last few months have been filled with paperwork about our personal history, our medical background, our financial well-being, and in-depth study on adoption both locally and internationally. Last month, we hit our savings goal of reaching $20k! But honestly, we’ve had our ups and down. The last two months we have been debt kicking, meal-prepping, overtime working, and yes stressin’ at times.
But at the end of the day, you must always consider this.
This child is worth it. Everything you are doing now is setting up for the success of your family later.
Can’t wait to hear from you all.
Will keep in touch soon!