Oh boy, we blew the budget (& some exciting news)

Amalia, or Mali-may, my 5 year old. 

This summer we went $2500 in the hole. 

Which means we’re $2500 behind where we want to be.

You know the saying, “There are only two things in life that are certain: death & taxes”?

Well I would add to that, a third: “unexpected” expenses. They’re always going to come up, they’re always going to be there.

Another truth I’ve discovered is that once kids are in the mix, there tend to be even more unexpected expenses (especially as they get older). Maybe not so much “unexpected” as much as, oh, I didn’t realize the kids would need that, or that I should have budgeted for that.

Here’s an example.

I forgot to budget in school supplies, school clothes, PTA dues, things that a responsible/involved parent will pay for. So I scoured the house & got everything we already had at home, from pencils to kid scissors, old notebooks & paper, to bottles of glue & highlighters.

But there was still a good amount of other things we had to buy (kleenex, plastic bags, new crayons & notebooks). I shopped at Walmart, got the bare necessities & still spent around $60.

The kids needed bigger everything, so new pants, shorts, socks, shirts, underwear, shoes & all the rest were on the list of things to buy. I bought all of my stuff at Goodwill when I was in Washington (the downtown Seattle Goodwill is amazing, btw). I was able to get many items 50% off & between the Goodwill & Gap Outlet store clearance rack I got all the kids everything they needed.

Still, I ended up spending around $300. $300 that I hadn’t thought to put in the budget.

Another thing is we have a few things, non-negotiables if you will, that we want our kids to do.

For the boys, cub/boy scouts (which starts at 8) & for the girls dance. For both, sports (when they are 7) & piano (as soon as they can read).

Hyrum started cub scouts this summer & the uniform, books, etc. cost $125. That was a little bit of a shock to us. I know these things aren’t free, but I’ve never had a kid in scouts before, so I didn’t even think about the cost factor.

We figured we could maneuver things in our budget to make room for Amalia to do dance & the boys to do one sport in the fall & one sport in the spring. It’s a bit of a sacrifice to make it all work, but I feel it’s so important for the kids to have these experiences. And, of course, these things cost money.

For now there’s no money left for piano. But I do have piano books & a piano, so I’ll be doing my best to have the kids practice & learn as much as they can on their own until we’re out of debt & can afford lessons.

The real budget buster for us though, was that this summer, two things happened.

First. Since we bought a reliable car (one of the best purchases we ever made–it is a great car) that would actually make the trip to visit family in Washington, we decided to make the trip for a family reunion. Joseph’s graciously parents offered to help pay for gas.

The kids & I drove up in the beginning of July (Joseph joined us in August for the reunion) & we stayed the month with family & friends.

Even though we never stayed in a hotel (even on the 32 hour drive there or back) & I did my best to avoid eating out, the inevitable was, it cost more than anticipated. Sometimes we had to eat out, & there were day trips/excursions with family that cost money. The extra gas, the extra food expense, it all added up–to much more than we planned.

We don’t regret going up at all, but the cold hard facts are that traveling costs money. Sort of stating the obvious, I know. But for me it was eye-opening.

For us to eat on the road, we did a fair share of PB&J sandwiches & fruit/vegetables, but you can only do so much of that, & it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you just need the convenience of fast food. And trying to keep it vegan/vegetarian we were often stuck with Taco Bell & Subway. Just eating bare minimum stuff at restaurants, it still cost $20-$30 per meal. It was really hard for me, because I knew I could make the same meal (& it would taste better) at home for a fraction of that cost.

At times I felt like we were hemorrhaging money & there was nothing I could do about it. We had made the trip, we were up there, & I was doing the best I could to keep expenses low without being a complete miser about it.

Second. I got pregnant.

For the whole month of June I was rolling with morning sickness. And as typical of all my other pregnancies, though cannot be explained in any rational way, when I’m in this state, I can only eat fast food. Really. I can’t think about food too much, I definitely can’t eat anything I’ve cooked or that is been cooked in my kitchen. Or anything that’s healthy, or green.

I know, it’s weird, it’s frustrating, & it’s no fun.

So I ate whatever sounded good in the moment. Lots of crap, stuff that I won’t go into any detail here (but if you want to know more, check out this post from my last pregnancy, it was pretty much the same experience this time around.)

And for the first few weeks, when my morning sickness was just getting started, I would go to the store, roam the aisles & just look for things that sounded like they might taste good. And if it did, I bought it regardless of cost. Only to discover–as I did in other pregnancies–that this is a stupid way to go, since what sounds good today will not sound good tomorrow, which equals a lot of food that goes to waste. So imagine if you will, what this sort of behavior will do to a budget. (We spent $1600 on food in June.)

Well, duh, why didn’t you just stop eating out, you say.

I know, I’m telling you, there’s no rational explanation for this other than to say, you’ve just got to experience what I did  (which I wouldn’t wish on anyone), & then you’ll know what I mean. When you have unrelenting morning sickness, the kind that glues you to your couch all day, & nothing sounds good (except maybe some french fries & a large orange juice from McDonald’s), then you will know what I mean.

My morning sickness continued until about week 19 (I’m 22 weeks), but around week 13 I no longer needed to eat out. In fact, it was like a switch was flipped, & instantly abhorred anything that came from a restaurant (thank heaven!).


So what are we doing to make up for all the extra money spent?

Find out in next post.

In the meantime, watch this short little video about how food is art, a beautiful celebration of the good things of the earth.




P.S. We’re having a boy.
We’re going to name him Tyndale William (pronounced like Kendal, except with a T).
We are thrilled.

P.S.S. Thank you for all your comments & emails from last post.
Your kind words truly mean so much to me.





  1. Lauren @ Breathe & Nourish
    on November 13, 2013 at 7:46 am said:

    Congratulations on your 5th pregnancy! So exciting. Love the name. But man, that morning sickness sounds like absolutely no joke. I have no idea how you’ve done that so many times!

  2. i.ikeda
    on September 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm said:

    Congratulations! The budget busting isn’t fun, but I’m so happy for you and your growing family. A boy! Woo hop! Hoping you have a wonderful pregnancy and birth.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 18, 2013 at 8:20 am said:

      We are totally stoked that we’re going to have another boy. Boys are so much fun.

      –How’s your baby, btw?

  3. Elizabeth
    on September 14, 2013 at 9:39 am said:

    Congratulations!!! Money can be replaced… family moments cannot.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:44 am said:

      I agree! It’s such a balance though. I wish we could afford to make that kind of trip more often. But thankfully, once we’re out of debt, we’ll be able to without batting an eyelash. Memories & relationships are really one of the few things worth spending a lot of money on, IMHO 🙂

  4. Katrina
    on September 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm said:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is wonderful news!! I missed your blog this summer and am still hoping you might have that GF/vegan e-book you emailed me about in the works before baby arrives!! Maybe sales from that could help to make up for the unexpected expenses? 🙂 Anyway, never make excuses for your needs while pregnant – you’re growing another HUMAN BEING in there!! That’s excuse enough!!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:47 am said:

      Hi Katrina! Why yes, I’m glad you mention it. I plan to have the e-books ready to release by November 1st. And you’re right, hopefully some of the proceeds will help to get us out of the hole. Nice to hear from you!

  5. Joy | Frock Files
    on September 13, 2013 at 11:18 am said:

    Woohoo! Congratulations!!! I thought that might be your big news. How exciting. And I don’t think there’s ever a rational rhyme or reason to cravings, especially pregnancy cravings. You did what you needed to do to stay alive, and that’s what’s important. A malnourished mama is never a good thing.

    Oh, and I love his name. How regal!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:50 am said:

      Thanks Joy.

      “You did what you needed to do to stay alive, and that’s what’s important.”
      I agree. It’s hard to let go, to be willing to let your body dictate what it needs (even when it seems completely irrational), but a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do 🙂

      And we like the name too–it’s uncommon & distinguished. And no annoying nicknames should come out of it.

  6. April
    on September 13, 2013 at 10:08 am said:

    Congrats on the baby! I *knew* coming back after the sabbatical would mean a baby. I just knew it! How exciting! What a blessing!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:34 am said:

      I thought of you when I wrote the post & how you’d be excited. Because that’s just the kind of person you are–happy for other people’s joys. Thanks for the excitement 🙂

  7. Ricki
    on September 13, 2013 at 9:16 am said:

    Oh my gosh–CONGRATULATIONS!! And how wonderful that you already know it’s a boy and have a NAME picked out! What a lucky little boy he will be. 😀 Wishing you no more morning sickness, though!!

    And it’s totally understandable, given the circumstances, that you would have gone a little above budget. But I have faith that if anyone can turn this around, you can. You are an amazing momma and blogger! I agree with the comment above–great photographer, too. Looking forward to more of your wonderful posts and life updates!!

    xo Ricki

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:32 am said:

      Thanks Ricki! We actually had each one of our kid’s names picked out before they were born. I like to have a name to get used to so that when they’re born, it’s like we’ve known them forever & they are truly a part of the family 🙂

  8. Kristi
    on September 13, 2013 at 6:20 am said:

    Yay!!! I was sooooooooo hoping you were pregnant. Congrats!
    Although I have never been pg (my kids were adopted), I know EXACTLY what you mean regarding junk food cravings. I get debilitating migraines a few times per year, and the day after, when I am completely wiped out and still feeling yucky, all I want is junk food. The junkier, the better.
    So happy to hear you are feeling better.
    Missed your posts this summer. Yours is my favorite blog ever!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:30 am said:

      Wow Kristi, you are too sweet. Thank you for the compliment. I am glad to be back to blogging.

      How many kids do you have, out of curiosity? Adoption always looks really nice about week 10 of my pregnancies 🙂 Nice you didn’t have to go through that yuckiness, & what a blessing to have adopted.

      What is it about junk food? I wish we craved carrots & apples on our bad days, that would be nice.

  9. Erica { EricaDHouse.com }
    on September 13, 2013 at 4:30 am said:

    Life certainly provides me with my share of unexpected expenses and I can’t imagine how much more often that would happen if I had children! I’m also sad to hear how much Boy Scouts cost because my first thought was of all the kids who can’t join because they can’t afford it. I’m hoping they have scholarships for people to join!
    p.s. I spent some time poking around your site today and you have the cutest family ever.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:27 am said:

      Hi Erica!

      Yup, it’s true, with kids those “expenses” just multiply, & multiply fast. BUT, it’s sooo worth it. Really, there’s no other thing I’d rather spend money on than on my kids (including stuff for myself).

      I know, I was surprised too at the cost for Boy Scouts, but they really for the money you put into it, the kids get so much more out of it. There must be some programs out there for truly disadvantaged people.

      & thank you for the kind compliment–I think my family is pretty great too 🙂

  10. Anna-Lena Stöwhase
    on September 13, 2013 at 12:47 am said:

    Dear Janae, that’s wonderful news, congratulations! Hope you will share your experiences on your blog.
    I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant with no 3 but this time I didn’t suffer from any morningsickness at all. I wish I did as I gained a lot of weight during my first trimester due to enormous appetite. Althoug I am vegan I craved meaty food. So I ate fake meat almost three times a day, that’s expensive!!!
    And it’s so good to hear from you again, I missed you during the sommer months.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:23 am said:

      Yes, I agree, meat alternatives can get pricey, especially if you’re eating them 3 times a day. Congrats on your pregnancy, & you really lucked out with not having any morning sickness. That must have been nice. But no worries about the weight gain. There will be plenty of time to let go of those pounds after baby is born 🙂

  11. Michelle
    on September 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm said:

    You are such a talented writer and photographer!!!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:21 am said:

      I have a good camera. And as for writing, I suppose some good did come from my English degree.

  12. Dana
    on September 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm said:

    Congratulations, Janae! I am so happy for you and your family! And, I must say, I am very excited to read your posts again. We’ve missed you this summer, but were so glad that you were able to spend time with your family. Nothing can top that! I’m happy that your sick tum days are behind you and that can eat well again. The photos of the bread you baked the other day made me want to jump in my car and zoom out there to beg for a hand-out. Glad you are back!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:19 am said:

      Hi Dana! Yes, our summer was fabulous. Morning sickness aside, it was so great to just be with the kids & have a more free/unstructured routine. By the end of August though, we were all ready to get back into routines & is very nice to be back. If you lived anywhere near me, I’d happily share some bread (it’s one of my favorite things to do!). So nice to hear from you again.

  13. Alissa N
    on September 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm said:

    Congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you, and LOVE the name!! Also so excited to see you back at blogging, I have been kind of out of the loop lately so I missed your last post but yays all around!! 🙂

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:16 am said:

      Thanks Alissa! We really like the name too. It comes from William Tyndale, a Christian martyr who helped translate the Bible.
      So nice to hear from you. And I’ve been out of the loop too, but now I’m glad to be back 🙂

  14. Lisa C.
    on September 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm said:

    Congratulations!!! How exciting! And you don’t have to explain a *thing* about morning sickness.

    (Mom of 4 boys) 🙂

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:14 am said:

      Thank you Lisa! With 4 boys, you definitely understand 😉

  15. Joya
    on September 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm said:

    Congratulations!! Wonderful news! I know exactly what you’re talking about with the morning sickness. I ate things, well you know.;0)

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:12 am said:

      Thank you Joya.

      Oh yes, I KNOW 😉

  16. Lfwfv
    on September 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm said:

    Congrats!!!!! So excited for you. Glad you are feeling a bit better now. Gosh, 5 kiddos! You are super momma! Your kids are blessed to have you.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:11 am said:

      Thank you Tanya. Yes 5 does seem to be an intimidating number, but I have so much more confidence know in my mothering skills than I ever have, so I’m not too anxious about it. I guess that’s why they come one at a time (usually).

      & thanks (as always) for your warmth & kindness. Hope your little one is doing well (almost a year now, right?).

  17. Living on Love
    on September 12, 2013 at 11:33 am said:

    Joy to the world, mama! Congrats. And I totally feel you on the eating thing during the first trimester. It is absolutely the worst!


    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:08 am said:

      Thanks Lacy! Maybe someday scientists will discover just why exactly women are tormented so with the morning sickness. For now I’ll go on faith that morning sickness just makes the baby more beautiful 🙂

  18. Melissa
    on September 12, 2013 at 11:13 am said:

    I’m feeling the same way about my budget – busted! Oh well, time to regroup, right?
    Fun to see you posting again.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:06 am said:

      Yes, always a new day, always a way to get back on track. There’s definite hope in that, but it doesn’t take away some of the pain that comes from having to cut back after being indulgent.

      Also, that trip to Washington was soo worth it if nothing more to see you & your cute Nico-man 😉

      • Melissa
        on September 14, 2013 at 11:32 am said:

        Well, Nico and the downtown Seattle Goodwill! Glad you enjoyed both. 🙂

  19. Sabrina
    on September 12, 2013 at 11:06 am said:

    Congrats on #5. That is very exciting. Buying whatever food sounds even reasonable at that very moment is the only way I think a lot of us get through those first few months of pregnancy. It’s brutal. We have 3 kids and want a couple of more, but I am having a hard time gearing up for pregnancy and the first few months of having-a-newborn sleep deprivation again. I hope the rest of your pregnancy is much smoother sailing!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 9:03 am said:

      Thank you Sabrina, & believe me, I know how hard it can be, & what a sacrifice it is, but think of it this way: you’re getting a permanent member of your family because of it. Also, you MADE that person (ahem, with a little help from the hubs)–with your own body. Those thoughts are what gets me through the tough times. You can do it, you’re much stronger than you know 🙂

  20. Adina | Gluten Free Travelette
    on September 12, 2013 at 10:33 am said:

    Congratulations Janae!

    And I totally get that you can only eat PB&J and fruit/veggies for so long without feeling like you need a serious meal. We do a lot of a traveling fueled by simple made in room meals, but then occasionally treat ourselves to a dinner out.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 8:59 am said:

      You’re kinda the queen of traveling & know all the tricks of frugal traveling!

      I’m sure it would be easier if I was flying solo, but adding 4 other little mouths (each with their own unique tastes) adds a bit of color to the experience & makes it more of challenge to strike a balance between “you’ll eat it because that’s what there is,” & foods that everyone likes all the time.

  21. Jenny Ramsey
    on September 12, 2013 at 10:14 am said:

    I wish I didn’t understand, but I do. I ate nothing but Tropical Smoothie and Panera for four months straight–multiply that by the number of times I’ve experienced morning sickness. I don’t even want to contemplate the type of shopping spree I could afford with that money.
    Also, I’m sorry I never warned you about cub scouts. I was shocked too! I never put the patches on the shirt (aside from the troop # and VA patch) and I told the boys that if they damage them in ANY way it will be coming out of their money to replace because those darn shirts are GOING to last three more boys. PERIOD. haha.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 8:57 am said:

      Oh boy, I understand the whole, “don’t even think about the shopping spree I could have gone on” thought. Bless you, though, for putting up with such yuckiness (6 times!)–you’re amazing. Each time I think “never again, never again.” But then I forget, & it happens again. And you & I both know, it’s very much worth it.

      About the $$$ with cub scouts. I actually think considering all that they get out of it, it’s a steal! BUT, I just wasn’t prepared to have to shell out that kind of money right now. Anyway, if I’m giving my money to anyone, the cub scouts are definitely at the top of my list. Hyrum LOVES it, & I love it that he loves it. It’s so good for them.

  22. Alanna
    on September 12, 2013 at 10:13 am said:

    First off, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    I’m sorry you were so sick and all that translated into. I completely understand though, you just described my last pregnancy. I hope the second half is a better experience for you.
    You hit the nail on the head…traveling = bleeding money. Its great you have a plan to get back on target.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 8:52 am said:

      Thank you Alanna!

      Morning sickness is the worst, isn’t it? I really do feel much better now though, so I have every hope that this last half will be much better than the first.

      And traveling, yes, sooo much money. Even when you get deals & are frugal. And with kids, multiply all those costs. But it’s worth it especially to see family. It will be a few years (like once we’re out of debt) before we’ll be doing a big trip like that again though.

  23. Ashley F.
    on September 12, 2013 at 10:04 am said:

    Traveling is always the worst on a budget – you always spend more than you planned even if you just do the basics.

    Congrats on the new addition – that’s so exciting!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 8:49 am said:

      I agree, it *always* costs more than you think, & what kills me is paying for stuff that would be essentially free at home. But I guess that’s the price we pay for convenience & being able to be in a different place other than home.

      & Thank you, we’re very excited.

  24. Stephanie Draper
    on September 12, 2013 at 10:03 am said:

    I really hope I have that 13 week switcheroo. I am 12 weeks and right now I feel like I am in the middle. everything sounds disgusting, everything makes me sick, and my house is soooo trashed from sitting on the couch all day and then dragging myself to work and then sitting on the couch again. 🙁 I am super excites for you though. Congratulations! And Amalia is beautiful! i cant believe how much she has grown since we last saw you.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 14, 2013 at 8:47 am said:

      Congrats Stephanie! Wait…is this 5 for you too? You guys are crazy ;). I feel like this was my worst pregnancy yet (in terms of morning sickness lingering), but thankfully around 13 weeks I could start eating more normally. The morning sickness was still there, though not as strong & no longer had to eat fast food (hallelujah!). Hope things turn around for you soon. This too shall pass…

      Amalia has grown quite a bit, hasn’t she? She’s definitely no longer a baby. Kids have a way of doing that don’t they?