Meet Jeff, Lucy, Wendy, and Oliver Presnell. They are in the process of adopting from India! We'd like to thank Lucy for guest blogging today, and think you will benefit greatly from her practical money-saving tips.
For many families, the cost of adoption is a deal-breaker. And if you had asked me last year if my family would adopt, I would have laughed at you and said we could never afford it. But here we are, 6 months into an adoption from India, and we’ve already made it over halfway to our $35,000 goal. And despite being a fairly low-income family, we’ve managed to pay for a majority of our costs out-of-pocket.
The following is a list of 7 simple ways we've been able to free up hundreds dollars every month to help pay for our adoption costs. Adoption may be a lot more affordable than you think!
1. Don’t dress to impress
In our society, a lot of our income goes to our wardrobe when it doesn’t have to. Doing your clothes shopping at thrift stores can lead to huge savings. We’re talking a buck or two for a shirt versus $20, and shoes at just two or three dollars a pair.
Some tips to make thrift store shopping easier: Go often, and scan through the whole store. Shop for the future. Anytime we see kids’ shoes that are in good shape, even if they’re too big, we buy them. We save them in a box for down the road, and as the seasons change we shop through our own supply for what the kids need.
2. Go lo-tech
My husband and I don’t have smartphones, and I'm grateful for it. I’m glad we don’t have to compete with our phones for each other's attention, and our monthly phone bills are much cheaper without them!
3. Become a one-car family
I recognize that this is not possible for everyone, but we've found that it's not as difficult as we expected. We make do and plan carefully. Not only do we save on insurance, gas, and car maintenance, but because I can’t drive anywhere during the day, we spend a lot less than we might if I had constant access to shopping.
4. Make the grocery store work for you
A few suggestions for saving a big chunk of money every month on food costs:
A. Don't eat out
This is obvious, but not easy. Some tips to help:
- Stock up at the grocery store on whatever tempts you most to swing through the drive-thru line (coffee, desserts, etc.).
- Keep a stash of frozen food handy for those days when you are too exhausted or busy to cook.
- When eating out is necessary for social reasons, share an entrée with your spouse and snack at home later.
B. Shop at a discount grocery store like Winco or FoodSource
C. Buy meat on sale
Grocery stores heavily discount meats that are about to expire. Rather than buying what we need as we need it, we buy what’s on sale, freeze it (if you don’t have a chest freezer, get one!), and plan our meals based on what we have.
5. Make Craigslist your best friend
When my husband and I got married, we had $500 with which to furnish our first apartment. Thanks mainly to Craigslist, we pulled it off. I’ve been a believer ever since. You can get amazing used furniture and décor on Craigslist for next to nothing.
Craigslist also has a free section. With a little sleuthing we’ve scored some fabulous finds, including a trampoline, a table, and a sandbox!
6. Hit up the Dollar Store
In addition to all sorts of random goodness (toys, kitchenware, cleaning products), the dollar store is great for awesome deals on fresh fruits and veggies. Grocery stores offload extra produce at the peak of ripeness, and we snatch it up.
7. Ditch the American Dream
We have this crazy idea in the US that we must always be improving our “stuff”: bigger house, nicer car, rinse and repeat. But I challenge you to find anything in the Bible that says Christians must live that way.
We live in a smallish duplex with a speck of a backyard. Although we could move someplace nicer, we’re choosing to stay here indefinitely and put the rent savings toward our adoption. It’s not always easy, but we know that we’re doing the right thing for our family. And compared to most of the world, our situation is fabulous. You might just be able to live in a smaller space and free up all kinds of income!
This list of suggestions may seem overwhelming, but can lead to huge savings every month that may cover a lot of your adoption costs. And God can provide everything else that you need!
So if adoption is an option for you and money is the main thing holding you back, please think twice before shutting the door. Millions of kids across the globe are desperate for what really matters in life: family and love.
We haven't even seen our baby's face yet, but even the hope of welcoming one lonely child into our family is far better than the insignificant, empty “stuff” we've given up.
Our kids are worth everything it takes to provide for them. Every kid, everywhere, is worth it.
"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"