1 Year Since Finding Out I Was Pregnant + Writing Wrap Up

twin pregnancyA year ago today, I found out I was pregnant. It was seriously one of the best moments ever for hubs and me. I will never, ever forget it.

We hadn’t been trying long, but I was impatient. Once I set my mind to something, I like to make it happen! I’d had some strange symptoms and so I remember thinking what if?

It was 4 days before I was really supposed to test, and late afternoon really isn’t the ideal time to do so but being as over-eager as I am, I did it anyway.

Hubs and I sat there together and watched the test start.

I didn’t think it was going to be positive, so as it went along and nothing interesting happened at first, I handed it to him and said, “See, I told you it was going to be…..POSITIVE!”

As soon as I handed it to him, a super dark second line became visible. I could. not. believe it. I just remember being so so so happy and laughing and crying (as you can see in the pic above!)

Of course, now we know why that line was so dark so early (twins). Those little buggers.

If you have kids tell me in the comments when you found out you were pregnant. Did you and your other half find out at the same time?

Now onto the writing wrap up:

Awesome Posts

Mel writes 20 ways to go broke.

Jordann is eating healthier (and we are too!)

Ashley is never financing furniture ever again.

I’ve so enjoyed reading about Harry’s amazing honeymoon the past few days.

Jefferson got a sweet deal on his Disney vacation.

Kirsten was really open about some of her toughest moments.

Melanie wrote about spending triggers.

Joanna wrote about getting organized and caught up.

Carnivals

Yakezie Carnival hosted by Smart Budgeting
Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Millenial Cents
Lifestyle Carnival hosted by My Life I Guess
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money
Carnival of MoneyPros hosted by Money Smart Guides
Yakezie Carnival hosted by Save and Conquer
Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Financial Nerd
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie hosted by Single Mom’s Income
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money

My Posts Elsewhere

I wrote How to Get Free Publicity for Carrie

I shared Inexpensive Fall Getaways for DC

I wrote How to Spot Expensive Furniture at Thrift Stores for John

I wrote Alibaba’s Spending Spree is Good for Investors for AnyOption

My Coaching Biz

As many of you know, I starting coaching freelance writers just 2 weeks ago. I have 5 bloggers enrolled, and right now almost every single one of them has a writing job in the works or has signed a contract already. Many of them are also taking those necessary steps to make their blogs more professional. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They are working really hard under challenging circumstances (hectic jobs, kids, life, etc.) If you want a piece of the pie read more about my coaching program here. Given the time commitment I give to each person I coach, I am considering limiting this in the future but for now it’s open to new peeps. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

How to Afford a Long Distance Relationship

Grenada West IndiesBack in the olden days (like 3ish years ago), hubs and I had to have a major long distance relationship. I went to grad school three hours away from him. We spent the first few months of our marriage apart. Then, he went to Grenada and we spent even more months apart. It was crazy. I would not want to do it again ever. Not only is it expensive to try to see each other but it tugs at the ol’ heartstrings too.

I was talking to another blogger recently, Kassandra, who had to do the same exact thing, and I asked her to write about it. If you don’t know Kassandra yet, she is a self-employed wife and step-mom who is striving to live life beyond what money can buy. She writes about a variety of topics and personal experiences that all intersect with money. Check her out at More Than Just Money but only after you read her awesome post right here. ;)

Keeping the fire burning bright in a relationship is hard enough when you are living under the same roof. But what if you are in a long distance relationship and you are on a tight budget?

This was my reality for over four years. My husband and I first met in Montreal, Canada where I lived at the time. My husband was based in New York. After a few months of constant communication, we decided to try our hand at a long distance relationship.

Not long after I met my husband, I decided to get very serious about paying off my debt – $55,000 worth of debt. I had already come clean about my financial situation to my husband and he was non-judgemental and very supportive of my desire to be debt free. However this meant that every expense was under a microscope and my travel budget was slashed to pretty much zero. My debt presented a real challenge to our relationship because nothing beats seeing your partner in person.

Here are a few strategies that I used that may help you to keep your travel costs to a minimum and maintain your relationship in the process.

Benefit From Technology

With technology being what it is today, there are several ways of communicating with your partner for virtually free or at least very cheaply. Text messaging and email have become the standard go-to method of communication but that wasn’t enough for me. I needed to at least virtually see my husband every day and with a decent high-speed internet connection, options such as Skype and Google Hangouts allowed us to make free video calls. If you have a smartphone, and a data plan, then you can video chat using your cellphone.

You can also surprise your significant other like I did by sending recorded audio and visual clips via Whatsapp, iMessage (for iPhone users) and other similar apps. By sending my husband a photo of wherever I happened to be, or a pretty cat that I chatted up during one of my walks, it helped my husband to feel like he was a part of my day. The best was when my husband sang to me “My Cherie Amour” in an audio clip. Priceless!

I had my share of frustrating conversations with my husband because our relationship hit bumps in the road. The distance was a huge bump. Sometimes Google Hangouts and Skype didn’t feel like cooperating when we were in the middle of a disagreement and we needed to talk things through on the phone. As I did, you may want to check with your phone or mobile service provider about their long distance rate plans and data/text messaging packages especially if your love is living outside of the US.

Structure Your Visits

Despite advances in technology, there is nothing like sharing space and time in the presence of your loved one. My husband and I discussed a travel frequency that was acceptable and affordable for both of us. For example, you may decide to visit the other every 8-12 weeks like we did and plan your visits around long week-ends. We also took turns visiting each other. This is all about being fair and considerate of each other’s schedules and pocketbooks.

During your visits, find free or inexpensive ways to spend time together. Instead of trying to cram in a bunch of social outings, focus on each other instead as time is usually short and bittersweet. I can recall that every time I would drop my husband off at the bus station or airport, I would break down into a mess of tears and my husband didn’t hide his sadness either. Saying goodbye is the Hardest. Thing. Ever.

Transportation options available to you mainly depend on the geographic location of you and your partner. Traveling by plane may be the cheaper or only option. Research times in the year and days of the week when flying may be more affordable. In my case, taking a Greyhound bus or driving my car outnumbered the cost of flying every time. Whenever I did fly, it was always done using air miles. However paying the required taxes and airport fees was costlier than a round-trip bus ticket.

If you or your partner travel on business then it may be an opportunity for you both to rendezvous in a different city. With the cost of business travel covered by the employer, you can split the cost with your loved one for their transportation and meals. My husband I met up in Washington, DC, Miami, FL and Toronto, Canada during business trips in order to see each other. Whatever it takes to keep the flames burning folks!

Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or part of a commuter marriage, once you and your partner are invested in the success of your relationship, like my husband and I were, then you will be able to surmount the financial and emotional challenges that may come with it.

What, if any, has your experience been with a long distance relationship? Are there any reasons why you would not consider this type of relationship?