Kevin and June, one of our waiting adoptive parents, always seemed to be just getting back from Starbucks on their cell phone getting their daily latte fix.
Over the course of a few months while helping plan their adoption, I repeatedly heard both complaining how they were struggling with finding ways to pay for the upcoming adoption costs and soon - baby expenses. Finding available funds for their adoption was a significant stress for them and it was taking away from the joy of their adoption journey. Every day they would stop by Starbucks for their latte and muffin and then return back home where they both worked.
This habit of two muffins and a latte each day was costing them $10 every day, and $300 a month. Over the course of a year, they were shelling out almost $4,000 year at Starbucks!
Not wanting to step on their toes or feel I was overstepping my boundaries, I shared where they could make some changes. I help them do the math. They could see quickly where they could save and put this money toward paying for their adoption. They didn't even think about the cost of coffee and a little muffin. It had become a habit and one that was draining money that could help them.
I proposed to them some alternatives and ways to move closer to their affordable adoption sooner with less stress. By using a coffee maker at home and adding some cinnamon or other favorite condiments to the coffee to make it special, they could easily take this $4,000 savings and put into their adoption fund. Wow, what a discovery!
They decided to try it and agreed to the plan: reducing Starbucks runs to one monthly treat instead of 30. They were able to relieve stress and as an added bonus, found they also saved on gas for their car.
Remember, it is not my intention to take away your lattes, but you have to decide which is more important - latte or baby? What areas of your life can you save money in? Look around; take time this week to see where you spend money and where you can save. There are many ways to save for your adoption fund. With some planning and discipline, you can adopt sooner rather than later.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is a Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, an award winning author of 2 adoption books AdoptingOnline.com and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. Mardie is also the talk show host of Let's Talk Adoption.com with Mardie Caldwell and the founder of Lifetime Adoption in 1986. She travels and speaks nationwide on adoption topics, family topics, infertility and writing. She has been quoted in and consulted for Parenting and Adoption magazines and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, BBC, NBC, and Fox. Featured in Parade Magazine, Caldwell is an adoptive mother living in Northern California.