Author Archives: Darcy Cronin

About Darcy Cronin

I'm a Mother/Coach/Blogger/Business Adventurer from Portland OR. My family consists of my Hubby of 12 years, our 8yo Kieran, 5yo Makenna, and 1yo Teagan. I love dreaming about a better future, and making it happen.

Financial Infidelity

It’s been a while since Hubby and I had a true “money honey.” We finally managed to have a date night (god bless visits from grandparents!), but our only financial discussion was more big picture than day-to-day bills. 

At any rate, I was a bit taken aback when Hubby called me up at lunch to discuss our bank balance. I had recently paid our two credit cards and paid a delinquent T-mobile bill to my sis…more on that topic soon. I hadn’t actually hidden any expenses, but the truth of the matter is that I have made several purchases lately. With the exception of some summer clothes, all of the items were discussed in advance. 

Yet, I do have to admit that I was somehow hoping that he wouldn’t notice the $1k missing for the initial vet bill. We discussed the cost in advance, and I agreed that I would call him before making a decision about any potential surgery. The truth is that I knew Hubby wouldn’t be happy about the cost, but I felt like it was my call (and our responsibility) as a pet-owner to get x-rays done to find out his situation.  I’ve also decided that we will opt out of the surgery, partly based on the x-ray results that show arthritis in both knees and hips and partly because Hubby couldn’t stomach the cost.

But the whole situation leaves me wondering how much leeway I have as a spouse to make decisions that I feel are best for our family. I think my version of so-called financial infidelity is more family oriented than the shop-aholic who hides purchases…yet I think there is always a fine line when it comes to purchases you know your spouse may not agree upon. 

Are you financial faithful?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Benefit Comparison

Prior to family life, I would have never imagined myself spending a late Friday evening comparing health care benefits. It’s been a family goal of ours to thoroughly compare benefit packages (here’s a previous post on maximizing benefits).

Mostly, I feel very lucky to be in a position where both of us are benefit-eligible. For the past several years I’ve taken advantage of my employer’s opt-out option. Since I can prove insurance coverage for a spouse, I get $62.50 per pay period as a pay off for my employer not having to ante up full coverage. It’s been really a win-win.

I didn’t question it until last summer when Girly was having digestion issues and I wanted to take her to a naturopath…frankly, I had gotten to the point where I thought our whole family could benefit from this intuitive medicinal approach. I had known several of my co-worker went to a naturopathic clinic near my office, so I didn’t think it would be a problem to set up an appointment. Yet, it turned out that Hubby’s insurance didn’t cover naturopathic care. So, I started down the path of trying to see a more traditional nutritionalist, but it turned out that wasn’t covered either (since it was “preventative,” even though I hardly think that treating chronic diarrhea should be called preventative!) So, long story short, our only option was to get a series of tests done by a gastroenterologist, which only ever ruled out some causes and never gave us true answers (thankfully gut-maturity has helped out and unless there are bugs going around, she is fine these days…)

Alas, I would still like to see a naturopath, but I’ve determined that since Hubby’s insurance out of pocket is very similar to my own it makes more sense to use the “bonus cash” of $1500 annually toward any naturopathic appointment, it’s unlikely to exceed that amount. Mostly it won’t feel as expensive knowing that my employer is still in essence paying for any extra appointments that aren’t covered by Hubby’s standard insurance. 

Do you have the option to “opt-out”?
Does your insurance cover naturopathic care?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Babysitting Co-op

Maybe it’s because we need a date night, but I’m really intrigued lately the idea of babysitting co-ops. A friend tipped me off about, I’m really impressed by the simplicity of the system they’ve set up.

We’ve only really had close friends and family babysit our kids. They have been very generous in caring for our kids, but we’ve also been reluctant to abuse the generosity. So, as a result, our average for a date night has been maybe every three months…and after five plus years, it sure doesn’t feel often enough. We’re both ready to finally set up regular date nights.

When I was in graduate school (pre-kids), I “babysat” on several occasions for friends/neighbors for free. Their daughter was a great sleeper, and they would always put her to bed before I came over…as it turned out she never once woke up while I “taking care” of her…I just do school reading and listen to a humming monitor. It was a super easy gig, and even though I wasn’t yet a parent, I could tell how much they appreciated it. Plus, they were always doing us great neighborly favors.

The fair trade aspect of the babysitting co-op is what appeals to me most, plus the exponential power of networking. The only thing I’m not so sure about is whether I have the time to be the “leader” just yet…I think I need to do a little more research before I’m ready to commit. 

Here’s a great recent experience from a mom blogger that really gets me inspired.

Are you part of a babysitting co-op?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Summer Schedule

Happy June! It sure doesn’t feel anywhere near summer here in Portland, but I’m doing my best to have faith that all this rain will help my garden grow (not drown it like last summer’s harvest). 

Yet, I am having the urge to make the most of longer days and am less inclined to spend my spare time blogging in the evenings and weekend windows. Life has simply been full lately…with mulching, vacation planning, a limpy doggy, and another funeral service to plan for the country fair…plus a very busy full-time career, two kiddos and a Hubby who desperately needs a date night (and some sunshine!)…very full indeed.

So I’ve decided that to reduce my writing schedule for the summer season. I’m planning to post on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I don’t want to write for the sake of writing, and I don’t need any self-imposed stressed in my life. So, when you hear from me, it’s because I have something I truly want to share and because I want to continue sharing our family trials and celebrations in the hope that I will inspire you to reach your own sustainable family goals.

Plus, I’m sure you’re ready to enjoy the summer sunshine too 🙂

Hope you will continue to follow our summer adventures…

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.