Over the last year and a half we've focused more on saving money--we've always been soft of frugal (and I mean sort of because we were always willing to spend money on things that we valued--like experiences, donations and gifts.)
We started saving for our IVF cycles by writing down everything we didn't do/buy, but we wanted to. Then, we transferred that money to savings. More quickly than I'd like to admit, we saved about $2,500. This was just by saying no to dinners out, unnecessary clothing purchases and doing things ourselves--like taking out the dock (and others helping us with things like my Dad painting our front door).
In the last few months we've consigned a few antiques that we didn't want anymore, skipped things we'd like to do (like get hotel rooms when heading to the Cities for events and going home for dinner rather than eating out). I noticed that our freezer and pantry were packed--especially since my parents left for the winter and gave us all of the food they had left. We decided to start on a "use what we have mission". It's been fun! We only go to the grocery store if we need an item for a recipe, and to get fresh produce. The milkman comes once a week so we have dairy products covered that way. We've spent very little on groceries in the last month and it's been fun to see our supply go down. It feels good not to waste...and it's been fun coming up with meal ideas.
It's been great to see our savings account increase and know that we are closer and closer to covering the upcoming expenses of our adoption. It's a huge victory for us and we're blessed to have so much support from friends in family....including lots of donated items and time for our adoption garage sale that brought in $2,500!
So what are the next fees we face? They'll be incurred when we actually adopt, and are about $10,000. We'll GLADLY write out that check!