Friday, June 6, 2008

Dad tip #48: Consider the BJs Rewards membership

Without question, you're going to need to buy a lot of crap for your baby. You'll be hemorrhaging money for clothes, formula, diapers, wipes, bibs, and all kinds of tangentially related stuff you'd never think of (like an aesthetically pleasing alarm clock with nature sounds for the nursery).

One thing that you might want to consider is a membership to something like BJ's (or Sam's Club or Price Club or Costco). You know, one of those big bulk warehouse-y kinds of places that require memberships.

You may want to consider upgrading from the standard $45 BJ's membership to the $80 Rewards membership. Why? Because you get 2% "payback" on purchases in the form of BJ's gift certificates. So, if you intend on spending AT LEAST $1,750 in a year, you'll at least break even with what you would've paid for a standard membership. There are some other benefits, but let's focus on the 2% payback.

$1750 does sound like an awful lot to spend in the course of a 12-month period, but let's think about what it's like to have a baby ...
Babies go through diapers like crazy. Let's say you'll end up using (AT LEAST) one-BJ's sized box of Pampers a month. For easy math, let's say each box costs $30. That right there is $360.

While you're changing diapers, you'll need wipes. Let's estimate one giant box for every two months. At $20 a box, that'll come in at an extra $120 for the year.

And let's say you're doing one canister of powdered Similac formula a month, too. Let's call that $20 per can for a yearly total of $240.

Oh, your baby needs clothes. I already mentioned that Carters clothes are available at BJ's. Let's be conservative and say you buy 10 outfits a year at $5 a pop. You're in for another $50.

What's that? You need batteries for the mobile, the swing, and the playcenter? Let's add in a lowball estimate for the year of $30 on batteries.

Coffee. You need Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Giant bags that you'll tear through in just a few weeks. You're in for ten $15 bags ($150 for the year).
So, if my math isn't off, you're already at $950 for the year on JUST baby necessities. (Yes, coffee is a necessity when you have a baby.) We haven't even talked about car tires, flat screen televisions, Black Forest Gummy Bears, non-baby groceries, tissues, garbage bags, Xbox 360 games, photo printer paper, etc. etc. etc. If you can spend about $65/month in random stuff like this -- stuff that you'd already be buying somewhere else -- you're already at the $1750 total you'd need to justify upgrading to the Rewards membership. After that, it's all gravy.

And before you shady folks get your hopes up, you don't get to earn or spend any rewards dollars on cigarettes or booze.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Dad tip #9: NEVER under-dose on coffee

I have a RAGING headache right now. Why? Because I only had one cup of coffee this morning. I usually have a few extra cups when I get to the office, but three solid hours of meetings first thing prevented me from getting my usual intake of caffeine.

If you're dependent on the 'feine the way I am, you cannot under-dose or else typically enjoyable things, like baby's bedtime routine, turn into minor ordeals. In other words, feed your addiction for baby's sake.

I'm going to go have a handful of Advil, pray my head doesn't burst in a juicy explosion of gray matter, and pull a Rachael Ray tomorrow morning at Dunkin Donuts.

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