Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Funding Our Little Frankenstein

Unlike K (who had 16 pages of questions), the very first question I had when I started researching IVF was: "How much is this going to cost me?" Once I found out the price tag of 10 to 15 grand the second question I had was : "How in the hell are we going to pay for this?"

The obvious answer was to use credit. We could rack up our credit cards at 14% to 20% interest, we could get a personal loan from the bank, or the clinic even conveniently works with a financier who charges a minimum interest rate of 7.49%. I mean if we were going to go into debt for something I think a child would be worthwhile right? Except for the fact that we had worked incredibly hard up until now to pay down our debt so we could bring a child into the world without too much added financial strain; we really didn't want to let all that hard work go to waste.

So we sat down together, determined to pay up front for at least the first round of IVF (if a second was needed, we'd either be going into debt or selling organs, and I'm already going to be down a nut so my vote goes to K's kidney), and by a few different avenues, I can proudly say we will be able to pay for the treatment without using any additional credit. In this post, I'm going to tell you how we did that.

We Got A Roommate (sort of)
We already had this in place because my big beardy twin brother, D, already lives with us, but when we decided to direct all the funds from his rent money into our savings account, it gave us a major boost in our savings plan. D's plan was to not be around when K was pregnant (I think hormones scare him, which makes sense being as he's a full grown man who will visibly cringe at the thought of the word "crowning") but since we found out we pretty much get to choose when we have the baby, it took some of the pressure off. We had obvious plans for his room once the baby came, but living with my big smelly twin brother isn't so bad. It gives me someone to talk to when K is working night shifts and its kind of a twin-win situation.

Got Another Job
I'm a very busy person, I've recently been forced to admit that I am too involved with too many things, but I found a little bit of time to make some extra cash on the side. I have all kinds of skills, most of them save me money, some cost me money, but only a couple of them have the potential to make me money. One of the money makers is being really good at writing resumes. I have been writing resumes for friends and family for years and have recently made the jump to writing them professionally. I don't charge an arm and a leg, I offer a reasonable rate (mainly because I have a moral issue with gouging people in a bad economy) and I offer a good service for those that don't have the experience to do it themselves. So I took that skill and turned it into baby making bank.

Dipped Into Our Emergency Fund
We were fortunate enough to be able to build up our savings a little bit after our wedding. It wasn't anywhere near the whole amount, but it gave us a head start on our saving plan. I'm no finance expert, but I'd rather dip into my savings a little bit than pay interest on a loan I'm going to have for years. Realistically, this isn't an emergency situation because we really do have the time to save up for IVF if we really wanted to, but when we've already been trying to conceive for 6 months with no success, before we ever even found out about our infertility, we really didn't want to wait.

Sold Some Shit
K and I agreed on a rule, we wouldn't sell anything we knew we would just have to buy again later on (I loved this rule because it saved me from selling any of my tools). K took it upon herself to rummage through our closet and find things she would be willing to part with. She was able to find some really nice dresses and shoes and posted them for sale on our local Facebook buy and sell page. I was actually really surprised at the number of people that will buy other people's used shoes. K suggested selling her wedding dress but I put a stop to that immediately, knowing she would heavily regret that decision. I sacrificed a pair of concert tickets I had purchased months prior. I admit, it had ended up I wasn't able to go anyway, but I got my money back on the tickets and dropped it into our baby bank.

We revamped our budget. We hadn't revisited our budget in a while and when our priorities changed it seemed like a really good time to do that. It was crazy the places we found money. K changed her phone plan and decided that since it was summer, she would rather exercise outside and cancelled her gym membership; boom $100 a month right there. We tightened our belts (both literally and figuratively) by not eating out so much, which saved us a ton of money and inches from our waistlines (I'm probably exaggerating here but let me have it). The biggest part of budgeting was keeping our priorities in mind. We just kept asking ourselves: How bad do we want that baby? What can we live without temporarily? Keeping these things in mind made it so much easier to find money we didn't even know we had.

Checked Our Health Benefits
We are lucky enough to live in Canada, so a lot of our costs were covered just by our government health insurance. In addition to that, K and myself are both lucky enough to be covered by employer extended health benefits. Although our health benefits don't cover IVF, they did cover the long list of medications K has to take for IVF. Our health spending accounts also covered a substantial portion of the costs. These benefits made a significant difference in helping us make our dream a reality. On top of that, we learned that health costs not covered by insurance plans, are eligible for a tax credit, so on next year's taxes we will be able to add that amount to our tax return.

If All Else Fails
Hopefully everything goes well in round one and we won't have to deal with round two, but in the situation where credit becomes the only viable option, at the end of it, we'll have a baby, which will eventually turn into a kid, and then an adult. Which means I'll have 18 years to get our money back from them, with interest! I picture myself saying "University?! You're not going to University!? You have to get a job and pay me back for making you!"


  1. Awesome post!
    It is amazing where we find money when we start looking at the needs VS wants.

    1. Very true. We have learned a lot from our journey about our ability to save as a couple.