So my partner and I have made the decision to start ttc #1. We are both early 30's now and feel the time is right. I have made an appointment to have my implant removed but now I'm starting to panic over money etc. Being the main bread winner my salary will drastically drop on mat leave & ive always said I want a minimum of 6-9 months off.
I reviewed our budget and have been taking some money out every month and putting it into a separate savings account. We won't have a huge amount there by the time we have #1, but it will be a nice cushion. We are also focussing on paying off our car sooner than planned. Our plan is to have it paid off around this time next year (our goal is to have #1 between Dec 2017 and April 2018). That will give us around $300 extra per month. I also took on a small part time job with Girl Scouts (something I had been doing as a volunteer anyway) and any extra money from that goes into our savings.
Other than that just lots of financial planning and figuring out how to budget best when the baby comes. I should add that my job allows me to work from home up to 75% of the time if I choose, so I am thinking I won't take very much time off.
Are you in the U.K.? When I had my son I only got statutory mat pay which is around £500 a month. We saved a bit before hand to top up earnings and then when I had been off for 9 months and my pay stopped I did my 10 kit days spread out so I had a bit of pay over the next 3 months. With annual leave I had around 14 months off in total.
You learn to live with what you earn and within your means, plus it helps you prepare for paying a lot of your wages on childcare when you go back to work!
Stock up on things you know you will need before you go on mat leave like wipes, nappies etc. If you are in the U.K. Aldi nappies are as good as pampers and half the price. Xx
Honestly, I can't really say we are doing anything to plan financially, other than maybe buying a new car soon so that I don't have to worry about mine dying while I'm on mat leave (it's secondhand and we pay cash, so no payments). If you can manage your basic expenses on your maternity leave income level, you should be fine. Babies really don't cost much. What a lot of people spend money on when they have a baby are things they want, not things they need. They don't need loads of outfits or shoes (they don't need any shoes). They don't need fancy decorated nurseries. They don't need a new toy every week (you'll be amazed that random junk you find around your house, like a colander or some pine cones or some sand, will be much more fun than some toy you spent lots of money on). Their needs are pretty basic.
I also felt like I saved a lot of money not doing things I would have done before we had our daughter. Like, you don't really have much time to go for a night out or a romantic meal at a nice restaurant, so we saved loads on all those bar tabs and meals out we used to have. I also didn't have commuting costs for work anymore, so no petrol, parking, train travel, etc. We tried to do lots more free things, like rather than signing up for some expensive baby class, we went to the library or the park or the beach on months when things were a bit tight.
We also tried to get rid of unnecessary expenses. We don't have car payments, and we keep our tv, phone, internet bills low. We don't have pets or gym memberships or other luxuries like that. We really just focused on having the basics and what we really needed. My mat pay covers our rent, so my husband's salary can pay anything else. Having a little cushion in the bank is a good idea, in case, god forbid, your car breaks or you have a house repair or other emergency expense, but I don't think you have to go crazy. If one or both of you can take on extra work now, or in his case, once baby arrives and you are settled and feel like you are managing well on your own, then in the long run, it will mean you can have more time at home and save on child care expenses. The most expensive thing I think about having a baby is child care once you go back to work, so if you can stretch your leave as long as possible to save on that, do it. You'll save money and get more time together.
Does anyone ever not freak out about finances when thinking about kids ??!
I understand as the bread winner you must feel very responsible! I would encourage you to take the advice here and talk to your SO about it. And remember, it might take longer to conceive than you think (or shorter!) so it's very difficult to plan it exactly. For my DH and I we've been putting a little bit into saving every month/pay check that is specifically for kids, but we both work full time, he does make a good extra chunk of money more than I do though so if I had to take longer from work it wouldn't be such a blow to our finances (or at least it would be manageable). I would just encourage you to perhaps plan a budget based off of what it would be like if you had a kid right now and see how that lays out? There are a lot of great budgeting tools out there! I can't remember the one we used before buying a house to estimate what our spending habits would have to be but there are free and paid for ones and I'm sure you could find a good one!
Hi there! My SO and I are both in the early 30's/ late 20's and are preparing to TTC in the fall for our first. Money is my biggest worry for sure. SO thinks it will all work out if we just roll with the punches but I'm too much of a planner for that!
In an effort to ease my worries and fears I've started to really drill down on our spending, see where we can make cuts and increase our incomes before then. I've just recently started using YNAB for budgeting and it has really opened my eyes to what is going on with our spending. I've also set-up my STD through my employer that will cover 60% of my pay for almost 3 months. I would love to stay home longer but we will cross that bridge when we get a little closer.
Like pp have mentioned we have a separate bank account as well that I put a little put into from each paycheck but we are working on paying down debt so not much currently goes in. Try not too worry SO much as there is so much to enjoy about the process as well!
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