You may recall me mentioning how finances may be affected in Let’s Talk About Pregnancy: Your Parenting Primer:
You’ve got ten months to pay off and cut up those credit cards, missy. But are babies really that much of a financial burden? How much do they really cost?
I was on the phone with a good, married friend the other day. She is the last of my good friends from high school to still be baby-less. She admitted that having a baby at this time in her life would probably put her in the poor house, but I insisted that it would not. In fact, if you do a little preparation and some corner cutting, you can add a member to your family without making a significant dent to your finances at all! Here’s how I do it:
Start living on one paycheck NOW. If you and your partner are both working outside the home, chances are that you may take a financial hit for the time that you are on maternity leave. If you are actually quitting work to become a SAHM as I did, your budget will be hit even harder. Therefore, when you find out you’re pregnant is the time that you need to start anticipating financial changes, not after the baby comes. I worked until a month before delivering, but I stopped contributing my income to the bills many months ahead of time. Instead, we used it to put into savings and to do some much-neede home renovations before going one-income. This way, we got used to having only one income while still having the buffer of extra cash in savings. If you don’t have two incomes to begin with, then you need to scale back now and save for emergencies and the unknown.
After you feel secure in your financial situation, you can put more focus where it belongs: Your relationship with your partner, and the baby you are about to meet.
For a complete baby-cost breakdown, check out Let’s Talk About How Much Babies Really Cost
Then, take a look at Let’s Talk About Offsetting the Financial Squeeze of Parenting for inspiring ideas to scale back your baby-needs spending.
Not all of the options I mention in these articles can possibly work for every family, but starting with these simple things are what we do to make it very affordable to add another member to our family. If it weren’t for the crying and the spit-up, you wouldn’t know we had a baby!