Parenting and finances: Reality check, please!

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
3693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I can’t comment on the parenting aspect, but financially I would pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible. You sound like you have a fair amount of money in your savings if you’re able to save 1k a month — I would pay off your credit card bill in full now so you’re not getting charged the interest.

Post # 4
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@cmbr:  +1

 

@leenh78:  Do you two have budget outlined?

Do you know your combined net income verses your amount of fixed and variable expenses?

This should help put things in perspective.

Post # 6
Member
2627 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I agree with @cmbr: . I can not see a reason you should have any credit card debt.

Pay that off and see how much you can save without that payment. Then take what you are spending on your wedding and look at your variable expenses and see what you really want. If you do take out 3 times a week, switch to 1 time a week or make efforts to make your salad at home and only get an entree take out to reduce the cost.

Then see how much that is in savings each month to cover both saving and new expected baby costs. 

 

Is your $1K savings cash savings after taxes or 401K?  Make sure you are maxing your 401K since its pretax money (even if its not matched) because you wont feel the pinch as much.  

This will allow you to still save for retirement a larger portion of money, but with less effect on your lifestyle and while still allowing you to put money towards your monthly expected baby expenses.

Post # 7
Member
896 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

@leenh78:  I think you will have to do some adjusting to your finances, and the truth is that once you become a parent you cannot take weekend trips on a whim.  It is not simply a matter of money but also of the lack of time and restricted freedom that I hear comes with becoming a parent (the reason why I am terrified of becoming one). 

Post # 10
Member
415 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Have you analyzed your spending by category? ie, do you know how much you spent specifically on each of the ‘needs’ > housing, transport, utilities, groceries, savings, etc — then calculate out exactly how much you spend on the luxuries? There’s almost always places you can fairly painlessly cut your ‘want’ expenses while still enjoying what you love.

Where you’ll get sucker punched is if you need things to be new — car, tech, etc — or whether you can wait for the retail cost to drop six months to a year after the initial launch. I grew up in a fairly wealthy household (though my household is modest) and my parents were huge proponents of ‘never pay retail’. Particularly since my father worked in retail and was aware of the mark-up.

 

It’s great you’re saving each month but +1 on paying off the credit card debt. That’s a calculation also worth doing. At a minimum, if you haven’t already I’d switch the credit card debt to a lower interest rate card while you’re paying it off.

I also think that’s an awful lot to be paying on mortgage each month for such a low overall house price. Have you spoken to a financial advisor? It might be worth while to pay a bit more into your mortgage either in a lump sum at the end of the year or by moving from monthly payments to bi-weekly if you haven’t already.

That said, with  your income level (assuming both of you keep your jobs), I’m sure it’s feasible for you to continue having many of your luxuries and still pay for a child. It’s just one of those things you have to research though and budget out. I think your weakest points will be the debt you’re currently carrying — the car, the house, the credit cards. If they push you too close to the line between comfortable and ‘managing’ then you’re going to run into problems.

Post # 11
Member
3633 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think it’s doable to keep those little luxuries you and DH like. That being said, perhaps when your child gets here, you’ll find that some of those little luxuries are no longer needed because you just don’t have time for them with a LO. For example, you listed weekend trips as a luxury item. I’m all for travelling with children but maybe you’ll have to cut down on this because it’s simply not as easy to travel with a child to a number of locations. Same thing with the fancy cable package. Maybe you’ll find that with a child, you can’t justify the cost of all the extra channels because you simply aren’t watching TV as much.

In addition, raising a child can be as expensive or as cheap as you would like it to be. You can go the expensive route and buy the pricey $1k stroller and the $1k crib or you can go for the gently used stroller and the Ikea crib. So if the little luxuries, like free takeout and fun, luxury tech gadgets are important to you, you can definitely cut back on the baby expenses and make do. In reality, babies don’t need much and you can do without a lot of the gear on the “must have” list.

 

Post # 12
Member
1275 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@leenh78:  I agree with everyone who said pay off your CC first.  Make sure you have 3 months worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, then pay off your CC in as large of payments as you can scrape together.

1k a month is $50/day for daycare, which seems OUTRAGEOUS to me but I’m not a mom and I’m from rural Idaho where everything is cheap.  However, I would recommend looking into a few other routes.  Some people can afford to be a SAHM because they take in kids during the day to watch.  I would find out what the going price for that is.  I think it’s a great setting for a kid because they get plenty of personal attention and they are with someone who is a mom, who is generally more knowledgeable than college students daycares employ part-time (not always! but often.)  I would imagine you can find someone who would ask $20-$35/day which would be feasible.

Post # 13
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Oldtimer here… (over 50)

YES having kids is daunting… the cost is not minimal by any means.

Daycare, Babysitting, or a Nanny is an mind boggling expense for sure.

But surprisingly something you get adjusted to quite quickly… if you are going to work it is a necessity, same as any other monthly expense… you just do it cause it has to get done.

I live in a very expensive area of Canada (Ontario)… and I remember paying out $ 25 a day, when my kids were little… so $ 50 doesn’t seem totally unrealistic

At one point with us, it made more sense for me to change jobs and take on something that offered more flexibility (become a part time SAHM) because so much of our weekly monies were going towards daycare expenses.

I found a way to work and keep my career going and still have some money coming in, versus working full time, being exhausted, and having little money at the end of the week, month, year (and if you have more than one kid… this does go on for years) to show for it.

Honestly, everyone works out a system that is best for them

There is NO Right or Wrong… so don’t let anyone tell you there is.

What is RIGHT OR WRONG… is doing whatever works best for your Kids.  Period.  As the years do go whizzing by… and in reality you only get one kick at the can when it comes to being a Parent.  Before you know it, they are full grown, and gone.  No second chances with children.  They grow into whatever they’ll be… so you gotta put in the effort upfront.

Sounds like you guys are on track financially… and have made some wise decisions about money.

I agree with other Bees.  Look at paying off all that credit card debt… it might not seem like much, but it adds up, and is holding you back in some ways.

(The only exception to Credit Card Debt I agree with whole-heartedly is those that have enough self-control, so they can “use” someone else’s money monthly… by putting all one’s expenses on CC, and then paying it off on time.  No debt, no interest.  Good for your credit rating, and your bank account / wallet… not to mention yourself if you have a CC that gives perks.  A great portion of our yearly vacations are “on the house” because of this, in that our CC is tied to a Travel Reward Program.  Wooo-Hooo)

Other than that…

Make sure you are covered for your Future (Pension Plans) and all the important things in life… Insurances – Medical – Emergency Fund – Regular Savings.

Then go for it… sock away whatever else you can.

With $ 130 K between you, I don’t think you’ll take a big hit when the baby does come… but YES there will be a definite period of readjustment.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 14
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

How much does daycare cost in your area? Is $1000/month enough to cover that? I remember average daycare costs being over $1300/mo for my niece when we all lived in Boston a few years ago. That would wipe out your monthly savings plus some. I think the best approach is to see what life will cost you post-baby, then budget according to that and see how things are.

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