Post # 1
DH and I are still probably a few months away from TTC … we know we are getting there in terms of being ready (emotionally, etc) for having a baby, but recently I was thinking about financially how “ready” we are to start TTC. I was wondering if other Bee’s have financial goals prior to starting for a family?
DH and I both have solid jobs and solid salaries (he’s an attorney, I’m in corporate finance) but because of home buying, weddings around the country and our wedding (not to mention DH just finishing law school 2 years ago) we dont have much in terms of savings. By December this year we will be very near debt free (minus DH’s student loans and our mortgage) with only DH working towards getting rid of his last pesky CC bill from law school. This was always my biggest “goal” for pre-ttc was to be debt free – again ignoring the big guy (our mortgage). When I have zero debt in a month I can easily save $2000 per month – me alone, not counting DH.
When I talk to friends around here and else where about the financial cost of having a baby it doesn’t seem like the doctors bills will be THAT bad. I have good HMO health insurance and obviously am assuming there aren’t any major health issues. Also, I have worked a budget factoring in Day Care (since I plan to work after having the baby) and the math all still works out comfortably. I know there is LOTS to buy when you are preparing for a little one but 1) I know I can count on a LOT for my shower(s) and 2) now that the idea of ttc is not terrifying to DH I can start shopping sales now for some of the “basics” 3) we have so many people around us to get hand me downs from! Lastly – I know once the baby comes we’ll be financially supporting another being – but I plan to nurse so long as I can which can save a lot on formula and I am otherwise pretty good about coupon clipping and sale shopping.
My thoughts are even if DH and I decide to pull the goalie in December really we have 10 months debt free to save our butts off and even still after that it doesn’t seem like the financial impact would be so huge it would prevent us from still being able to put money away.
So I guess here is my question(s) to the hive.
1) Do others have pre-ttc financial goals? If so, what are they?
2) I’m sure I missed little things when discussing the finances of having a baby but did I miss any HUGE items?
Post # 3
We had goals…and then we got preg three months BEFORE our wedding. So the goals went out the window. Lol. You make due. It sounds like you guys are in a great place already. The only thing that I would still factor in, JUST IN CASE, is formula. I know you said you plan to nurse, but you never know. Some people can’t. And formula is a HUGE expense. I would just factor that in. If you’re still ok….go for it!!
Post # 4
I do have goals before ttc, at this point it is to cut down on my spending monthly, shopping and such. Neither of us have debt so that is great but our savings will be down to 6500 after our honeymoon in October so I would like to get that back up so we can start saving for a house. ideally we would like to have bought a house before having a baby and maybe that is possible but I am not putting much faith in that. we rent a 3 bedroom right now so it wouldnt be horrible if we wait after having a baby to move but it would also be harder to save once we have a baby. We are kind of letting whatever happen happen as far as the house situation. We are both scared of having debt so a house is a majorly scary thing for us to have. we are not planning to ttc until after our one year anniversary next May, but on a side note I am going off my bc in October! YAY I can’t wait to see what it will be like to be off since I have been on it for 10 years.
As far as finances I don’t see many big ticket expenses besides the day care which you mentioned and formula if you have to go that route. Diapers im sure as well but coupons are your friend! Hopefully more people will comment and I am very interested in making sure we are as ready as can be
Post # 5
We are currently TTC, and we do have goals that we are trying to meet before we actually have the baby. We want to have a year’s worth of day care in a specificed ‘baby fund,’ all of our credit card debt paid off, and 3 mos of mortgage payments in a savings acct. Currently we have the 3 mos of mortgage, we will probably have the CC debt paid off by Xmas, and as for the day care, that’s going to have to be bumped up by my DH’s yearly bonus and our tax refund. It sounds like you guys are in a GREAT financial place to have a baby! If you can save 2000$ a month, unless you live in a crazy expensive standard of living city, you should be in really good shape!
For us, we figure that we can get a lot of stuff from family/hand me downs/showers, and the only thing I am worried about paying for is the day care. That’s why we started the savings account! If we have extra, we will start a college fund for baby. Good luck to you!
I forgot to add, our pre-TTC goal was to buy a house, which we did 6 months ago. Now that we are paying our mortgage comfortably, we started TTC last month 🙂
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
This is our Pre-Baby Checklist:
1. Complete College (Dec ’10)
2. Buy a Home (Aug ’11)
3. Get Married (Jul ’12)
4. Pay off Debt:
a. $15k on cards (aquired mostly from #’s 1-3)– ETA: Dec ’12
b. $6k auto– ETA: Apr ’13
c. $30k student loan– ETA: Sep ’13
5. Build 6mo Nest Egg– ETA: Aug ’14
6. Replace my car– ETA: Dec ’14
Our plan is for me to stop working once our first child is born until our youngest child starts school. Ideally, I’ll be able to find a part-time gig from home during that time, but obviously we can’t count on that. Which is why #5 is so important. #6 is also a necessity because my present car would not fulfill our needs once we have a child, and since I’ll be the primary caregiver I need a safe vehicle.
We are currently working on #4. Following our present plan, we will achieve all of these goals completed by about the end of 2014 if not earlier (due to bonuses and things). At which point we will begin talking about TTC.
Post # 7
We need to build a “nest egg” too. So far I have my 2013 budget/savings plan and it shows us comfortably building a savings of 6 months of our “mandatory” bills (mortgage, car, insurance, gas/electricity, etc) by the end of 2013 with some cushion so that even if some baby stuff ended up eating into our “general” savings (we have 3 savings accounts: general, house & travel) we’d still be able to get easily to our ideal nest egg.
@buslam69: I agree – you should always have a plan for formula in your back pocket for the “you never know” situations. I so badly hope I can breast feed – but you just never know! 🙂
Post # 8
@juliette.eliza: Good job on completing #1-3! Sounds like your timeline is coming right along. I’d love to think I could get a new car before we have our first little one but I think we will likely try to go a few years w/o two car payments (I’ll own my car next summer) before replacing my car!
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
@jboltz19: Yeah, the car one is going to be tough– I own mine outright, but we still owe 6k on my husband’s. My biggest worry is that he will need a new vehicle sooner than we are planning too. Until we have children my car is fine (and will probably fun for years before I need to worry); but the problem comes once I have a need to transport a child as well as my dog at the same time. He is a special needs dog and we have spent plenty of time in the ER with him, and I simply can’t justify allowing myself to end up in a situation where I would have to choose between his well-being and that of my child. We could handle 2 car payments, but it would definitely not be ideal, and especailly when I stop working that would be very difficult.
Post # 10
We definitely have goals. We are in a pretty good place financial, but of course, it could be better. We own a house and don’t have any CC debt and about $6,000 in our savings from the wedding.
However, I’m in grad school and will have close to $50,000 in student loans by the time I graduate in the spring. We also just bought a car a few months ago, so we have that loan (in addition to our mortgage, obviously).
I’m itching to start trying sooner rather than later, but DH wants us to have more savings first and more debt paid down. I go back and forth – I would rather start trying since I’m almost 30, but then sometimes I think, well, the more we can save the better, maybe we should wait another year to start trying…
Also, we are torn because we want to do lots of things we can’t do as easily when we have a baby – a few more international trips, enjoying eating out a lot….but that takes money! We’re trying to find a balance to save as much as possible, take one or two more trips, and start TTC within the next 6-9 months (if I can hang on that long!!!!)
Post # 11
@maggierose: We are the same! We have lots we want to do (trips/house stuff) but have both been getting the “itch” more lately. Also, we have watched several friends stuggle to conceive and stay pregnant, so it makes me want to start sooner as I also am 30!
Post # 12
I haven’t read through all the comments but the only thing I’d add is to have a contingency plan if for some reason you end up down to one income.
I work in payroll and I see so many people financially struggle at the first sign of a reduced income and I think it’s a really sensible thing to do to have some sort of emergency fund in place. A lot of “experts” recommend having a fund of up to six months of living expenses but if even if you can save a few thousand dollars you can at least avoid some of the pressure.
Unfortunately at the end of the day you just don’t know what TTC, pregnancy and delivery are going to bring so it’s always good to have cash set aside for the proverbial “rainy day”
Post # 13
I don’t know if you put money aside for savings/retirement every month, but I heard on Dave Ramsey once that while you are TTC/pregnant you should start putting that money you usually save towards retirement into a seperate account for the baby, just in case there are complications/extra unexpected expenses etc. Then, if everything is fine you just put that money right back into whatever you usually do with it, or put it towards baby’s college!
Post # 14
@kerri13: That sounds like a good idea in theory but I’m not sure that losing the tax free angle of retirement contributions would make sense. I currently max out my 401K and DH contributes a bit to his but not the max. I think in the event there was an emergence that needed that money there may be loopholes in the system that allow you to pull from your 401K penalty free to pay those expenses. It may be worth looking into if you decide to go that route. I have heard that, if you can, its good to contribute the amount you would pay in daycare into a savings account while your preggo 1) to get you used to it and 2) to build up a baby savings account for all those potential unknowns.
Post # 15
We had a plan. It included paying off all debts by the end of the year. We even started trying two months ago. Then we decided that we really did want to get married after all (that had been up in the air). He really wants a wedding. I’ve already had one and would have been perfectly happy eloping or going to the courthouse. So now, we are diverting money from paying off debts to paying for a small wedding. Debts will just be paid off a little later than hoped for. I don’t plan on going back on the pill though. I’m still waiting on my body to work the kinks out and don’t feel like going through this again.
Post # 16
We’re relatively happy with where we are at with our finances but it’s taken us a while to get there. Between now and when we actually have a child we have to pay off the remainder of our honeymoon and purchase a new-to-us vehicle but we have our financial plans in place and this should be completely doable for us even if we were to get pregnant straight away when we start trying in December. Part of this has been because we have actively managed our expenses to the point where we can basically manage off one income – we figured that there was no point in planning for me not to work in future if we couldn’t manage it now. I know not everyone is in the position to make it work for them, but it’s what worked for us 🙂