FutureMrsB123: I think… this will be doable but very challenging. We are in a similar position ourselves. Darling Husband make $64k a year at the moment, so more than your income would be, but we live in Orange County CA which is a pricey place to live. It was NOT in our plan to get pregnant right away, and we had been planning to be married 3-5 years before having a baby so we could save money, enjoy our time together, and pay off most of my student loans. However, I got pregnant after us being married for 9 months even though we were doing everything to avoid it. I am also working full-time, though my income is low (full time at $15 an hour.. not sure income-wise) and that money goes towards our savings as well as paying off my student loans. Thankfully, both our cars are paid off and we rent, so my $30k loans are the only debt we have. We pay extra amounts toward them each month in order to pay them off faster, and live on a budget which allows us to save $1500 a month, though it isn’t as “fun” as before. I spend $200 or less a month on groceries, household supplies, etc. and that is a challenge. When the baby comes, I won’t continue working because day care in our area is so expensive, it means I would hardly be making any money beyond that expense, so I may as well stay home. On my husband’s salary, we can live in our curent place, on our current strict budget, and still save a couple hundred a month/have that on hand for any emergencies. We will have $22k in savings by the time baby arrives, and we plan to maintain that and add to it as we are able, but at the least, maintain it.
We aren’t too worried financially because we are both very frugal and still have a wonderful life. HOWEVER. The reason we can afford to not be too stressed is that my husband’s job has many pay increases which are guaranteed to occur over the next few years. In 2 more years, he will be making $100k. (If your husband is thinking of going back to school, I highly recommend accounting, and then busting your butt to get into one of the Big Four firms. That’s what Darling Husband does, and while pay isn’t fabulous at first, it is exponentially great as time goes on, making roughly 6 figures by your fifth year). So while things are tough now, the baby won’t remember and his life won’t be impacted, because he’s… a baby haha. By the time he is old enough to remember, we will be living still frugally, but then it will be because we bought a house (our 3 year goal from now). By the time he is old enough for extracurriculars, we will be nicely nestled into the middle class of Orange County, which is a great spot to be.
I also think you need to be careful how much you rely on things such as “for sure” cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and working until the day you go into labor. I originally wanted to cloth diaper, but we decided to move into a cheaper apartment closer to our families (we were living a bit further in a very nice apartment, small one bedroom with washer and dryer) which means we get a second bedroom, yay!, but also that we no longer have a washer and dryer. Most affordable apartments don’t have a washer/dryer in the unit. Laundromats don;t allow you to wash cloth diapers there, because… gross. I don’t mind using MY appliances with MY babies poop, but I don’t want to wash my clothes in a public appliance where a stranger’s poop has been. Our apartment laundromat has the same rule. And I will not be toting poop diapers to my parents or in-law’s to use their washer and dryer, because that’s like a daily or every-other day task. For breastfeeding… what if your supply is too low? What if baby hates breastfeeding? What if your milk just never comes in? Then you will be forced to pay for formula. And what if you go into pre-term labor, or have any other health condition that forces you to go on bed rest? Then how will you work? Plus, if you have to have hospital bed rest, that can be very expensive.
I think if you can budget and make it work with ALL these things included… an expensive emergency delivery, a NICU stay, disposable diapers, and formula, then go for it, but just know that kids aren’t cheap and they don’t get much cheaper as they get older because they will need things, and want things, and you’ll want them to have fun (sports/band/dance/etc) experiences as well.