by Alysa Seeland
Besides showing my ardor for alliteration, this post is about money problems in relationships, specifically, money and marriage. Frugal Frank and I never seem to be short of interesting financial situations. Whether it was Frank’s stint living out of a car, my coffee addiction that almost drained us dry, his car troubles or our love for J.Crew, financial dilemmas never seem to be far away.
Life has recently taken another turn for Frugal Frank and I as we are parents to be. Yup, that’s right: Frugal Frank and I are having a baby!! While we’re just bursting at the seams, we are also aware that with a baby comes a big financial responsibility and that we’ve been fairly comfortable in our own little world.
Now, we’ll have to be looking out for someone else, and (gulp) sending that little one to college. Alas, already getting ahead of myself.
So how does a young couple prepare for a little one? What steps need to be taken to make sure we survive, not only the hospital visits, but are preparing for Baby’s financial future!
Here is our long list of To Do’s before Baby arrives in January!
- Get finances in order: What can go, where can we save?
- Freelancing was fun, but now Frank’s hunting for a 9 - 5!
- Cheap alternatives to maternity clothes - soo expensive and unfashionable.
- Frugal prenatal goodies: belly balm, vitamins, massages, yoga
- Figure out how to eat healthy while still on a budget!
- Life insurance (ugh) - gotta do it.
- Maternity leave - what does my employer/state/Dept. of Labor say about it?
- Health Insurance - find out what is/not covered
- Plan an affordable babymoon
- Make sure our apt is deleaded and baby safe
- How long can I afford to take off from work?
- Arsenal of healthy snacks since I need to eat 6 -7x a day
- Make sure to spend good, quality time with Frugal Frank
- DIY the nursery
- Get a baby-safe car
- Get a car-seat
- Buy/find a stroller
- Have the childcare conversation
- Get a crib, mattress and accessories
- Buy/find a rocking chair
- Baby carrier/sling
- Find a changing table
- Nursing clothes
- Baby clothes - Crewcuts clearance? Thrift stores?
- Baby toys: Going green? Wooden only? PBA free? (phewf!)
- Start saving for medical bills and co-pays
- Find the average cost of having a baby in Mass
- Start a Baby Stuff ImpulseSave goal
- Find out the deal with this blood bank/cord stuff (yucky)
- Find a birthing center
- Schedule all monthly appointments
- Start budgeting for baby - cost of diapers, bottles, clothing
- Open an ImpulseSave goal for babysitting/date night
- Talk to relatives about postpartum help
While it’s tempting to get discouraged by this list, and I didn’t even include some of the big stuff later down the road, the key to surviving this, like every change before, will be communicating clearly. Love in relationships means lot of things and in our case it is preparing to be parents to be! Frugal Frank and I are so excited, but we know that part of loving our new family is taking the time to seriously prepare for caring for a new baby.
Do you have any words of wisdom for new parents? How did you plan for caring for a new baby? What would you do if this financial change arose?