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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Preparing For Baby: Saving Your Dough...

As I have mentioned before, the first thing guys think of when they find out they have a kid on the way is finances.  One of the last things on a girl's mind when she finds out she has a kid on the way is...finances.  Of course we all have that fleeting panicky thought of "Can we afford this?!" but that quickly gives way to thinking of how the baby will look, how we will look pregnant, and what shall the name be.  The truth is it's hard to calculate exactly how much a baby will cost because you most-likely won't know if you are breast-feeding or formula feeding until the baby arrives.  You also won't know how many diapers your baby will go through in a given month and who knows how many doctors appointments your child might have.  

Those are things that will be adjusted as you go so you just have to assume they will be equal to at least another grocery bill or Target trip per month.  And with a financial advisor for a husband I would be in serious trouble for not at least mentioning the importance of saving for college.  *If you need a good financial advisor to help you set this up I know someone.  But there are some financial aspects for which you can prepare.  Here are a list of some things will inevitably sneak into your budget...

  • Eating Out...Hopefully you will be fortunate to have friends or family around to cook for you during the first few weeks home but even this help will eventually die out.  Just because you have made it through your first 4 weeks home does not mean you are ready to saddle back up to the stove.  Some days you will be too tired others you will forget to take out the meat to thaw.  And most days you will just not feel like cooking, instead you will be dying to just get out of the house and see other non-cooing humans!  On these nights you will thank yourself for stashing some cash for emergency take-out trips.  I would venture to say this fund is a little more important than the emergency room fund.
  • Pedicures...Never underestimate the power of a good foot rubbing!  With a new baby around a lot of your own needs will go unnoticed and that includes your feet.  To walk into a place where it is quiet, soothing, and stashed with wine will feel like you have just escaped Survivor Island and walked into The Ritz.  Save some money for this little slice of heaven for at least a once/monthly treat.
  • Starbucks...Do I really need to explain why?  If so then here is what I want you to do.  Stay up all night tonight and then try to function tomorrow like normal without any caffeine.  Let me know how that goes.  
  • Store-roaming funds...It may be when the baby is 6 weeks old, maybe 2 days old but at some point (and many thereafter) you will find yourself strolling the aisles of a store.  For me it is usually Target.  Its usually evening time and my husband has taken one look at me and said, "You need to get away."  Instead of hopping a flight, which I would consider if I weren't too tired to pack, I head to a store where I can roam, stare blankly at things, and just be alone.  I avoid the toy section, run past the diaper aisle, and linger as long as I want in the shoes.   Most of the time I just push a cart so I simply have something to lean on but others I actually buy something.  Whether it's a candy bar, new make-up or a card for my husband for giving me the evening off I am always in need of some extra cash for these trips.
  • BABYSITTERS...Even if you have family in town you are bound to run into a night when your usuals are out of town, the kids have driven you to the edge, and the only light at the end of the tunnel is that 15 -year-old boy across the street.  Hey, all he has to do is sit there while the kids sleep and make sure the house doesn't catch fire.  He has watched the dog before.  He would probably be happy to be paid in Doritos.  Its worth it!  Hand him a $20 and get out for awhile.  (This may or may not have happened in this house on more than one occasion.)

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