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 Post subject: Saving for a baby.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:20 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Western Mass
I'm one of those women who went baby-crazy in high school - but I was "in the closet" until I realized (around 26) that I wasn't going to get a baby unless I started talking about it!

So, it's four years later, and my husband and I are planning to start a family... we met a goal of getting our credit card debt paid off (~6500$ - I wasn't stupid, but I was trapped in a shitty job for a VERY long time, and he was caught in the dot com bust), and of getting a start on a house fund (originally, we'd planned on buying a house before baby, but my 350/mo rent is WAY less than the 700$+ taxes + water etc. that the house would cost..).

I've been trying hard to save up for maternity leave - my company doesn't give ANY paid leave, and I've signed up for STD, but that only covers 6 weeks at 60%...

I recently discovered that I have enough in my savings to cover maternity leave NOW!!! Of course, my emergency fund is included in that amount, but the duration of the pregnancy would give me enough time to easily replenish that amount.

So I'm excited. We're not planning on starting to "try" for almost another 6 months, and now we're talking about trying to pay off his car before then, (not to mention my not-so-secret goal of getting to be a stay/work at home mom for a year or two), but I'm still SUPER excited about meeting this financial goal!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:50 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:58 am
Posts: 231
Congrats on meeting your goal.

If you would like to be a SAHM for a while, try living off his salary alone before you even get pg. That will give you an idea of how feasable it is and give you time to make adjustments in your budget if necessary. Often, a second salary does not bring home as much money as people think and your costs could actually go down when you SAH.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:23 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Utah
I agree w/ Sandy Cheeks. I've been a SAHM for five years, and we are doing just fine on my husband's salary (and he's an educator in one of the worst paying states). We paid off our cars and my husband's student loans before I left the work force, (only a mortgage now), and have gotten very good at living within our means. This may sound lame, but I truly look at my job now as the CFO of our family corporation. I spend time making the most of our resources, and raising our 3 kiddos. I plan on re-entering the work force once all the kids are in school, and then my income will be used for all sorts of fun things, since we know how to live on the one income! Best of luck to you!

(I just posted our annual expenses in the PF forum if you are interested)

Jen


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:20 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Western Mass
Thanks!

My husband makes about 2x as much as I do, but he still feels "squeezed" by the "budget" I've set him, so I don't think that trying to live off of just his income would do much more that wreck our marriage!

Of course, I could get pretty resentful that his comic books/novels, beer, food out and yes, lattes were dinging into my baby-making plans. (This weekend I was finally able to introduce him to the term "latte factor". He agreed that all of the preceeding fall into that category)

However, after doing the math on your budget, jenolyman, I feel a lot better - your husband's take home pay is just about both of our take-homes combined! (FWIW, he's a computer guy in Boston and I'm an office drone in W. Mass) I feel a bit less like a shmuck about it that way.

Hrm.. he might go for it if I tell him that my income can go to his car payment for that time? Won't be broaching that one until AFTER he gets his annual raise though.....


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:23 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Utah
Autumn Laughing:
We have the wonderful benefit of having great medical insurance. (Educators aren't paid much, but the benefits and pension are awesome!). When I had baby #1, my husband didn't have his master's degree and was a lot lower on the pay scale. We were able to make it on his take home pay of $26,714! We rented out our basement and brought in an additional $5,000 a year, and we made do with a lot less than when we were both working (not eating out was a biggie- but I was home to cook). Granted, things cost more today, especially housing ($350 a month is amazing), but I think you should be able to do it. There is a lot of talk about how much it costs to raise a child in today's world, but if you are smart about your purchases, (read: buying used), the tax deduction they get you can almost make up the difference. :lol: Just make sure you and your husband are on the same page. My husband hates to talk finance, but when I couch it in terms of our hopes and dreams, he is willing to get on board. We each only get $75 a month allowance for all things not considered necessary, and we talk about all purchases over $50! It's a little extreme, but it works for us. Again, best of luck to you!
Jen


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:20 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Western Mass
We have really great insurance through his work, too. They even reimburse for stuff like homeopathy - I expect that a homebirth midwife might even be covered, which I'd love (I hatehateHATE doctors).

My apartment is *extremely* cheap, partly because I split the rent with a housemate. She *might* stay on when we have kids (I've told her that she'll be second to know - if she doesn't happen to find out first!), and if she doesn't, I'd really like to have someone else here anyway... I don't really want to live alone during the week. My husband works on the other side of the state, so this is only his weekend home. Which makes it hard to save money by, say, making him lunches! We used to eat out almost every meal together, but I finally nixed that when the allergist put me on an extremely strict diet. I'm finally learning to cook (though eating my own cooking is definitely the worst part of the diet..) and it's definitely cheaper! Not to mention the whole not-feeling-sick-all-the-time part.

Really, I'm not sure what else *I* could cut. We don't have cable, our phone/internet is the most basic possible, I rarely spend money on entertainment. I take a few dance classes (bellydance, in theory, can pay for itself. Unfortunately, I haven't really found this to be true....), but I get crazy if I don't dance. I'm HORRIBLE about throwing anything out, so I try to buy new things equally rarely. I'd love to cut out the "work clothes" expense - I don't buy expensive work clothes, but I lost 30 lbs on the really strict diet, so I've needed to buy some new stuff.

Last year I did the taxes two ways - one for real (which I filed), and another "fake" set as if we had a kid. I might have tried to do it w/out my income, but I didn't print that one! This year I'll try all three again...

At least FMLA gives us three months for a "trial" run, right?

Also, thanks for the suggestion about couching it in "Hopes and dreams". I never would have thought to do that. I keep trying to wow him with the numbers, and it just isn't working!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:45 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:58 am
Posts: 231
One thing to keep in mind is that now is probably the best time to make those changes since you won't be ttc for 6 months. Trying to conceive has the potential to be stressful in and of itself. Try not to wait for FMLA for your trial run. You'll be sleep deprived and less lilkely to make the best financial choices. Whereas if they have become a habit by then it'll be easier.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:36 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:45 pm
Posts: 179
We just recently found out that we have a baby on the way. She's eleven weeks and we're very excited. Unfortunately, I've never been very disciplined when it comes to managing money. This is the kick in the butt I needed. I've been a Dave Ramsey reader and listener for a few years. I know what I need to do, I've just never done it. Well, it's time to get in gear. I'm excited about getting my debt paid and saving for the baby.

With everything included, we have just under $30,000 in debt. We will be making about a combined $63,000 a year. With some serious budgeting we plan on having most of this paid off withing the year. By the time the baby gets here I will only have my $19,000 student loan to work on.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, but I just jumped on because the topic was saving for a baby. It's a nice thought to think I will be debt free before too long and be able to do much smarter things with that money. I also jus wanted to introduce myself. I'm new to this site and I think it's great.

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Shaun


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:46 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:58 am
Posts: 231
@ Shaun (everyone really)

Please feel free to post about baby/kid related financial stuff. I am beginning to feel as though we are picking up more members that aren't singles or DINK's. I enjoy all the posts here but in reality, when you have a family, particularly if you are considering a one income family, some of it just doesn't apply. I would love a more active membership in regards to family/money issues.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:18 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:15 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Southern Oregon
@sandycheeks - I love reading the family stuff, too.

I agree with sandycheeks that the best time to try to live off one income is when you have two. That being said, if you put your mind to it, you can make one income work. I've been a SAHM for 10 years now, and on paper, it seems like we shouldn't be able to survive some years. Yet we do, because my husband and I are both committed to me being a SAHM.

If you live off one income until the baby is born, you can sock away the second income into savings, so if something major comes up when you're on maternity leave (or after you've quit your job), you have some money to fall back on.

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Lynnae
Being Frugal.net - Making every penny count.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:58 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Portland, Oregon
Family folks -- I'd love to publish some guest posts on the blog about these subjects. If you have any interest in sharing, please let me know...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:28 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:55 am
Posts: 18
That is fantastic, well done. I have twin toddlers and am self-employed. I was not earning much before they came along and I am workig form home, looking after them full-time and am still managing to earn enough to pay significant chunks off my mortgage each month. You may be able to be a stay at home Mom and work a bit - therefore helping your financial situation.

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Master Your Card - Making Your Credit Cards Work For You : Priceless.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:59 pm
Posts: 76
Perhaps you could babysit another child to make up for some of the lost wages. Maybe a proactive step would include taking the courses and steps towards licensing, or researching if that's cost effective in your case.

On another note, A SAHM friend of mine used to constantly send away for mail order, get rich quick schemes. It was so costly and a waste of time. I think that a lot of scams prey on the guilt that SAHMs feel for not contributing enough to their household's income.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:50 pm
Posts: 752
Location: Vancouver, Canada
"scams prey on the guilt that SAHMs feel for not contributing enough to their household's income"

I'm sure you meant "contributing to their household's income", not "contributing enough". :)

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Andrea Coutu
Consultant Journal
www.consultantjournal.com


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:59 pm
Posts: 76
consultantjournal wrote:
"scams prey on the guilt that SAHMs feel for not contributing enough to their household's income"

I'm sure you meant "contributing to their household's income", not "contributing enough". :)


No, I meant what I said. She babysat and designed websites to pick up a few extra dollars, which is common of SAHMs who do what they can, but of course those little amounts of hours are not significant.


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