There’s no getting around it. Having a baby is expensive. For many couples, having a baby is an economic as well as an emotional decision. Now is the time to assess what you have and what you’ll need so you’ll be ready when the time comes. Since there is a lot to think about, we’ve broken it all down into seven easy steps. I’ll cover one each week.
This week we’re focusing on setting a budget for yourself. Take a look at your budget in black and white. Whether you’re using a computer or a pad and pencil, you need to see the numbers. Make a list of all of your monthly expenses, including mortgage/rent, food, student loans, clothing, entertainment, transportation, insurance, incidentals and other things you regularly spend money on. Then, put down how much you have coming in each month and compare them. Note how much is left over. You may find that you need to cut down on your expenses and start putting money aside for your baby. If you’re going to stop working after your baby arrives, now ’s the time to start “practicing” living on less. The same goes if you’re going to take an unpaid maternity leave, even though it’s only temporary. Serious “practicing” will help give you a better perspective on what the future holds.