AJ: KJ and are going through the change. Not THAT change, the we’re having a baby change! Many of you have already been down this path and have earned your Masters Degree, but we’re generally green to this entire concept. Things that have surprised us financially along the way:
My pants don’t fit.
This isn’t surprising, but initially I thought I could get away with buying a few good basics since I’m primarily a dress wearer and already own a ton of over-sized tops. The reality is that my workout stuff wasn’t supportive enough for this belly, it’s about to be hot as blazes and as cute as my belly is, it’s not quite as cute hanging out of the bottom of my shirt!
What this means for our budget:
– Bella Bands! – These babies make normal pants socially acceptable by covering the distance between button and button hole, long lost friends that won’t meet again for many months.
– Work out clothes that are full of extra fabric, extra seams and extra stretchy material. The work out clothes are hands down the most expensive item but are a must-have in order for me to continue on with the lifestyle we’ve been maintaining for the last year.
– More dresses! Maternity pants just straight up don’t work on my body. I’m short and haven’t gained much weight to speak of yet, so maternity pants look ridiculous on me. However, knit and cotton dresses work like a dream, so I’m stocking up in preparation for our long, hot summer.
Food is a necessity, not a source of enjoyment.
I crave nothing but watermelon and a baby can’t survive and grow from watermelon alone, according to KJ. My primary issue has been that nothing sounds good, like ever, and apparently I need to consume a lot of protein and veggies, so we’ve been getting creative.
What this means for our budget:
– Meal planning has gone on hiatus since the end of December. When nothing ever sounds good, it’s really tough to plan for, shop for and mentally prepare to cook and eat foods you really don’t want. We’ve been making it up as we go which is a TERRIBLE system. It’s not healthy, it results in us eating out a lot, and we wind up spending way too much on fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants food decisions. This has been a major step backwards for our budget, but I’m fixing that starting effective immediately.
Medical expenses are fun…NOT!
I visit my doctor once a month. I think everyone can agree that finding the time to go to the doctor once a month is a major time suck. Thankfully there’s a lot of joy involved in getting updates on our little monster (technically we’re having a girl but we don’t discriminate, so girls can be monsters, too!), but doctors’ visits aren’t free, now are they?
What this means for our budget: KJ is well versed in all things financial, insurance-related, etc, but we have learned A LOT about what the brilliant minds at insurance companies view as prenatal coverage under various policies. I’ve had a dream pregnancy, really, but even standard sonograms and lab work aren’t covered by my current insurance plan. The good news? This plan gets kicked to the curb before our little princess (no discrimination!) makes her entrance into the world, so we’ll be making a few adjustments to this to be better positioned for a year with a newborn. Despite the headache though, we think it will end up netting out as a break-even for this plan year given that the premiums paid each month have been low enough to compensate for some of the out of pocket items.
New phase, new plans!
We know that this is just the beginning, and we’re excited for this next stage. Here’s what we’re also doing proactively to balance saving money, time, and our goals:
Childcare – We’ve been researching childcare options in case the little old lady who lives in the shoe is booked come November. We’re looking at all of our options and planning our budget accordingly.
Diapers – We’re researching diaper options. I’m looking at you, Amazon Subscribe & Save!
Freezer meals – I’m already planning out freezer meals to last us at least a month. I know this may seem extreme, but KJ willingly skips lunch unless I prepare him with delicious options, and I’m expecting to be a little tired and preoccupied, so I’m going to start stocking our freezer as part of our monthly food budget two months before the due date. Better safe than sorry!
Stocking up on household items – Stocking up on household items that we go through monthly to make room for all the unexpecteds in our lives that will come with our new nugget. Paper products, detergents, cleaning supplies, bath and cosmetics, etc.
Clenching our budget – We love to shout “YOLO!” as much as the next guy but keeping us on track for the first 9 months of the year ensures that we have a chance at hitting all of our goals for the year. There’s no way to know all that our baby will require come September, but we’re doing our best to count pennies and save at every turn.
New baby, new savings (accounts that is…) – Thinking ahead about new savings account types (529 plans, UTMA, etc.) that might need to soon be utilized in our household to prepare for our little one’s future too – i.e. saving money for HER future!
Goals and priorities shifting – With the new addition to the family, we’ll be revisiting our goals and evaluating if anything needs to change to our savings plans. Surely there will be changes – just not sure how or what form at this point!
DINKs no more!?
Soon, we’ll no longer be able to call ourselves DINKs (Dual Income No Kids). Wah wah. Guess we’ll need to find another acronym…
- What have we not thought of yet, all you parenting veterans?
How did you deal with the unexpected?
We’d love to hear how you survived financially in the first years of your little ones’ lives!
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