Budgeting for Baby!
We are very excited to welcome our baby boy into the world, into our lives, and into our hearts! Having been married for four years, we are more than emotionally ready to extend our family beyond husband and wife. Being emotionally ready to have a baby is one thing; being financially ready is another!
If you’ve followed our blog, you know by now that the Darkos put financial planning at the forefront of all things life-changing. Having a baby is no different.
It Wasn’t Easy!
Conceiving proved to be a bit more challenging than we originally anticipated. We ended up seeing two infertility doctors, and doing several cycles of IVF (in vitro fertilization) without success. Paying off student loan debt and paying for IVF definitely required putting in lots of extra hours of work, even more disciplined budgeting, and consistent planning. Not to mention, it was physically and emotionally stressful!
Living in a rural town, our infertility doctor was literally 4 hours away. Renée was traveling back and forth, up to three days a week and still working as an OB/GYN, sometimes being on call for 24 hours. Nii spent two weeks of every month out of state doing extra work. Each pregnancy failure was more and more devastating. After two years of pregnancy failures, we decided to try one more time, but this time, Renée would leave her job to alleviate the stress of work and traveling.
Renée gave her 3 month’s notice and, during that time, just focused on working and optimizing her body for the next IVF cycle. On her last day of work, before we could even start the next cycle, we found out that we were expecting! Two years of disappointment turned into joy. (… and go figure, he came at not cost. He’s definitely a Darko!)
Baby… not Bankrupt!
Nii presented a financial session to a group a physicians about two weeks before our baby boy arrived. He talked about life and disability insurance, saving, investing, and importance of budgeting. One of the comments that he received was, “Well, you don’t have kids. Kids are expensive.” This is not the first time that we’ve heard this.
“You can’t budget if you have kids.”
“You can’t save if you have kids.”
“Kids make you spend all of your money.”
That definitely made us nervous! Could having a kid really throw us into financial ruin? We’re not so naive as to think that children don’t come at a cost. Hell… Just trying to conceive a baby cost us more than it cost to raise a child for 2 years!
So, we planned and planned and planned! During the pregnancy, we saved every penny we could and slowed down on our student loan debt payoff significantly. Admittedly, slowing down on our loan payments was painful! But… We didn’t want to worry about having to choose between working and caring for Renée or the baby in case of a complication. We also did something that most people probably don’t do.
We called the insurance company to find out how much the hospital stay (delivery, procedures, medications, etc…) would cost. And yes… we brought our own over-the-counter medications to the hospital. A hospital can easily charge $15 for one Tylenol pill. Oh no, my brother… I’m gonna bring my own!
We were also very fortunate to have lots of gifts from our family and friends, which pretty much lowered our nesting expenses to less than $500. We opted to room-in (baby in our room in his own bed) rather than decorate a nursery, which saved us a few thousand dollars… and time! Breastfeeding, though not a financial decision, turned out to be financially beneficial as well.
Thankfully, all went well during delivery. Mommy and baby came home happy and healthy!
6 months later…
We’re filing for bankruptcy this month. JUST KIDDING! It’s been 6 months since our little boy arrived, and we haven’t hit rock bottom, yet. We continue to budget as we have in the past, and we’ve resumed our student loan debt payoff. Have we had to make adjustments? Sure… our grocery budget has seen the biggest increase! Having an extra person in the household has financial implications, but we keep in mind that we are trying to leave a legacy for our son.
That means that we have to make tough decisions and continue to discern our needs from our wants. After all… we want him to learn from our example.
Share your thoughts about budgeting with kids. Has your financial situation taken a serious hit, gotten better, or stayed the same? Thanks for keeping up!