Budgeting for Baby!

bootie money

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!

Renee & Nii 2Living 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!

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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!

 

 

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About Nii and Renee

A newly married couple in pursuit of financial peace, marital bliss, and career freedom!

Posted on November 26, 2017, in debt, marriage, money and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I love this!! Being a parent is an amazing, exciting journey. Our pathway to parenthood was not free either (adoptions x4) and worth every cent and minute of effort. We paid off the last of my student loans (which was our last debt due to lowest interest rate) 12/31/15, the day we got legal clearance to bring out fourth child home. Being debt free is an amazing freedom, We both still chose to work (although I have two part time jobs, avd log far fewer hours than I did when full time). It’s allowed me to retain my enjoyment of medicine, allowed me the privilege of spending a lot of time with my kids. We are able to be far less frugal (hello yard person, cleaning person & meal delivery service) about things that bring us enjoyment & family time because we lived like students in my residency, and like residents for a few years after residency. We now can freely donate to things we care about & have a large family without worrying (Although our 529 savings goals are rather staggering 😉).

    Congrats on a phenomenal year of the family!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Liz! Thanks for keeping up with us. What an amazing and wonderful story you have! Most people with 4 children would say that they are hindered financially by having children. My sister also adopted a child, so I know that the cost of adoption is much more than spontaneously having a child. The fact that you were able to do so much is an inspiration and proof that having children does not necessarily hinder your financial goals. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story!

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  2. Congrats Nii and Renee!! So happy for you guys! Love your candidness in this post. I never thought about bringing your own OTC meds to the hospital, what a concept!! I like it; I’ll have to share that advice with friends and family! Keep up the great work and enjoy the new addition!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the arrival of your baby boy! I don’t have my own kids but from what I’ve observed of my friends who are parents, your children are as expensive as you wish them to be. I hope that you continue to be positive financial role models for your son and that he is able to pursue all of the wonderful opportunities that the world has in store for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Camille! Thanks for keeping up with us. We think you’re right about kids being as expensive as you want them to be. But… We’re also very new at parenting, so only time will tell if we’re right! LOL!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I have 3 kids but had them all before I became an attending so I am likely behind some others regarding my amount of savings etc. but I also know I’m also far ahead. What kids provide to a home is priceless and even though having them makes financial goals take longer than if you didn’t have them, who cares, it’s so worth it! My spouse became a stay at home dad initially when I became an attending, also a decision i wouldn’t change. Congratulations on baby Darko, enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for keeping up with us, Drsan1! Yes! Having children is an absolutely wonderful and amazing thing. It’s great that your husband is able to stay home, especially during the more formative years. Our son is still an infant, yet, time is flying so fast. A strong motivation for our debt payoff was to be able to spend as much family time as we want. Work is important, but it can rob so much time from family. Sounds like you are on you are on target with where you want to be. Keep up the good work!

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