Budgeting for Baby

You should’ve seen me yesterday. I must have opened ten different browser tabs, gnucash (our financial tracking software) and three different spreadsheets. My goal: to figure out just how much money we have and how much money I would like us to have before the baby makes his or her appearance.

Our retirement accounts look really solid, (I guess that’s what 10+ years of bi-weekly contributions and a bump in the market bought us), but our main brokerage and checking account are not as large as I would like them to be. My husband and I shell out a decent chunk of cash each month in the form of two mortgage payments. One to our primary home and the other to our beach house. When we refinanced we opted for 15 year mortgages and slicing 15 years off a mortgage really makes that payment jump.

I’m not terribly concerned about our finances, but my job feels very unstable lately. I recently switched to a new department and I now realize that my new job is not in the most secure part of the company. Well, honestly, I’m not sure if any department is stable at this particular juncture.

I’ve been unhappy with my position for quite awhile and now I secretly wonder if they’ll hold my position through my maternity leave. The company recently cut a woman who was just beginning her leave and another who was only half way through.

Actually in the best scenario they would keep me through maternity leave and then cut me just after I get back from it. That would provide me with a relatively decent package that would enable me to stay home for an extra few months with the baby.

I just want to make certain that I’m prepared for all of the worst case scenarios. Honestly, if they cut me a month or two before the baby is due I most definitely won’t look for a new job. I’ll just wait until the baby arrives and then take a few extra months before looking for work.

I’m not worried about costs related to raising an infant. I know my husband and I will purchase the minimum amount of things necessary and I have a lot of friends and family who will probably chip in with amazing gifts.

I’m more worried about our current monthly expenses and trying to keep a reign on general spending prior to the baby’s birth. Now I know how much money we have, but I really need to find out how far my husband’s paycheck can spread if I’m not employed for a bit.

I plan to spend tomorrow with another set of spreadsheets, just working out the numbers.

6 thoughts on “Budgeting for Baby”

  1. When I got pregnant I decided that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. We were not sure if we could afford it or not. What we did was we lived off of his paycheck the entire time I was pregnant. I only used my pay for things that related to my job. That way we really had a good look at how far we could spread his check with a safety net. It also helped us save a nice chunk of money too.

  2. isn't it against the law to let someone go while they're on maternity leave?? i always thought that.

    this is stuff i've been thinking a lot about lately–like what to do about my job when i get pregnant, but i'm not even pregnant yet! and hopefully not for another few more years, *knock on wood*!

  3. My wife had to stay on a job she didn't love after our daughter was born for the health insurance benefits. It was a difficult time for all but especially her. I hope all works out with your job and that it may lead to a better situation if you end up leaving one way or another.

  4. @Jerry – Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    @Anonymous – Actually if your position is eliminated (in my case due to company restructuring) I would not be reinstated.

  5. While you are pregnant try just living off of your husbands pay. That will give you a good idea on how far it will spread and with a safety net. Only use your pay for your work related expenses. When I was pregnant we did this to see if I could stay home with the baby for a couple of years.


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