Are you about to welcome your first bundle of joy into the world? There is absolutely nothing more precious, endearing and heart wrenching than becoming a parent. You’ll actually view your parents with a whole new perspective. It’s a time filled with excitement, anxiety and lots and lots of change. One of the biggest hurdles, both emotionally and financially, that new parents face is the question of child care. For those accustomed to living on two incomes, the loss of one wage and the increase in costs that come with a baby, that change can be very stressful. The key is planning. Rarely will a parent ever say they wished they had worked more when their children were younger. Quite the contrary, working parents are often starved for time with their children. Take these recommendations from child care experts and financial planners to get your financial house set up to work on one income.
As soon as you make the commitment to have one parent stay home with your new baby, begin living on one salary. Use the other income, as long as it lasts, to pay down all debts and buildup a six month cash reserve. List all of your fixed monthly expenses including rent, utilities, communications, insurance and gas. The remaining funds are discretionary income. If this is truly insufficient, but you’re determined to begin your family on one income, consider moving to a less expensive home or apartment. This can save substantially on monthly expenses. The immeasurable benefits of staying home to care for your baby also come with necessary sacrifices. Eating out, giving lavish gifts and indulging in new electronics may be put on hold for a while. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons enjoy the savings on necessities for your baby at BuyBuyBaby. You’ll save a bundle and enjoy a terrific selection and great service.
Consider the value of bartering with friends and family. If you need a babysitter for a few hours each week, consider joining a babysitting coop. You’ll build up credits for hours you spend watching other member’s children and enjoy free babysitting in return. Are you an avid gardener or accomplished cook? Barter home cooked meals for handyman services. The options are only limited by your imagination.
Finally, remind yourself that the greatest things in life are free. A stroll in the park, funny faces in pet shops and the fan department at your local home improvement store can all be sources of free entertainment for your new bundle of joy. You may well long for your life in the office from time to time, but you will never regret the time spent bonding and raising your child. You’re building beautiful family memories that can last a lifetime. Stay positive and keep your focus on the gifts that you do have, not the latest material possessions that you don’t. Best of luck on your new journey!