Finances and Other Basics Article

Getting a Handle on Finances










She came five weeks early. We were not even close to being ready.
- Veteran Dad


Sort through your family's income and expenses so that you can get a handle on making ends meet. Put a simple budget together. If mom is spending money you don't have on baby clothes, a budget in black and white may be your best line of fiscal defense.

When you first run the numbers, if costs outweigh revenue, consider it normal. Most couples find that adding a baby's costs to a current lifestyle, while subtracting mom's income, doesn't add up.

One way or the other, though, they work it out and have enough to meet their family's essential financial needs.

I liked living near the beach, but we moved to reduce my commute as well as our mortgage so Mary doesn't have to go back to work for a while.
- Rookie Dad


Big Changes May be Appropriate
If you have a big mortgage that is dependent upon two incomes, you may want to reconsider being house rich even with a baby on the way.

If you have a long commute that adds hours away from home on top of a long workday, you might want to look at employment or housing alternatives. Moving or changing jobs is increasingly common during the ramp up to "D-day." Trading the sports car in for a van (serious pain here) may be necessary.

On the other hand, since you and mom are going to be spending more time at home, a big screen TV may be a prudent purchase (make sure her favorite movie is playing when she first sees it).

Addressing these challenges together will get you on the road to working with mom to form your new family.

My wife and I are really concerned about our financial situation. We just bought a new house and didn't consider the cost of caring for a baby . . . things like diapers, clothes, accessories into our budget.

I guess it's time to sit down and really crunch the numbers and find a way to cut down on our expenses so we can make it work.
- Veteran Dad

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