I am just entering my second trimester and starting to think hard about our budget. Every four months we make a double mortgage payment. Our car is paid for, our only debts are student loans and our mortgage. We use a credit card regularly, we pay it off monthly as not to accumulate interest. We use the points for that to get gift cards to do holiday shopping.
We have a nine month emergency fund that will sustain us without having to cut any of our expenses in the event we both become unemployed, 18 months if one of us is unemployed without cutting anything. This is great since my maternity leave is unpaid. I plan to return to work after the baby is born. The daycare of our choice will add about $400 a month to our expenses. I just want some suggestions on our budgeting. I feel as though we are fairly frugal, we could probably do better, but it doesn't usually seem worth it. I am concerned about budget after baby comes Right now, I feel much more comfortable keeping our savings, aside from retirement, in a typical, crappy interest savings account. It is there if something happens and we need it. We've only ever taken out for surprise things like when the water heater flooded our basement.
Combined take home monthly after taxes and payroll deductions (health insurance, life insurance, retirement, etc): $2926
Prescription Copays: $150
Student loans: $300
Pet Supplies and Vet savings fund: $80
Transportation (insurance money set aside, gas, etc): $150
Netflix: $7 (i think)
Radio: $7 (i think)
That leaves a $1142 surplus. Some months we have more if our electric is lower, if refills aren't needed on all scripts, if we drive less, get good deals on groceries, etc. We're pretty tight on not going OVER on things. We've been putting between $900-$1000 monthly into savings, the rest being eating out, "mad money", recreation.
DH is slated for a promotion at the end of the month which will add about $400 monthly to take home pay.
So, suggestions for budget adjustments for when the wee one gets here? Would you recommend making a "baby savings account" for preparing for baby or just draw from general savings for stuff like car seat, cloth diapers, etc etc etc?
Social working mommy to 10/10/11, three cats, and a dog.
Are you planning on having a shower? Do you have friends and family who can lend you baby things? Are you comfortable thrifting or buying used for bulky things that are handy but don't require a long time period (swing, exersaucer, etc.).
If you are frugal I'd register for a new carseat that will last a good long time (like a Radian), maybe a sling, and borrow or buy everything else used. I'd also register for a lot of books or make that the focus of a shower. Children's books really add up.
And consider what your longer terms are for your family, WIll you have more children?
Look into term deposits for your money. It's a pity not to get a better return on it just sitting there.
My DH and I do money sort of like it sounds you do - we have undesignated extra funds each month and aren't hurting for money. We just bought stuff when we needed/wanted to with the baby and it was fine. Do wait until after the shower is (or showers are) done, because sometimes people are super generous!
We were in a similar position and I wanted to buy a good amount of stuff used. I just bought things out of our leftover money each month, but kept a list of the stuff i was buying and how much, for my own informational purposes. I didn't see the need for any major baby escrow account just bought stuff.
Carson, living life with my 3 boys: DH, DS Dec '09 and newbie DS Sept'12
always two in my
We bought a lot of things used and I didn't have a shower (no family or friends here when we had DD). We were a DINK couple and just spent what we needed to to set ourselves up.
If I was in your position, I would get rid of those student loans ASAP. Cut back and kill them. We have a good income but those monthly pyaments are a pain.
We also budget $100 per month for kid related stuff - clothes, activites etc. It always gets used. My kids grow fast and need 2 sizes of clothing each season and I prefer to have them in quality clothes (I do a lot of shopping second hand or on sale).
Leila, mama to Eleanor (10/08) and Emmett (4/10)
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