Babies on the Brain

We THINK we are ready to start TTC. Finance help?

Alright, ladies.  My hubby and I have had serious baby brain for a while now.  We have a great house with lots of space, both have good paying jobs that we enjoy, love hanging out with our friends who are all having kids... HOWEVER, I am a little concerned with finances.  I feel like no one ever really talks about that.  Are we crazy for having a baby when we both have student loans, we have a mortgage, etc.?  Sometimes I get nervous that we should be dumping our extra cash into paying off debt as opposed to thinking of bringing another person into the world.  Anyone else going through this?  Does anyone else struggle with staying home vs. working? 

Re: We THINK we are ready to start TTC. Finance help?

  • FemShepFemShep member
    edited September 2013
    Everyone has expenses, they only tell a small part of the story.  Here are some things you should ask yourself:

    -Do we have a 6-month emergency fund?
    -Do we both have sufficient life insurance and disability insurance?  What would our health insurance cover if we got pregnant, and do we need to save for these expenses?
    -If one of us wants to stay at home, is that an option financially?  A great way to find out is to put 70-80% of that person's salary directly into a savings account for a few months (and it'll boost your savings too).
    -How much will daycare cost for an infant?  Depending on where you live, you may be adding $750-$2000+ to your monthly expenses for daycare alone.
    -Is there a reason we want to conceive now, instead of later?  If we don't have savings/disability insurance/etc in place, what would a 6-month delay mean?

    Good luck!
  • mortgage and student loans are one kind of debt, credit cards are another.

    I wish we had worked harder to pay off credit cards before having LO.  We pay 245 a week in daycare costs, 330 when he was an infant, which should have been used to pay off credit cards first.

    Its not impossible to have a baby when you have debt, it is just a lot harder. 

    We also didn't think DH would ever get laid off, but he did, while I was pregnant.   So then the little bit of savings we had went to supporting outselves until he found work.  Add daycare costs, diaper costs, formula costs ($60 a week because he had to be one special hypoallergenic formula) and all the other debt/ regular finances and it was hard.  Really hard.  We survived, but it would have been a little easier if we had taken care of some of the debt before hand. 


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  • I'm truly not trying to be snarky but do you think the rest of us don't have school loans or a mortgage? Those 2 examples are ridiculous.

    Now, credit card debt and coming up -0 every month without having added in extra costs that comes with a baby? That's concerning.
  • My husband and I will be TTC starting in January and we've had the same concerns.  We don't have student loans, but we do have a mortgage and a lot of things we're trying to save for, like a new roof and other home improvements.  As long as you're not swimming in debt and really struggling to get by month to month, I think you'll be ok.  I think a lot of people aren't ever really totally ready financially for a baby, but we can't wait forever, right? :) 

    I'd really like to be able to stay home with my baby as well.  We both make good money, so I'm not sure how losing my salary/retirement money will truly affect us.  We've been trying to figure out what % of my salary my husband would need his salary to increase by in order for us for be comfortable with me staying home, we just haven't figured it all out yet.

    Whatever you decide, good luck.


  • Everyone has given good advice...

    It will Never be the "perfect" time financially to have kids. My best advice is to do as others have mentioned and budget for the added expenses you know you will have, build up a cushion of savings for the unexpected expenses that are sure to happen, and be prepared to have an overall shift in where your current discretionary income is spent.

    The one item I haven't seen mentioned is maternity leave. Most people don't get a paid maternity leave. If you are lucky enough to be covered under FLMA great, but it is unpaid, and again if you are lucky enough or have planned well enough to have a short term disability policy that applies, they generally only cover a % of your pay for 6 or 8 weeks depending on your delivery.


     **Keep in mind that although some women are more than ready to go back to work at 6-8 weeks, many do not feel that way. I was definitely NOT ready until 13-14weeks. DD was born 4 weeks early, so she was tiny and turned out to be a high needs baby, breastfeeding took a bit longer for us to find a groove, and I was plain exhausted and took longer to heal from a C-section then some do. I am SO grateful that we planned for worst case scenarios and saved enough for me to stay home for 16weeks (using short term disability, vacation and FLMA)




  • We're planning to TTC in the spring, and by that time we will have our student loans paid off. This was important to us as we are planning on me being a SAHM, so having this monthly payment gone is huge for us. After that, our only debt will be our mortgage.

    Based on advice we've received, we've been practicing living off of DH's income and putting my income towards loans. We have also been given advice that medical bills for L&D are frequently much more than people expect, so we're saving for more than we think we'll need. We have also been saving for awhile for a comfortable emergency fund as well. We've made a budget plan that will include some of the necessities already mentioned previously for a baby, along with additional life insurance, adding a child onto our health insurance, and some college savings. I have also been told to plan on ongoing increased medical costs/copays/etc monthly, as BTDT moms have advised me this is an expense that many did not plan for. It is also important to continue to contribute to retirement as well.

    With all of that, our budget will be tight, and we will need to be careful, and our ability to save each month will drop significantly, but it is possible. I agree, there is no perfect time, and there are other things it would be nice to save for prior to kids, but as long as you have the important things in place, eventually you just have to pull the trigger.

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  • Thanks for your responses, everyone. Very helpful and nice to know that other people have my same concerns.  And you are right, having a mortgage and student loans is not the same as credit card debt.  And another good point... i'd also be too old to have babies if i wait till all of that is paid off.  We budget well, I was just hoping to find some reassurance.

    Thanks agian for taking time to respond :)

  • I don't think you can ever be totally financially prepared for a child. My advice would to pay off as many things as possible and build up a 6-month emergency fund before TTC. Call around to local daycares and find out how much they charge a month for services so you can try to work a post-baby budget. Allow for +/- 10% variance.
  • Prepare for the unexpected! If that's possible :D
    We saved enough to pay our medical expenses and then for a 6months stash as well as 12weeks maternity leave.

    Then we found out we were pregnant with twins and if that didn't dwindle things down enough, I went on bed rest for 4 MONTHS and couldn't work.

    That money went really fast with only one of us working.
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  • Before dh and I started ttc we looked at our fixed monthly expenses and tried to get those as low (or eliminate) them as possible. We refinanced our mortgage which saved us $150 a month. We have my car payment, student loans, and financed some appliances. All of which will be paid off in a few months. Those items alone will save us about another $700 a month.

    I looked for other ways to save money so now I coupon and meal plan so we don't waste as much food.

    While I would love to be a sahm to live the lifestyle we want to live I am going to look for part time work after we have a baby. I am hoping to work normal 8-5 hrs 3-4 days a week. Right now I work 60 hour work weeks and travel.

    Last, I looked at what my maternity benefits are. I am lucky and I get 14 weeks at 100% pay and 100% of prenatal care and 90% of l and d costs.

    All of the above are factors we considered in our timing.

    Good luck!
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