Morning all! Today I am blog swapping with Glen from Monster Piggy Bank, so if you’d like to read some more, please head over to his site for my post about things we should be SPENDING money on!
Also, it is not too late to enter the $100 giveaway that I am co-hosting, all the details are here.
The following is a guest post by Glen who blogs over at Monster Piggy Bank. Glen lives in Australia and has recently started blogging about his life and his goals as he tries to strike the right balance between being frugal and living life. Glen welcomes comments on his blog and also has a Facebook and Twitter account (@MPiggyBank) which he is active on, so feel free to stop in and say hi.
With our first baby (which my wife has nicknamed Vanilla Bean) scheduled for arrival in early January, my wife and I have been very aware of the fact that once our baby boy arrives, we will have to live on quite a bit less income than we do now.
The reason for the reduced income is that my wife will be having 12 months maternity away from work. As a part of the 12 months maternity leave, she will be receiving half her normal pay for the first 6 months and then no income for the final 6 months.
Currently she brings in about 40% of our total family income each week, which means that next year not only will we have another mouth to feed, but we will also be doing it with about half our normal income. All the while we will be trying our best to continue paying off our mortgage debt.
Preparing for the baby
As this is our first child, there is so much that we have been unprepared for, so much that is new to us and to be quite honest – It’s exciting, but also a little bit scary.
We had been planning on my wife falling pregnant for awhile and when it finally happened, I thought we would have plenty of time to save up some money prior to the birth. I mean 9 months is a long time and people have babies all the time without going broke or entering the poverty queue.
What I didn’t count on, was just how much money it was going to cost us with all the doctors appointments, vitamins and baby items that we needed to pay for. I think our son has more stuff in our house than I do, and he hasn’t even arrived yet!
Don’t get me wrong, I knew having a baby wouldn’t be cheap, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be this expensive either. Unfortunately this has meant that we have not been able to save anywhere near the amount of money I had planned to for the last 9 months, because as soon as money comes in, there is something new that needs to be paid for.
I also didn’t expect our oven and vacuum cleaner to both stop working within the last few months. Neither of these items are cheap and even without the ever present baby countdown clock ticking away in the background, the budget would not have fared very well with these extra expenses.
After the birth
Something I am near certain of is that after the birth, there will be a whole range of things we have forgotten to buy. I can foresee many mad rushes to the shops in search of some baby related item that is paramount to our new born babies comfort or well-being. This will invariably mean that the budget leakage that is currently occurring will continue well into the first few weeks, or perhaps even months, of our child’s life.
Going back to work
Something my wife and I have discussed, but not come to a landing on, is what she will do about returning to work after her maternity leave is exhausted.
Currently there are 3 options that we are evaluating:
- Go back to work full time
- Continue as a stay at home mum
- Go back to work part time
At the moment we are both leaning towards her going back to work part time, although we will have to do the maths to work out what will be most cost effective for us. We are actually really lucky that her employer provides the option for her to return to work part time up until the child is school aged at which point she will be expected to return in a full time capacity.
The primary things that we will have to consider are
- The cost of childcare (which is quite high)
- Limited support from the government / welfare
It may end up that well will break even if my wife stays home full time, instead of returning to work part time. If this turns out to be the case then she will likely stay home until Vanilla Bean is ready for school as there is no substitute for a loving mum.
The future costs of this baby (and any other future babies for that matter) will undoubtedly have a profound impact on my family’s future financial position. There are so many unknowns for me at the moment, so many different ways in which everything could play out. Just some of the things that I have been pondering include:
- Public or Private School
- Will my son need a mobile phone or tablet when he goes to school
- Sporting activities
- Pocket money
- Extra food
- Health care
All of these things cost money, and while I’m confident that everything will work out for the best, at the moment I am just trying to do my best to plan for the future. My main priority is being able to ensure that little Vanilla Bean has all the things in life that he will require when growing up in our family.
What are the biggest children related costs that you have discovered? Or, better yet – Have you got any advice for me as a first time dad?
This post was featured on the Savvy Scot, thank you!