The 2+ years that I spent living in the Caribbean are now over. I’m sad. So sad.
Yet, at the same time, I knew this journey had to come to an end. That was the deal when we signed up for it. I know it was the right decision to head back a little early to make sure our twins are in good hands, but gosh I hope I get to see Grenada again sooner rather than later…
Since I am away today and unable to answer comments, my friend Jaclyn is guest posting about her little bundle of joy! I’m so excited to welcome a fellow mama-to-be to the site. Jaclyn is a graduate of the University of Florida and works full time in the financial services industry. Her blog, Debt Free Dreaming chronicles her and her husband’s journey to becoming debt free.
Take it away, Jaclyn!
In T minus 71 days and counting (depending on how stubborn our little one decides to be), my husband and I will be having our first baby. That’s right – our little girl (who we’ve decided to name Mia) is due on Christmas Day.
As first-time parents, this year has been a whirlwind trying to mentally and financially prepare for our little bundle of joy. And most would argue that we’re CRAZY for starting a family now, while we have a little over $44,000 in debt.
They’re probably right. So my husband and I have been doing our best to take the right steps in preparing for little Mia. Hopefully these tips will help any of you other expecting parents.
The first thing we did was join an OB with a global maternity program. A global what? That’s basically their fancy way of saying: here’s what our fee will be to deliver the baby and you need to pay it up front. I panicked at our first appointment when they told us this. $2,250 is their fee. So, for 6 months my husband and I paid $375 towards the fee. Talk about a stressor – that’s like having an extra car payment! Alas, we made it through, and I’m happy to report that we made our last payment two weeks ago! What’s great about this is that the $2,250 will go towards my deductible leaving us with just $250 that we should have to pay out of pocket afterward. Knowing that we won’t have a large medical bill hanging over our heads after Mia is here is a HUGE relief!
So, for all you expecting parents, I highly recommend joining an OB with this kind of program, or at least saving for your medical expenses ahead of time. The relief you will feel afterward will be worth it!
The second thing we did was try to increase our income. The hubby works overtime whenever he can and tries to make the most of that money. In addition, I’ve started doing some freelance work on the side, and we’ve even started selling things we don’t need anymore. We sold Disney tickets for $350, our DVD collection for $325 and some smaller items too. In one month we got $800 from what we sold. It really adds up!!
The third thing we’ve done is STOPPED paying off our debt. Now hold on, put your pitch forks away for a minute! We are, of course, still making minimum payments on all of our debts. However, until Mia is born and our expenses stabilize, we decided to stop aggressively paying off debt and to save as much as we can instead. Inevitably, we will have big-ticket items like a car seat to purchase and other unexpected expenses to prepare for, and we want to be ready for it.
We estimate that we’ll have about $6,000 in savings by Christmas. Between that and having medical expenses covered, we’re feeling pretty good about where we are.
And the great news is that if we don’t need the money, we can leave a specific amount set aside as our emergency fund, and we can use the rest to start aggressively paying off debt again!
Editor’s Note: The hubs and I have also halted extra debt payments until we get our kiddos into the world safely and move across the country. Like Jaclyn, we wanted to have as much money saved as possible and will go right back to aggressively paying off debt once we get used to our new normal of life with kids.
What are you doing or what did you do to financially prepare for your little one?
Photo by Adrian DreBler