Dusting Off the Cobwebs

I won’t be surprised if my viewership has all but disappeared at this point. Hopefully my multi-month disappearance is understandable considering the major life event I went through in 2014.

I have a beautiful 5 month old baby who rocks and rolls and babbles and giggles and I just love that baby to pieces. Center of my universe! Babies aren’t for everyone, so I’ll stop my gushing now.

Naturally, the financial landscape has changed with a baby in the picture. Childcare costs, medical, food, etc. all have to go into the budget now. Prior to the arrival and shortly after, plenty of money had to be shelled out. I had to pay an unreal amount of money out of pocket for medical expenses for my labor and delivery to the tune of a few thousand dollars back in the hole on my credit card. I had saved some money for my maternity leave, but I was not expecting to have to pay so much money out on medical bills, actually, I hadn’t planned on paying anything out at all, I thought I had more coverage than I did. Good ol’ insurance companies, I should have known better. I bought a car in anticipation of my new arrival. It’s a great car and I truly hope to drive it until it’s final mile, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. Luckily, not everything has hit us in the pocket. We have gotten a lot of hand me downs and generous grandparents who constantly give us stuff. The Facebook yard sale sites are a great thing when you don’t want to shell out the ridiculous amounts of money some things cost. I’ve easily saved a couple hundred dollars by going to those sites to find things we need instead of going to the store. In a nutshell, having a baby is an expensive undertaking (but totally worth it!).

Because of all this, and my new Excel skills, I’m actually becoming very good about tracking my income and expenses. I’ve managed to keep up with it for over a month now. I can’t say my spending habits have changed significantly, but the picture is becoming clear and I’m becoming more aware of where my money is going. My focus has shifted off the SL for now, I’m putting it on the back burner while I focus on *where* my money is going and creating a game plan on how to control and or stop the extra money from going to those places. Or teach myself to cut back in other areas to get back some extra money. I created a budget and find that I’m doing okay in some areas, probably under estimated in some, and over estimated in others. I hope that as I keep up with my new tool and my new determination to keep my family comfortable, I can shift my attention back to the debts I have and create a game plan. We hope to expand our family in the future, and at that point it will likely make more financial sense for me to quit my job, stay home and take on a kid or two to watch, so it will be important to pay off as much debt as possible before that time. And now that I know how expensive it is to give birth and raise a baby, have to make sure we have plenty of money saved up.

The journey has begun again.