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Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:55 pm
by adimoron
Hi All,

Wife and I are having a baby in April 2020. Wanted to ask you guys what's the one Financial advice you would have liked to have received when you were in my shoes.

Regards,
Aditya

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:01 pm
by tenkuky
Congratulations.
Ensure you have adequate life insurance at a good price, aka Term life (not just work-place group term).

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:06 pm
by L82GAME
Congrats! :D

Estate plans are needed: wills, PoAs, living wills and named custodians for finances and child-rearing.

And be sure to take naps whenever possible! Enjoy it, it all flies by so quickly.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:07 pm
by EHEngineer
ditto the term life insurance. update your wills to provide for baby.

Don't buy baby gadgets before baby arrives. Wait until you see a need before buying baby gadgets. stick with basics before baby is born: crib, clothes, diapers, wipes, stroller, car seat, bottles (at least a few, just in case)

on a personal note, watch out for the lactation consultants. Some can be quite overwhelming. just my 2c.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
by Arabesque
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:21 pm
by Darth Xanadu
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
+1

Plenty of good, usable merchandise to be had at a fraction of the retail price.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:23 pm
by FrugalProfessor
In no particular order:
* You don't need a minivan because you have one child (or three).
* Marketers will want you to believe that if you don't buy a $2k stroller or a $100 outfit for your infant that you don't love them. Hogwash. Free stuff is best. After raising 5 kids, there is nothing that gives me more joy than getting rid of clothing that our youngest just outgrew. Relatedly, become friends with people whose youngest child (and last child) is a year or two older than your child (and the same gender).
* If you don't have access to free clothing, then buy used clothes by the garbage bag on craigslist.
* Costco or Amazon for diapers. Costco for wipes / formula (if necessary).
* If you don't feed your kid organic, non GMO, etc. food, they won't grow a third arm. Feed them stuff you eat yourself. Presumably, you don't have a third arm.
* Ignore 99% of the parenting advice you receive (including this response, probably). It can be overwhelming.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:25 pm
by ReformedSpender
Buy second hand

Use subscription services (diapers/wipes) where possible and buy in bulk! It WILL get used :)

Recommend to grandparents/family to contribute to child savings/529's vs inundating new born with clothes and toys

MOST importantly, enjoy the time together

:beer

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:40 pm
by mega317
I agree with all of the above. Just wanted to add if you're considering buying a house, wait until you (think you) are done having children so you know how much space you'll need/want.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:44 pm
by willthrill81
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:23 pm
In no particular order:
* You don't need a minivan because you have one child (or three).
* Marketers will want you to believe that if you don't buy a $2k stroller or a $100 outfit for your infant that you don't love them. Hogwash. Free stuff is best. After raising 5 kids, there is nothing that gives me more joy than getting rid of clothing that our youngest just outgrew. Relatedly, become friends with people whose youngest child (and last child) is a year or two older than your child (and the same gender).
* If you don't have access to free clothing, then buy used clothes by the garbage bag on craigslist.
* Costco or Amazon for diapers. Costco for wipes / formula (if necessary).
* If you don't feed your kid organic, non GMO, etc. food, they won't grow a third arm. Feed them stuff you eat yourself. Presumably, you don't have a third arm.
* Ignore 99% of the parenting advice you receive (including this response, probably). It can be overwhelming.
:sharebeer

I also highly recommend that you ensure that you have adequate disability insurance apart from a job.

And I echo the above comments to update your wills and other 'end-of-life-related' documents and to not buy a bigger house right off the bat. Many parents have very contentedly raised large families in homes under 2k sq. ft.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:49 pm
by magicrat
Invest in a post-partum doula / night nurse.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:08 pm
by Edge215
hire as many people as you can afford for the first year of life.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:20 pm
by Will do good
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:23 pm
In no particular order:
* You don't need a minivan because you have one child (or three).
* Marketers will want you to believe that if you don't buy a $2k stroller or a $100 outfit for your infant that you don't love them. Hogwash. Free stuff is best. After raising 5 kids, there is nothing that gives me more joy than getting rid of clothing that our youngest just outgrew. Relatedly, become friends with people whose youngest child (and last child) is a year or two older than your child (and the same gender).
* If you don't have access to free clothing, then buy used clothes by the garbage bag on craigslist.
* Costco or Amazon for diapers. Costco for wipes / formula (if necessary).
* If you don't feed your kid organic, non GMO, etc. food, they won't grow a third arm. Feed them stuff you eat yourself. Presumably, you don't have a third arm.
* Ignore 99% of the parenting advice you receive (including this response, probably). It can be overwhelming.
+1, wish I knew this decades ago when my kids were born.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:44 pm
by Hockey10
Open a 529 account as soon as the baby is born. Fund it on a regular basis and invest 100% in equities. A few years before college, you can dial back the asset allocation to something less risky.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:46 pm
by snailderby
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
+1. Newborn clothes might last for a month or two before your baby outgrows them.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:49 pm
by snailderby
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:23 pm
* Ignore 99% of the parenting advice you receive (including this response, probably). It can be overwhelming.
+1. Also don't sweat it if other parents tell you that their baby did this or that at xyz weeks. Your mileage may vary. A lot.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:53 pm
by simplesimon
Edge215 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:08 pm
hire as many people as you can afford for the first year of life.
Agree with this. Buy as much of your time back as you can.

We had a baby two months ago. We've subscribed to Freshly to get meals delivered.

We would have pulled the trigger on a night nurse, but fortunately our baby is sleeping more than people said she would.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:57 pm
by arsenalfan
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
This.
Avoid the need to buy new/new/new!! Put the $$ in term life and/or your IPS (consider a new 529).
The baby industrial complex is similar to the wedding industrial complex. It's crazy.

Our first baby we got convertible crib/dressing table/3 stroller variants/painted nursery/etc, Honda Odyssey. We moved, and took the minivan and the umbrella stroller.
Our second baby we got diapers, changing pad, and the Chico Key system (small infant stroller/carseat system).

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:58 pm
by anon_investor
When you can buy in bulk! We definitely saved some money buying certain staples in bulk, like baby wipes, baby formula (if you need it), baby powder, etc. Diapers, you don't want to buy too much of the smaller sizes because the kid may grow fast. This helps ease some of the new added expenses.

There are a lot of useless and unnecessary baby related items, don't go crazy and buy too many of them. You can get a lot of good stuff second hand for free/cheap, whether its from family/friends, craigslist, facebook market place, etc.

See if your state has some kind of 529 promo for a new account. Some states will give you free money to open a new account (e.g. $50 if you contribute at least $100, etc.).

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:03 pm
by Thegame14
save as much money as you can now, daycare is super expensive, and check your insurance, and HSA.to max out tax benefits as best you can, start a 529 when they are born, a little bit each month adds up a lot over 22 years. Ask relatives for hand my down clothes from their kids.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 pm
by ThankYouJack
Don't sweat it. Kids are as expensive or inexpensive as you choose. Enjoy being a parent instead of worrying about any financial stuff.

Congrats and best of luck!

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:26 pm
by ray.james
Congratulations!

Term life for both spouses. Depending on income there are limits for stay at home moms, so if spouse has income now, do term life as soon as possible.
A good mobile with video feature and record as much quality footage as possible. Time goes in a flash!

+ as many as you can follow from above :]

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:46 pm
by bluebolt
Join a local Facebook parents group or a Buy/Sell Nothing group (https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/).

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:57 pm
by Retiredron
Open a Uniformed Gifts to Minor account at Vanguard and put money into S+P 500 fund. Add funds when you can and just leave it alone.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:17 pm
by FIREmeup
Congrats! Agree with pretty much everything. Get stuff second hand where possible. Start a 529. Enjoy every moment because it flies by. Keep yourself healthy in ways you can control, so you can be there and enjoy your baby. Read books constantly, may seem pointless as they just state and drool on you but when day they will start finishing the page with sounds and then words and then intonations you use.

Oh and dont buy a diaper genie. You end up with a sausage of baby poo that stinks. Get little plastic bags tie em up and get em out of the house pronto.

And spend time with your kid...it is hard, but dont put them in front of the iPad.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:30 pm
by RobLyons
Hand me downs! :)

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:56 pm
by unclescrooge
You do not need a $1,000 convertible crib :oops:

Your kids will climb into your bed, so you need $1,000 mattress more than they do.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:02 pm
by TheDDC
Don’t spend money on the useless things that the Bye Bye Baby sales people tell you to buy. No, don’t hire “all the staff you can afford the first year” (bad advice). I would not blow apart your financial savings plan for retirement by diverting to a 529. Take a year and think. Maybe don’t visit this forum for a year. :)

Buy second hand everything.

Also, figure out how to budget on one income.

That’s all for financial advice.

-TheDDC

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:18 pm
by ianferrel
Invest in personal logistics and reconsider the opportunity costs of many things.

The primary economic impact of having your first kid is that your available free time drops dramatically. Prior to the baby, if you worked a full time job outside the house and got 8 hours of sleep a night, you still had like another six hours a day to do whatever else you wanted or needed to do. 12 hours for a couple. Now you have someone who needs about 12 hours of attention a day (if you're lucky). Most newborns sleep more than 12 hours a day, but they don't do it in very big chunks. So, to a first approximation, your available free time just dropped to zero. Now, not really, some of the things you do you can do while carrying/wearing/being otherwise nearby a sleeping baby. And of course you won't be getting 8 hours of sleep any more. But a lot of things that made sense to do when you had lots of free time don't make sense any more. Reevaluate.

I agree that you don't need to buy hardly anything. Diapers, a few blankets, and a sling to wear them in. Newborns don't need clothes. They want to be swaddled in blankets and carried/worn right next to the skin. And despite the many toys gifted to them, both my kids' favorite toy from about age 7 months to well over a year was a mostly empty plastic water bottle. Hours of entertainment.

A white noise generator is valuable.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:19 pm
by Nutshell
Hockey10 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:44 pm
Open a 529 account as soon as the baby is born. Fund it on a regular basis and invest 100% in equities. A few years before college, you can dial back the asset allocation to something less risky.
+1

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:27 pm
by Livelife2fullest
We have a little one, still under 1 year. If you live in or around a metro area, buying secondhand baby stuff on Facebook Marketplace (jumpers, toys, walkers, clothes, crib, baby furniture), can save you thousands. Huge secondhand market for baby stuff. A lot of new baby stuff is a waste of money.

We recently purchased a term life insurance plan through term4sale.com and was surprised at the low cost. I still need to get a Will, etc. as others here mentioned.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
by RobLyons
Also wanted to buck the trend here, be a little controversial, and suggest you don't need to worry about most of these financial decisions posted here.
Funding a 529, your own estate planning, life insurance, etc all took a back seat for us.
Why?
more college money is great but not if the kid decides not to go to college or to waste it on a useless degree. besides that's 18+ years away.
99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
more money doesn't make us happy (beyond a certain amount)

One thing is 100% for certain you can't get these days back to enjoy the experience, take lots of pics and videos. :sharebeer

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:59 pm
by TallBoy29er
Congratulations!!!!!!!

Do not buy all of the stupid junk that is marketed for babies. I remember when we got a Bumbo seat. It was used all of 2x's. Truly, you do NOT need to spend all that. Also, we got handed down many items, and in turn, did the same for others.

Oh, a lot of times you can find churches and other places that do big outdoor sale events once or twice per year. These were a boon. Sometimes we would get never worn stuff with tags still on at a 70-80% discount. But beware, the shoppers can be ferocious.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:22 pm
by Ron Ronnerson
People’s situations differ greatly but our approach has been to learn to live on less money. It required going through expenses carefully and doing a lot of slicing and dicing. This resulted in being able to reduce the total number of hours worked and having more time together as a family. We have a five-year-old and I try to always remember that time goes by fast. So, rather than chasing money, in our household, we chase time. Overall, it's worked well for us.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:31 pm
by mega317
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
You're off by a few decimals, but I'll grant that isn't significant. But nothing in the rest of your post supported the idea to not but life insurance. It's cheap and will not affect your experiences or picture taking.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:41 pm
by hoffse
1) Ask for help and accept help when offered, whether it is babysitting or a meal train or anything. You really don’t have to do it all yourself, and if you and your spouse find yourselves getting overwhelmed, call in reinforcements. For mom, this might include her doctor. PPD is no joke and can be dangerous to mom and baby if left unchecked.

2) If you have the budget, hiring out help can be huge. It was some of the best money we spent, especially during the broken sleep newborn days.

We started with a lawn service and cleaning service every 2 weeks. We have kept both of those things going (lawn is just seasonal), because we really don’t want to spend our entire weekend doing those things and not getting time with our kid.

For the first 9 months or so I also hired out laundry. Our kid was very reflux-y and spit up more than 10x a day until he was about 9 months old. I sent out all the adult clothes so I could focus on the mountains of baby clothes. Not worrying about the adult clothes saved my sanity. I paid $2/lb for wash, fold, and pick up/drop off at the house.

We also prepped some frozen meals in advance of his birth, and that was a great time and money saver while finding our new routine.

3) Prepare for an increase in medical spending for a few years, especially if your kid goes to daycare. Kids (and you) will get sick frequently and need many doctor visits, prescriptions, etc. If you don’t already have a PCP for you, get one lined up or find your nearest urgent care center and learn their business hours.

4) Skip all the unnecessary baby gear, but spring for the first year professional photo package that feels way too overpriced. Kids change so much that first year. We absolutely cherish the pro photos we have (which are much better than anything I have ever taken). My friends who skipped this regret it.

5) Put away your phone and enjoy your kid.

6) And whatever else you do, never EVER take medical advice from Facebook mom groups.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:44 pm
by birnhamwood
I strongly agree with the 4 posters (so far) who recommend a 529 plan for college.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:55 am
by Stinky
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm

more college money is great but not if the kid decides not to go to college or to waste it on a useless degree. besides that's 18+ years away.

99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
Sorry, but I’ve got to disagree with both of these.

Establishing a “monthly savings habit” of even a small amount in a 529 plan will pay big dividends when your child goes to college. You know, the power of compound interest and all that.

Also, skimping on term life insurance is a bad idea. It is dirt cheap for the peace of mind that it gives. And 0.0001% understates the mortality rate for new parents by several magnitudes.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:45 am
by mc2
Get comfortable with using used clothing/hand me downs and eating leftovers. You will save a ton of money.

Related:don’t drink the new parent super food this or that trend. Raise your kid your way (and with some social consideration)

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:15 am
by knowledge
Cribs, strollers, diapers, car seats can be as cheap or as expensive as you want, but the cost of childcare services dominate vs. the cost for *stuff* for the child. I'm not suggesting you don't pay attention to the cost for the material goods, but making conscious spending choices about childcare services are likely to matter more.

i.e., 1 year of preschool will cost you the price of a used minivan. Perhaps a new minivan if you're so inclined.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:21 am
by lessismore22
Won't need it for a while, but when you start potty training I highly recommend a book called Oh Crap!. My wife used it and we had fully trained kids at 22 months and 19 months old.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:16 pm
by rocketfast
For the initial few months of baby's life, knowing the following makes a substantial improvement in your quality of life.

1. Different techniques of burping (from youtube). Atleast one technique will work for your baby. Burping according to me is the single most important thing for a happy baby.

2. Colic massages. (Again youtube). There was one massage that I would do on my baby, and like clockwork he would release gas 5-7 times and have a huge poopu explosion to end it- cleaning up his tummy and ending up with a more relaxed evenings and nights

3. Have 2-3 types of gas relief/colic relief bottles. It works for some babies and you may be the lucky one.

4. Different techniques of putting your baby to sleep (youtube again). Some of them are just magical. But not all work for all babies. My first one would falls asleep in 5 minutes with one technique. But it did not work on second one. The second one would fall asleep with hypnosis and white noise.

5. A swing - One kid loved to sleep in that and one did not.

6. Invest in sleep training at around 8 months (learn different techniques). Otherwise, you will struggle with a good nights sleep for a couple more years.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:49 pm
by smackboy1
adimoron wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:55 pm
Wife and I are having a baby in April 2020. Wanted to ask you guys what's the one Financial advice you would have liked to have received when you were in my shoes.
Time is something you have now before the baby arrives. Both you and your wife should have the following:

Will
Advance Healthcare Directive
Durable Power of Attorney
Life Insurance
Disability Insurance

Pregnancy is a medical condition and has risk for the mother. Often everybody focuses on the new baby and forgets about the parents - especially mom. Are you in the US? It's an unfortunate fact that amongst developed nations, the US has the dubious honor of ranking #1 in maternal mortality. And if mom belongs to certain ethnic groups, the stats are even worse. Be your wife's medical advocate both before and AFTER the baby is born.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:50 pm
by Afty
Daycare costs are insane. In my area you're looking at >$2k per month for infant daycare. Be prepared for that if you are planning on using it. Get on waiting lists ASAP if you haven't already.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:55 pm
by hq38sq43
tenkuky wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:01 pm
Congratulations.
Ensure you have adequate life insurance at a good price, aka Term life (not just work-place group term).
-!!

Best wishes,

Harry at Bradenton

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:07 pm
by crystalbank
EHEngineer wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:07 pm
on a personal note, watch out for the lactation consultants. Some can be quite overwhelming. just my 2c.
Can you explain a bit more about this? I'm curious because our hospital suggested that we might need to consult a lactation consultant after birth if needed.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:15 pm
by MrBeaver
I found that eating was a real challenge. I went through 24+ hour days where I realized I hadn't eaten yet, and quickly gained the habit of eating any food that was in front of me whether I was hungry or not, because I didn't know when I'd be able to eat next.

To help temper this in the first 3-6 months:
Right now, make food that can be cooked and frozen for later

From later on:
Come up with 6 meals that fill the following requirements:
  • You like it
  • Total 'active' time (prepping, standing over a stove, washing, etc) is minimal
  • Has no perishable ingredients. All can be frozen or stored in the pantry
Get the ingredients and bulk stock those items. You may not get to the store for stretches of 1-2 weeks, and there will be many nights when you won't think about dinner until 8pm or later.


Then again, I had twins, so maybe people with single babies do get to eat. Good luck, and remember to smile and laugh!

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:15 pm
by Ybsybs
Edge215 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:08 pm
hire as many people as you can afford for the first year of life.
This.

Having kids is very very hard on marriage. Divorce is expensive.

A regular baby sitter (at first) can allow a precious four hours of sleep in a row and then (later) perhaps support a date lunch. The first year can be very very rough, or it could be merely challenging. Don't suffer more than you have to.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:43 pm
by Caduceus
Simplify things. Your most valuable asset is going to be time as you're going to be sleep-deprived. Close down extra financial accounts and consolidate things in one place. Put credit bills on autopay. Anything that makes life simpler and easier.

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
by nolimits
hoffse wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:41 pm
1) Ask for help and accept help when offered, whether it is babysitting or a meal train or anything. You really don’t have to do it all yourself, and if you and your spouse find yourselves getting overwhelmed, call in reinforcements. For mom, this might include her doctor. PPD is no joke and can be dangerous to mom and baby if left unchecked.

2) If you have the budget, hiring out help can be huge. It was some of the best money we spent, especially during the broken sleep newborn days.

We started with a lawn service and cleaning service every 2 weeks. We have kept both of those things going (lawn is just seasonal), because we really don’t want to spend our entire weekend doing those things and not getting time with our kid.

For the first 9 months or so I also hired out laundry. Our kid was very reflux-y and spit up more than 10x a day until he was about 9 months old. I sent out all the adult clothes so I could focus on the mountains of baby clothes. Not worrying about the adult clothes saved my sanity. I paid $2/lb for wash, fold, and pick up/drop off at the house.

We also prepped some frozen meals in advance of his birth, and that was a great time and money saver while finding our new routine.

3) Prepare for an increase in medical spending for a few years, especially if your kid goes to daycare. Kids (and you) will get sick frequently and need many doctor visits, prescriptions, etc. If you don’t already have a PCP for you, get one lined up or find your nearest urgent care center and learn their business hours.

4) Skip all the unnecessary baby gear, but spring for the first year professional photo package that feels way too overpriced. Kids change so much that first year. We absolutely cherish the pro photos we have (which are much better than anything I have ever taken). My friends who skipped this regret it.

5) Put away your phone and enjoy your kid.

6) And whatever else you do, never EVER take medical advice from Facebook mom groups.
ALL OF THIS!

Kids notice #5.