Welcome to part 2 of a 3-part series outlining our process in preparing for the financial and life transition of a first baby! If you haven’t read Part 1, start HERE.
When we left off, I was heading into week 23 of my pregnancy…
Week 23: What Am I Missing??
I was thinking about all the other pieces we could be forgetting as we prepared for the baby. Ironically, I wrote a blog about how to prepare for a baby this same year. I think I gave future me good advice…
Will and I started talking about how we would need a will and how we might need to consider more life insurance. If you are contemplating how much life insurance you need too, read HERE.
I also thought it might be time to bring up the topic of maternity leave, so I emailed my bosses. I figured it was as good a time as any. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your company’s maternity policies before you talk to your bosses. You might want to be prepared with specific questions and thoughts.
Week 24: COVID Babymoon
We were feeling stuffed in the house from quarantining, and we wanted a getaway. However, I was feeling less than adventurous at this point in the pregnancy, so I didn’t want to go anywhere far, nor did we want to break the bank. Plus, we had to be careful to avoid COVID exposure.
We ended up driving just a couple of hours away and visited a few Amish and Dutch towns, did some outdoor shopping, and enjoyed some great food. I really do think it’s worth the expense to spend some time away with your partner before the baby comes. If you think you are big and uncomfortable now, wait until 10 weeks from now… Just take your trip while your feet are still unswollen enough to fit in your shoes. Trust me.
We also put together the crib and stroller this week. Cue the emotions <3 <3 <3 And we ordered the car seat (thank you, Mom!!).
Week 25: Unknowns & Delays Will Happen
Speaking of being prepared for the unexpected, we also hadn’t thought about how the COVID-19 pandemic would really affect our baby preparations. It was hard to buy certain baby necessities for a while. A lot of furniture was on back order since factories were closed.
Shopping in person was worrisome, especially for a pregnant person… it was kinda rough. We did finally order a dresser/changing table under the impression it would arrive within a month. (It ended up being almost 2 ½ months later…)
Scarcity isn’t something that a pregnant woman wants to feel. And that is exactly what I felt and experienced during first half of the pregnancy.
Note: Be prepared for unexpected expenses. While I had a fairly smooth pregnancy, I had killer back pain. I had no choice but to visit a chiropractor regularly. Honestly, I had NO IDEA how much chiropractors cost. You might not have this same expense, but trust me, you will have unexpected expenses.
Week 26: Struggling for Positivity
The reality sunk in that October would probably still have COVID issues. The dreams of my hospital experience where I get to invite friends and family to visit baby girl might not happen. At this point, I had been reading about some hospitals that weren’t even allowing a single support person.
I knew I wasn’t in control, and I was okay with that. I had been blessed beyond measure, and I know that what I experienced is far better than what many others must deal with.
Week 27: It’s Not About the Money
This week I found myself caring less and less about money. I am a financial planner and my husband is a corporate financial analyst – talking money is kind of our thing. However, I found myself caring more about building up a community and support system around our future child. Knowing I had friends and family in our corner became blatantly more important than having extra dollars.
I think this feeling helped me see life more similarly to many of my clients. I understand how parents have so much on their mental plate, and things like financial planning just don’t seem to matter much at the time. For those mentally tapped parents out there, try downloading my checklist. Maybe it will help you find the areas that need some attention in a not-so-overwhelming way.
Week 27: *Trying* to Shop Responsibly
I was attending a wedding soon and literally none of my “cute” dresses fit. I fully embraced consignment shopping for maternity clothes which become a HUGE money saver. Why spend full price on clothes you will only wear for a few months?
Throughout my pregnancy, I purchased 1 pair of capris, 1 pair of shorts, 2 pairs of work pants, 4 maternity work shirts, and 3 dresses. I tried to be responsible in my spending… I admit that is easier said than done sometimes. My point is simply that it’s probably not necessary to spend a small fortune on clothes. You will have much more fun spending it on baby when he/she is here. 😊
Week 28: Baby Hinks Earns Her First Paycheck
We found out that Baby Hinks will get her own COVID stimulus payment when we file our 2020 taxes. She will be outside the womb for a whole 2 months of 2020, but she will still get her $500 payment! I realize this might sound unfair… however, we didn’t make the rules…
We will likely use it as her first 529 contribution.
Week 29: More Unexpected – and COVID!
Despite efforts to remain healthy, we dealt with a case of COVID in the house. It was NOT a pleasant experience and it brought a lot of concern with the pregnancy. However, the baby and I did remain healthy.
We had some expenses to cover with our Health Savings Account. Definitely a fan of keeping that funded.
I had a more formal discussion with my boss about maternity leave. If you haven’t had a conversation with your own employer yet, I would suggest making a plan now. Remember, do your research and be aware of discrimination laws. I think most employers act in good faith, but you should always be informed of your options.
This period seemed to be much more about managing my mindset and emotions over managing my finances. Mindset alone can’t make you successful. Finances alone can’t make you successful. It must be a joint partnership. Make sure you are taking the time and effort to invest in yourself as well as in your portfolio.
Read the final section of the 3-part series next week!