Yesterday, my wife turned in her letter of resignation. She will be working until Friday, March 20th.
After that, she will be getting ready to have our first baby, and after the baby is born, she will be staying at home to take care of the baby.
We have been preparing financially for this for quite some time, but it’s still a big and a scary step!
Here are some of the financial preparations we’ve made in the meantime:
- Talked about it a LONG time ago – We had talked about this even before we got married, and were in agreement that once we started our family, Mrs. Beagle would stay at home. Her job is not that high paying, and this made it easier, because the cost of child care would have made the net take home pay almost nothing.
- Talked about it again and again – After we found out we were pregnant, and then along the way with the economic downturn, we’ve talked about it again. Even though things aren’t as rosy as they were, we still feel comfortable with the decision.
- Paid down debt – We’ve focused on paying down debt since getting married in September 2007, and even before. We paid off a car loan, and have paid over one-third of outstanding student loans in a year and a half. It would have been nice to been a little further along (the goal had been for 60% of the student loans to be gone, but we’ll be about 15% short), but we’re still in good shape.
- Bumped up savings – I’ve leveled out some of our monthly expenses, and also bumped up some savings just so we have a good cushion and have savings for long term purchases, such as home repairs, auto repairs, and replacement automobiles.
- Saved for baby needs – We had started putting aside money for things that we needed even before trying to get pregnant. So, when it came time for baby furniture, we had some money stashed away. Our parents are generously throwing us showers, so hopefully the cost of actually equipping the baby with everything won’t be too shocking, but I have some money allocated from our upcoming tax refund just in case
One thing I still need to spend some time on is saving for the college education of our baby. We’ve decided that we will start saving once the baby is born, and this will carry through for future babies that we might have as well. I know that we’ll be putting money aside for this purpose, but I need to get my ducks in a row as far as knowing the best 529 plan and how to get started.
Even with that, I think we’re in good shape and we’re looking forward to this next (and many upcoming) chapter.