So you and your significant other have decided that you have lost your mind and want to have one of you stay at home to raise the kids. Let me be the first to congratulate you on making this important decision. It can be one of the best decisions you will ever make and probably one of the scariest as well. There are many reasons as to why you would want to do this. We don”t really care about these, everyone is different. We will focus on how this can be accomplished with regard to finance, physical health and the mental health of those involved.
The first thing you should think about is can you afford it? If both of you are working right now, you will be living on half the salary you do now with one, two or many more mouths to feed. Now I know this is obvious, but you should really think about what this means. No more daily trips to Starbucks, no wild sprees at the mall or the home improvement store. It may take a little longer to get those granite counters you want and the latest Prada fashions. But with a little patience and some planning, you can still spend a little money when you want.
But how can you figure out if you can afford this lifestyle and then make it happen? Well, you will need a budget. A very strict budget that will allow you to see exactly where you money is going. It will probably surprise you to find out how much you spend on things you could do without. Just keep in mind that in come places, people get by on less than a hamburger costs.
After a budget, a big consideration in today”s world is health care. Do you have health insurance through a employer that will cover the entire family? Does it include vision, dental, and all the baby care you will need? Do you get disability insurance in case something happens to the main money earner? Medical costs are insane right now and don”t seem to be going down any time soon. They can put quite a drain on your finances with proper insurance, either through your employer or purchased by yourself.
Another item is how much debt you are carrying right now. If you have a couple car loans, some credit card debt plus a big mortgage with an adjustable rate, you may have to do something about that before you have a baby. The bills can add up fast and so can compound interest on your credit cards. With home values sinking and interest rates going up, without a locked in mortgage payment, you could be hurting when the bills come.
If you haven”t run screaming yet, that is fantastic. All of these topics and more will be covered here so hopefully you will get some good ideas. All of them are based on real experiences and are actually put to use on a daily basis. Which explains why there are 50 rolls of bath tissue in the garage, but more on that later.