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You may have noticed something a bit different over the last month – I've had many guest posts here on Couple Money. While I've continued to post as much as I could, I had to slow down.  I was under the weather, but I had a very good reason. My husband and I are expecting our first kid this summer!

Anticipating Baby Expenses

I've decided to track the baby expenses on Couple Money as we're going through this process and some wonderful bloggers have decided to join in the fun.

I know for us, it is an eye opening experience in many ways, especially with the financial obligations (and distractions!) that are out there. Some topic we've talked about include such things as:

  • Health insurance
  • Preparing our house for the baby
  • Possible work arrangements when the baby is born
  • Baby registry (so many opinions on what's needed!)

Baby Savings Goal for 2011

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago with our financial goals, we wanted to bump up our savings to around 6 months of expenses. That would put us around $10k for savings. We're hoping to meet our goal by June 30th. To get there, we'll be automatically redirecting  some money every month into the account.

We currently have money transferred over from to specific savings account for other financial goals regularly, like the car replacement fund. The difference is now is that we'll also have some go into our emergency fund.

Working Harder to Be Debt Free

Needless to say, we feel like there's a fire lit under us to finish off our non-mortgage debt. Right now, we only have a low interest student loan left. We've been doing well with no car loans and saving, both for short term and long term like our retirement.

Our goals include knocking down the student loan by a big chunk (25-30%) this year while reaching our saving goals. We'll work hard to reach it and I can't wait to include our progress with our monthly net worth reviews.

Parenting Round-Updad and baby

I'd like to start the series off by sharing some extremely helpful posts that I've reviewed as we're embarking on this next chapter of our lives. I also included my weekly post on FCN about some financial preparations we're starting with the baby.

I hope you take a minute to check out a post or two. I'll be incorporating link from some of these posts as I write more about new expenses and changes.

Join In the Baby Expenses Series

Are you a parent or a parent to be with some helpful advice or stories? Please go ahead and join in on the fun, there are 3 ways you can be a part of it:

  1. Leave your tips in the comment section. I  love reviewing thoughtful comments from readers. Some topics have several ‘right’ answers and I think sharing different view points can be helpful.
  2. Submit your stories for future posts. As you know, baby and expenses can cover a variety of topics. If you have a short story or some tips you want to share, please submit them. If you're a blogger, please share your site's address with the email so I can credit you if you want.
  3. Write a blog post about your experience. Please include a link in your bio for your site and if you have a relevant post on your site, please link to it in your post.

Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to step in and help me out on Couple Money. I'm very grateful for the support of the personal finance community, including the Yakezie.

Photo Credits: danitza and Dalla*

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

21 comments add your comment

  1. Our baby is going to join us in a month or so. I’m looking forward to this series. 🙂
    Great round up, I’ll have to read them all.
    Are you planning to get a lot of new baby stuff or try to get used and hand me down?

    • Congrats on your upcoming addition! We’re planning on getting a mix of new and used items. I think quality will be the main issue. Hand me down clothes in solid condition is welcomed in our home for instance.

      We’ll evaluate items as best we can and we’ll work hard to stay on budget.

      • Talk to friends a family for hand me downs. We’ve gotten so much great clothes, many of which were hardly worn. When kids are babies, they sometimes barely have a week or two to wear something before they outgrow it.

    • Thank you! We’re excited about it. I also can’t wait for tomorrow to see my Yakezie post up. There’s always a good amount of practical feedback.

  2. Congratulations Elle! That’s such wonderful news! I’m not a parent yet but I know babies can be such a HUGE joy to the family. If someone asks what they could get your baby as a gift, and you’re unsure, one good thing is a savings bond! My grandma got one for my little cousin. Or, even opening up a 529. Good luck!

  3. Congrats on having a child, and props to you for realizing that having a child may require some shifts in your finances!

  4. Congratulations on the baby news! I’m sure you are really excited. Good luck on your student loan debt, I’m sure you’ll meet your goals. I’d add a baby-saving tip, but I don’t have kids, yet. 😉

  5. As a parent of 2 peanuts and somebody who works with families I agree that it is very easy to go nuts buying baby stuff. You walk into that baby store planning to pick up 2 items and get sucked into the maelstrom of adorable infant lamps and stuffed animals that make whale noises. I think the book Baby Bargains is a must read for any expectant parents – its full of product reviews and lots of practical “buy this, don’t waste your $$ on that” advice. Their claim in the introduction is that this book will save you a few thousand on unnecessary (but seemingly important at the time) baby purchases and that was definitely the case for us. They also encourage finding used baby clothes because as mentioned earlier, they out grow these things so fast their clothes barely get worn!

    My only caveat to used or craigslist items is: a) no used carseats b) no used cribs (especially in light of the recent ban on dropside cribs). Personally I like to invest in safety items and go cheap in pretty much every category 😉

  6. Congrats!! I’m definitely going to bookmark this post because I’m hoping to start a family in the next year or two and definitely have so much to learn and want to be as prepared as possible if/when I get pregnant. I’m also trying to de-clutter and stay on top of home maintenance work in the meantime now so things won’t pile up later when time and money will take on a whole new meaning with a little one around. -Sydney