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Old 01-22-2009, 07:34 PM
Status: "something tells me I won't win that $500" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,840 posts, read 12,091,457 times
Reputation: 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgfnw View Post
I just moved to Houston about 4 months ago after graduating from college. Recently I found out my girlfriend is pregnant. While I have a good job, I obviously haven't been working for very long so I have relatively little money saved. Any advice? Also we will both be working when the child is born. What are some good options for daycare? Any advice regarding, what I need to to know (being a new dad), finances, daycare would be greatly appreciated...Thanks!
I have some advice. If you love your girlfriend, marry her. Congratulations on your baby! You will love him/her so much, your heart will feel like bursting sometimes.

I would check with Dave Ramsey's site (he's on 950AM at 1pm) and see if he has any more tickets left for his Total Money Makeover. The man seriously knows how to budget. He's amazing and so far, has been more truthful than anyone I have ever heard in regard to personal finance.

Be prepared for your girlfriend/baby mama to NOT want to work. It is entirely possible that she will want to stay home with that baby. You just never know. All I'm saying is...be prepared. Plus, Poltracker is right. It might be totally worth it, financially, for her to be a stay-at-home mom. It definitely is for my family!

In the event that she does choose to go back to work, I second Topaz's suggestion that you find an NAEYC-accredited daycare/school for your little one. I don't know where you work, but if you are with a large company you might find they have a great daycare in-house.

Child care can be a deduction on your income taxes, so be sure you have all the information you need. Also, check with your employer to see if they have an FSA (flexible spending account) available for you to open; it will allow you to set aside a certain amount of money, pre-tax, for child care or medical expenses (like co-pays and co-insurance), depending on the type of FSA you open. We set aside $3,000.00 of my husband's salary for medical expenses, and we have a debit card we use that just pulls it right out of that account when we pay co-pays on the dentist, doctor, eye doc, pediatrician, therapists, etc.. I highly recommend it for new parents. You can also use it on prescriptions and over-the-counter meds as well.

The only other piece of advice I can give is don't be one of those dads that won't change a diaper. I am so grateful to my hubby, he is so wonderful with his kiddoes and has never complained about changing a diaper, ever. He's a very hands-on kind of Dad and has exceeded every expectation I think I ever had! He's wonderful. Be patient, be loving, with your child and your wife and you will be just fine.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Austin Bound
4,642 posts, read 8,149,196 times
Reputation: 2967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
I knew one family (lower incomes) that was actually losing money (about $1500/year) by having both parents work. Of course my friend who I spoke of above and his wife make a combined income of $150K+ so it is all good for them. It sometimes surprises me that folks don't sit down and actually think about it in this manner (at least alot of my friends haven't).
But you also have to factor in the cost of leaving the workforce because re-entry is hard and earnings potential is affected a LOT. Good article on the costs is here.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:41 AM
 
8 posts, read 18,729 times
Reputation: 13
I understand the pros & cons of one parent staying home. My girlfriend at this point is not ready to give up her career yet (we'll see). Combined we pull down roughly 110k a year. So strictly financially speaking the value proposition isn't there. Obviously there are ancillary benefits to someone staying home. (love, parenting, better home environment, etc)

Also in this economy, it might be better off that we both keep or jobs in the event that someone gets laid off…not having insurance and income for any amount of time with a newborn would be disastrous.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,701 posts, read 10,634,526 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
But you also have to factor in the cost of leaving the workforce because re-entry is hard and earnings potential is affected a LOT. Good article on the costs is here.

Good article.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:49 AM
Status: "something tells me I won't win that $500" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,840 posts, read 12,091,457 times
Reputation: 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgfnw View Post
I understand the pros & cons of one parent staying home. My girlfriend at this point is not ready to give up her career yet (we'll see). Combined we pull down roughly 110k a year. So strictly financially speaking the value proposition isn't there. Obviously there are ancillary benefits to someone staying home. (love, parenting, better home environment, etc)

Also in this economy, it might be better off that we both keep or jobs in the event that someone gets laid off…not having insurance and income for any amount of time with a newborn would be disastrous.

As a woman who left her career behind and had no intention of doing so...well...it can happen. I don't know whether it's the oxytocin flowing through a woman's body or what--but motherhood is powerful. Oh yes, I told everyone I'd be back, of course I'd be back...yeah...well...one look at those little beady eyes and I knew I was done. So, like I said, just be prepared.

On that same note, if you buy a home, be sure to qualify on just one salary even if she does go back to work. It will not only help your budget, but it will help in case one of you gets laid off, as you said.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Katy, TX
1,286 posts, read 3,175,212 times
Reputation: 603
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgfnw View Post
I understand the pros & cons of one parent staying home. My girlfriend at this point is not ready to give up her career yet (we'll see). Combined we pull down roughly 110k a year. So strictly financially speaking the value proposition isn't there. Obviously there are ancillary benefits to someone staying home. (love, parenting, better home environment, etc)

Also in this economy, it might be better off that we both keep or jobs in the event that someone gets laid off…not having insurance and income for any amount of time with a newborn would be disastrous.
You are right about this. But as Mom2Feebs said, watch out for your girlfrirend to suddenly change her mind once that baby is born. Happens ALLLLL the time, no matter how rewarding the career. As they say, a baby changes everything. There are tons of pros and cons to staying home vs working, daycare centers vs nannies or home daycares, etc. It's a big decision and I think one that should be reevaluated regularly. I second everything Topaz AND Mom2Feebs have said. I personally do agree with Mom2Feebs...marry her.

As for daycares, telling us where you live or work would help, did I miss that? My kids go to a KidsRKids franchise which I'm semi-satisfied with, but even if you go with a big name chain it totally varies from center to center.

Oh yeah, and definitely look into those flexible spending accounts...we set aside $500 a year for medical and $5000 a year for daycare costs, which is nice to get back at the end of the year. It's like a built-in savings plan for us.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:25 AM
 
Location: where nothin ever grows. no rain or rivers flow, TX
2,028 posts, read 5,514,184 times
Reputation: 416
old school day care, typically just ran by a caring asian woman, is $20/day and no need for annual enrollment, late fees and other crap from the bigname daycares. we have one in my neighborhood, maybe theres one in your area
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