It's the first of the year and one of the biggest New Year's resolutions is to get your finances in order. I've always been very interested in personal finance and now that I have two little ones on the way, I guess you could say I'm obsessed. Here are some of my random thoughts about money lately:
I'm very tired and pretty miserable most days. I'm pretty much just like a newborn. My life revolves around eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom. I only go to work because I have to. I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. and if I can, I take naps during the day. This means:
- No dinners (outside of the home)
- No happy hours
- No after-work catchups for coffee, tea, apps or anything else
- No random after-work shopping excursions (if I need something now, I buy it online or shop during my lunch break.)
The benefit of this is that not going anywhere gives me the discipline I need to stick to my budget. I do, however, spend about double, sometimes triple what I used to spend on lunch and groceries. I've never put a premium on buying food, but as a pregnant woman, I can't play those games anymore.
Most of my sleepless nights in the second trimester are due to this big belly. Once I get up to go to the bathroom, it might be another 2, 3 hours before I can get back to sleep. During the first trimester, however, my sleepless nights were due in part to worrying... mostly about money. How am I going to afford a child in the most expensive city in the country? Do I need a bigger apartment. How much will movers costs? What's the cost of daycare. Then when I found I was having twins, how am I going to afford two children? My brain shot straight to where are we going to apply for college scholarships and literally everything in between.
I did a lot of reading and research on the best way to prepare financially for kids. I decided to stockpile cash (vs. paying off loans or credit cards). It's a truly personal decision, but works for me since I will have a period of time where I'm not working and not getting paid for being off. I also imagine lots of things that will cost that I can't exactly plan for, especially having kids.
Also aiding in the decision is that I make better money decisions when I'm spending cash instead of putting something on credit cards (I think scientifically we all do). Buying gently used baby gear with cash for the low low is SO much more cost effective than buying brand new stuff on a credit card, then paying interest on it. I'll end up end up buying a brand spanking new bassinet or infant car seat and will pay for the thing long after the child is even using it (3-6 months max).
I've always found it fascinating that no matter what your tax bracket, people find ways to make it work... to raise happy, healthy families. So while I would like to have SO MUCH more in preparation for children, I'm trying to employ the creativity of someone who makes much less than me in order to avoid a poverty- or struggle-like mindset or lifestyle.
I've been living below my means and thriving as a childless lady and I think/hope/pray that can continue to happen when my two bundles of joy get here.
Do you have any money goals for the New Year?