We just had a baby and all of the sudden money is flying out the window. We know we're not alone but how do we get a handle on what life with a tiny human being is going to cost?
Between laundry, midnight feedings and hours spent pacing the living room floor with a fussy infant, the last thing you have energy for is an elaborate budgeting system. But it's helpful to know what this new lifestyle is costing and if you're still on track for your long-term financial goals such as retirement or buying a house.
Here's recipe for a basic spending plan:
1. Start with your after-tax income.
2. List all your fixed expenses - rent/mortgage, utilities, car payment, health insurance.
3. List your variable expenses - this is where it can get tricky....if you aren't tracking your spending and you don't have the energy to start right now...just look at your average credit card bill each month. If you spend on different credit cards and some debit and some cash, then total all of it. Look back 6 months and come up with an average amount. It's safe to say this is your variable spending in a nutshell.
4. Is there anything leftover? If so, how much? Does this align with your savings goals? If not, let's talk. I can help you find room in your budget to save for retirement and provide for your baby.