I had a minor meltdown Friday morning complete with crying on the phone with the Lowe's customer service rep who had no idea what hit her. Poor lady. LOL. Somehow last month I accidentally put my monthly payment into the spot labeled "Recurring Payment" rather than "One-Time Payment" so I woke up to an overdraft notice Friday morning. This month has been extremely lean with the hail that destroyed my roof, A/C that had to be fixed and re-doing the front yard. I had $70 in my bank account to last me until the 15th (4 more days to go!). Thankfully money was automatically rerouted from my savings to my checking and I wasn't charged a fee, but it still spent me into a tailspin.
Came home Friday night and opened up an Excel spreadsheet to see just how much I spend each month that is constant, compared to my fluctuation spending, where I expect to be 2 years from now, and then estimated baby costs. I did two baby cost comparisons. One that was on the lower side of what I've seen quoted for daycare and one in the mid to high range. A reasonable guess for diapers and formula (should I need it) based on Amazon prices. I can afford the lower end of my estimations but it only leaves about $150 left each month. It's doable, but a bit close for my comfort. The high range is not possible. If my paycheck wouldn't change due to increased medical insurance I could swing it, but my insurance through my school district (which is state subsidized) sucks and just for the cheapest plan for one adult + child is $300/mo.
I've already been trying to cut back on things to help contribute to my long term saving, but if you see my "Baby Dollars" post, it has been a bit ridiculous the past few months and I've actually gone backwards. But I got everything paid off including the stuff for my sister's wedding. So I at least have that behind me. More good news is that I cancelled my cable a few months ago (hooray for Netflix), so that's saving me $70/mo. I'm doing a good job of meal and grocery planning and have gone from spending $100-$150/wk at Target just for me down to about $40-50/wk. I've temporarily halted my retirement contributions which is another $250 extra each month. My HOA and car insurance is paid up until November so this is prime time for me to start saving.
Best case scenario, I can save around $800-$1000/mo from now til November, nothing in December because my HOA, home warranty (if I renew) and car insurance will all be due at the same time. Then back to normal in January. Worst case scenario it's more like $400-$500/mo. Well actually, worst case scenario it's like it has been these past few months... but I'm trying to stay positive here.
My biggest struggle right now is when I take the plunge. Up until Friday, I was ready to start next summer.I'll be 31 next summer so that is the best thing I have going for me is that I am still considered "young" in regards to most people who are SMC. My worry is that if I wait another year to get everything more in order that I'll hit some invisible fertility time limit and have all these struggles that may not have been the case had I been just one year younger. I don't ever want to regret anything. If I had to choose doing it too early and being in debt or planning everything out, having tons of extra money but not being able to get pregnant then I'd choose debt every time. Bring on the bills.
That's why I started freaking out. I don't want to be unprepared and stressed about money the entire time I'm pregnant or a mother. I understand it's probably an unavoidable situation in general but there is no need to set myself up for failure. I read on another blog that one mom had saved up like 16 months of daycare which helped her "afford motherhood". Prior to having bought my house a few months ago, I was in such good financial position that I could go ahead with my plan now if I wanted to. But that's not my reality right now. If I can stick to my best case scenario in this next year, I'll be set to have about $250/mo extra to supplement my income for 2.5 years. That's a decent cushion on top of whatever else I can manage to save each month once a baby is in the picture.
I keep telling myself that things are going to happen no matter how much I plan and save for them and that I will find a way to make it work no matter what. Which is true. I would, it's just extremely scary to think that something I want more than anything in this world is dictated by things that are out of my control.