Just over one week ago we had our first child, little Carter John. Ever since the day he was born, we have been focusing only on the baby – feeding him, changing his diapers, getting used to his schedule – and trying to stay sane.
One thing we've learned in the past week is just how un-important things like money and finances can feel at a time like this. They seem to fade into the background along with everything else, and you begin to forget that bills will even need to be paid. It can be easy to let things slide.
Be Prepared For Big Life Events
Thankfully we've been preparing for having a baby for the last nine months, and now that we've had him and things are all crazy, we're not too worried about letting things slide because we've planned for this day.
Some of the things we've done.
- Saved An Emergency Fund: We've saved up an emergency fund, and put money away to pay for hospital expenses/etc. Now we don't need to worry as much about all the extraneous expenses that will be coming our way.
- Auto-Pay Our Expenses: All of our regular monthly expenses that can be paid automatically have been set to do that. I may not keep them all that way indefinitely, but for now we at least know our bills will be paid. For the other ones I have reminders set to help me remember to pay them.
- We Have A Budget: We've done a family budget at our house. This means we know all the money that is coming in and going out, and we don't have to worry about not having enough for all the new baby expenses.
- Things We Can Get Help On, We Have: We've made a plan for when we're busy with the baby, and have set up people we know who can dog-sit, water our landscaping, or help us with preparing meals. It takes a huge load off.
Having a plan has made things so much easier for us, and we're better able to just enjoy our newborn son.
Unplanned And Planned Events Need To Be Planned For
While not everyone is having a baby as we are, almost everyone should have their own contingency plan in place in case of an emergency of large life event.
For example, we also were glad of having a plan a couple of years back when my wife was in the hospital for a month with an unexpected blood clot. We had no idea it was on the way – she was 27 and healthy before it happened! Because we had a contingency plan, we were able make do while she was in the hospital.
The point is, you may not know when something could happen that could cause you to let your finances take a back seat. When it does happen, you'll be glad you planned ahead.
Have you set a contingency plan in place at your household? What steps have you taken? What would you suggest that other folks do? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.