In approximately 4 1/2 months, I'll be on maternity leave.
I consider myself lucky - I'll get 60% of my pay during maternity leave. It's not as much as I'd like, and it's definitely not everything we're used to getting. But it's something. And it's more than federal law requires. But out of that 60% also comes our health insurance and taxes, so it starts whittling down. So we're planning ahead now.
How in the WORLD are we going to combat this?
1. We're getting a roommate.
An awesome friend of ours is moving in with us, and considering we have WAY more room than we really need, it'll work out well. There's no telling how long he'll stay AFTER the baby is born, but we'll take it a little at a time. He'll be paying us a small rent, so that will go toward paying off credit cards and beefing up savings.
2. Beefing up our savings.
Since I'll only be bringing in half our normal monthly income, we need to have that amount saved. Really though, that's only $2000. According to our insurance company/hospital, we'll need to pay about $2500 for the baby to be born, so we're taking that into account too (even though we can obviously have payment plans).
3. Pay down credit cards.
I hate that we even have money on them. But we needed to keep as much cash liquid as possible during the home purchase of the summer, plus Sean wasn't working at all. So we have a huge chunk that we need to pay off (well, for us it's huge). We're hoping to pay it off by December, and I'm pretty sure we can accomplish that.
4. Pay off student loans.
My loans are already paid through April of next year, and we're trying to get at least one of Sean's loans paid up early too. Just one month would give us so much more slack! Let's not forget we have to start paying law school loans in November too :(
Our immediate goal is to move into this new house with a sound budget in mind, and to keep that in effect. We'll be able to start things off with a water heater on a lower temperature, a schedule on the thermostat, and energy effient appliances. We really want to try to live off my salary and our friend's rent - banking everything that Sean makes. But with the utility bills of a bigger house, that probably won't be possible. I think more realistically we're going to try to bank all of our friend's rent. But that's still SO much more than we can save now - it'll make a world of difference if we can stay on top of the budget.
Maybe a weekly money meeting is in order for us?