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These are a few of my favorite things…

December 6, 2012
This is why it's hard for me to post these days.

This is why it’s hard for me to post these days.

So one of my favorite things about being pregnant so far has been watching Matt transition from “should we have a kid?” to “Holy Toledo, Batman! We’re having a kid!”

Matt has always been a very pro-family person. It’s one of the first things that drew me to him – we both want a big family. (Though our definition of “big” may change based on what’s coming down the pike…) And we both think family comes ahead of everything else in life.

So I was pretty solid on how I expected him to react upon actually becoming parents-to-be. What I was unprepared for was how hilarious his reaction will be, and how gradual. He’s like a time-release tablet of sudden parental planning.

Case in point, a few weeks ago, we drove to Monroe, Louisiana for a weekend trip (a story for another time). We spent the whole weekend doing things other than baby-planning – watching movies, visiting a church, hanging out around town, eating great food. After spending a wonderful weekend hanging out together, we were halfway through the 5 hour drive home, listening to a Pandora comedy station, when suddenly Matt turned off the radio, a very concerned look on his face, and said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Can you just…can you just Google how much a breast pump costs?”

Me: “Um…ok? Is this relevant to your driving right now?”

Matt, visibly thinking about something serious: “No, just…just look it up.”

…a few minutes research on iPhone later…

Me: “Looks like they vary between $150 and $300?”

Matt: “OK thanks. Now can you look up how much a Diaper Genie costs?”

Me: “WHAT?”

Giggle, giggle, giggle. Non sequitur aside, what Matt’s really doing is nesting. He’s trying to get a handle on what kind of money we need to be saving for this tiny person. I suppose it’s the paternal “we must provide!!” gene coming out, but my brain is SO not there. I’m worried about “how many vegetables did I eat today? Crap! Did I forget my prenatal vitamins?? (Note: No. Well, once. But that’s it.)”

So it’s hilarious to me that suddenly, in the midst of a totally different activity, his mind springs toward the baby. I’m so lucky that I have a practical “the baby will cost this much so we need to save that much” sidekick.

On the subject of finances, I kindof want to share something that has been near and dear to both our non-stress hearts, and that will very much contribute to our non-stress with the baby.

When Matt and I made the decision to get married, one of the first things we had to decide was how to approach our finances. Since money is one of the top causes of divorce in our country, it was important to both of us to figure out exactly what we wanted in our future.

The commitment we made to ourselves was to live a credit-free lifestyle: we share one bank account, have no separate accounts, no credit card debt, and have snipped up all our credit cards from before we got together.

Now: we have only been married for 11 months, but so far I can tell you: it’s literally the best decision we’ve ever made. There are no surprises, no secrets, and by definition we have to discuss major purchases in advance, because it’s obvious when we make one (the small ones are obvious too).

The other thing we’ve done since we’ve both had an income is immediately transfer 15% of our income directly into a savings account. As and when appropriate, like on the weeks between rent payments, we try to put a huge chunk of our disposable income into the same savings account. It’s a little easier given that there are 2 of us bringing money home, and living in a small Texas town where there are no super-appetizing restaurants or gourmet food locations (which is where I spent all my money in DC). And we have been very fortunate to have extremely generous parents who have helped set us up for this type of lifestyle.

But, in general, I honestly cannot recommend a credit-free lifestyle enough. We have enough money saved to cover a major emergency, random baby costs, and then some, so there’s less stress about “how are we going to pay for XYZ.” Instead, we both have a really fulfilling sense of accomplishment when we look at our little savings egg, to be used toward our growing family’s future.

And I don’t even want to THINK about what a great position we’d be in if we had been doing this when we were both still single…

So, moral of the story is, being the amazing father that he is, Matt’s adorably concerned about paying for baby Q. Knowing what I do about his saving habits and our conservative spending, I think we’ll survive. At first, at least. I’m not even thinking of college yet.

Matt probably is.

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