We are currently saving for what I call our baby fund. I work at home as a freelance writer. My income generally covers our groceries, surprise expenses (i.e. car repairs, unexpected dr. visits, etc.) and entertainment (netflix, internet, and date nights). We have already budgeted out paying for hospital expenses and baby items we need to get. What I am calling a baby fund is a savings cushion approximately equal to what I usually make in about a month’s time.
Luckily I work at home, and I am likely to start working on smaller projects sooner than a month after the baby is born, but I would like to have that savings cushion so I don’t feel like I have to if either I or the baby are having a rough day.
Now we have a lot of things we would like to save for, but I like to pick one smaller goal and really work away at it so I can feel as though I am accomplishing something. Small victories really give me a lot of motivation to continue working on our larger financial goals.
So here is the plan. The baby is due in basically 4 months.
Extra work income: I have one client who I do a project for on a monthly basis recently contact me about doing 2 projects over the next three months. I jumped at the opportunity and the extra income should bring us to about the halfway mark for the baby fund.
Grocery Budget Savings: I’ve really started to be diligent in watching and working with our grocery budget through sales and couponing (something I’ll talk about later). But I plan on taking what we save each month from our grocery budget and adding it to the baby fund.
Do Two free date nights a month: I think date nights with your spouse is an incredibly important part of having a healthy relationship. I read somewhere that the average married couple spends only 7 minutes of one on one time with each other a day. Yikes! How is a relationship supposed to survive on that? We generally go out for dinner, dessert or a movie depending on our mood, but looking back on some of my favorite date nights, they were usually free or fairly inexpensive. By making an effort to do two free date nights a month, we should average saving $45-$50 each month over the next four months.
Hopefully by following these three smaller steps we’ll have a month’s worth of my income saved by the time the baby comes. I’ll update with our progress each month.