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A Baby Daddy’s View on Fatherhood and Money

  March 31

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fatherhood and moneyHappy Monday, everyone! I’m so excited that my friend Grayson from DebtRoundup and SproutWealth is stopping in today to share all his knowledge on being a financially savvy baby daddy.

I know you’ll enjoy this one! Thanks, Grayson!

It has been a little over a year since I became a baby daddy. My son was our first and he really changed my world.  I would go from sleeping in and relaxing in my spare time to waking up early and changing diapers in my spare time.

Though it doesn’t sound that exciting, I am really happy where I am at right now.  I wouldn’t change anything, except for how much time I get to spend with my son.  With a year under my belt, I figured I would share a little about how my original perception changed about being a father and our financial situation.

In the Beginning

I am a big planner, so when my wife told me she was pregnant, my mind started to get to work.  I was near the end of my debt repayment, so I first had to make sure that I would be able to pay off my credit cards and have some time to save.  Unfortunately, I did the math and only had a 4 month gap between paying off the card and my son arriving.  Not much, but I would have to accept it.

One of the biggest shocks came when we started to shop for baby products.  Are you freaking kidding me? Why does all of the stuff cost so much?  Why do babies need so much stuff in order to function?  After my wife went on her first spending spree, I realized that whatever book she was reading needed to be destroyed.  It was just telling her to spend, spend, and spend a little more. Not cool and certainly not in my budget.

It started to worry me about how we were going to deal with all of the expenses.  One word of advice for new parents, you don’t need most of the crap that books tell you to get.  A newborn doesn’t do much, but sleep, eat, poop, and sleep more.

A New Baby Daddy

My son was born two days after Christmas.  It was the best belated Christmas present anyone could ask for. The days at the hospital was a whirlwind to say the least.  It was so hard to concentrate on anything because I was so sleep deprived. I was learning everything on the fly.  It was probably good that I couldn’t think about much, because once we got home, that hospital bill was already getting pushed through the system.

If you are planning on having a baby, I hope you have good insurance.  That whole process, even if it goes smoothly, is extremely expensive.  We were lucky that my employer provided us with great insurance, but we still had to drop a few grand on the whole thing.  That was the first hint on how much it was going to cost to be a parent.

I still can’t understand why we go through so many diapers, wipes, food, formula, and clothes.  You go out and buy a cool set of clothes and then after a month, your child has outgrown them.  We learned after the first month or two that we needed to shop consignment.  We are lucky that there are quite a few around our area. My wife has become a baby consignment ninja.  She pops in and jumps out with goodies in hand and only spend a few bucks.  Nice!

A Year In

The first year of my son’s life went by so quickly.  There is a reason why people tell you to cherish the early years.  I get it now.  You can’t get those days back.  My wife and I had to decide to put my son into daycare due to where we were financially.  The daycare has been great, but boy is it expensive.  That is one place where you don’t want to skimp on services.  A good daycare in our area costs anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 per month.  With this, our finances are a little harder to control.  I have already told my wife that if we have another child, then she could leave her job, which is something she would like to do.

Since I know that my wife would love to stay at home, I have been on a quest to make more money.  There is only so much you can save, so I needed to figure out how to bring in more income.  I do a lot of freelancing work and keep myself busy.  I have a desire to reach the goal to allow my wife to reach her goal.  That is motivation enough for me.  Even though I work on the side, I still make sure to spend time with my family.  I came up with a method early on that I wouldn’t connect or get on my computer unless my son was sleeping. I have been using this for months and will continue it.

From the moment my wife got pregnant to a few months after my son’s first birthday, I have learned so much.  I learned that no one is truly financially ready to be a parent, but that shouldn’t stop you from making sure your finances are in the best place they can be.  I also learned that there are other things more important than money.  Being a great father and husband is one of them.  I will continue to learn more about being a father and putting my finances in the best state that I can.  I am excited for my ongoing journey and want to wish Cat the best during hers.

Aw, thanks Grayson. 🙂 Loved this post! Readers, if you have any tips on parenthood and money, I’d love to hear them in the comments below! And, if you have time after commenting, please feel free to check out the twins’ birth story here.

22 responses to “A Baby Daddy’s View on Fatherhood and Money

  1. It’s so nice to hear your husband’s personal journey. I admire his quest to earn more so that you’re able to stay home. With such a positive attitude and the drive to do it, I’m sure it will happen. Thanks for sharing this personal post – and good luck!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story Grayson!! It’s always fun to hear the guy’s perspective. The birth of my son truly represented the birth of my financial awakening. Now matter how much people tell you children cost, you just don’t know until you love it. He forced us to become financially more responsible but also gave my work meaning because now I don’t just work for a paycheck, I work to give him a better life.

  3. Daycare expenses are a huge deal- and you definitely don’t want to skimp! When our daughter was born, we made the decision for my husband to quit his job and stay home, and for me to go to work. I like working, but quite frankly the decision was made because he didn’t make enough money to make it worth daycare. It was really hard switching to one income. From locking down our budget to dealing with daddy taking care of baby instead of mommy, it was definitely a challenge. Even so, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world! congratulations and good luck!

    1. I hear you. My wife makes more than the daycare expenses, but if we have another, that wouldn’t be the case anymore. I wouldn’t mind staying home with the kids, but I make more and have the healthcare plan that can’t be beat.

  4. Grayson…I don’t know how you balance work, blog work and the baby! Impressive. I have an 8 month old and I am just exhausted…though it is an absolutely wonderful experience. I feel like my day is just waking up, getting him ready, dropping him off to my parents (low cost daycare…lucky for me), picking him up, make/eat dinner/ put him to bed, and start again the next day.

    1. Andrew, I have been doing side work for many years. I used to go to work, then come home and work until 2-3am and then back up the next day. I ran on 4-5 hours of sleep. When our son was born, it was an adjustment, but I just learned how to work very efficiently. I get most of my work done late at night when my son and wife are sleeping.

  5. Thanks for sharing your story, Grayson! My youngest, Taylor, was born after Christmas too. 🙂 I know exactly the book your wife was reading because every expectant Mom reads a book and then freaks out. I remember pre-baby buying baby shower gifts for friends and always feeling overwhelmed by all the things on the list. Like – what is this stuff? When I got pregnant, I found it’s the stuff you are “supposed” to have. LOL! Like you said, you just need the basics. Cute baby cloths look so great at the store but they only look cute for one minute before the baby throws up on it. It’s not always easy to balance work and family, but they definitely make it worth the effort.

    1. I sometimes have to remind my wife that the clothes will not last very long. Especially in the beginning when they are growing so quick. We have some clothes that she bought, which our son never wore. You really only need the basics. The others stuff is either unnecessary or a “like”.

  6. Thanks for the awesome article, Grayson!! I’m highlighting this page for my hubs to read.
    We’re at the cusp of starting to plan having a baby (that’s a mouthful!) and your perspective is very cool to share. I think there’s a lot written about expectant mothers but somehow, the dads don’t get the same love. It’s also very important to really sit down and consider what the finances are going to look like post-baby. I know that this is a much better time for us financially – I don’t know if we could support our child adequately had we had a baby before our careers are much more stable and our finances in better shape.
    Thanks for posting this, Cat and Grayson!

    1. Your are most welcome Anneli. You are correct. There are not many articles talking about this from a father’s prospective. We do get pushed to the back, which is understandable.

  7. Wow, Grayson you’re such a responsible father! I have a 7-year old daughter, I tried to wake up early about 5:00 A.M. to start working or even do my work out daily routine, doing my household chores and when she wakes up I make sure that I’m beside her. My daughter understands that I need to work and in fact she is so very responsible kiddo for me.

  8. Ummm I guess I’m from the hood, because I was thinking something else completely from the title! Where I’m from, ‘baby daddy’ means you fathered a child with a woman you weren’t married too. Like, “oh that’s just my baby daddy”. ANYWAY, great article. Having children forces you to have your priorities straight and financial life in order.

    1. I actually live in the hood right now. We are moving, but I have seen the term used interchangeably where I am from. It was more of just adding some humor to the post.

  9. What a sweet post! I agree that there’s more to parenting than money. My kids don’t know whether we’re broke or rich….they just want to spend time with us!

  10. Keep cherishing the early years, Grayson. Our son recently turned 13 and has decided he is truly a teenager. He is a good, loving kid, but is now not afraid to talk back. At least once a day he gets into an argument with either my wife or myself on some trivial matter, because he thinks he knows more than we do. We figure he will be in this stage for another 10 to 20 years.

    1. I plan on cherishing it Bryce! I remember how I was as a teenager, so I am not looking forward to it. I came to my senses when I got older, but my parents were evil when I was a teenager.

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