It’s crazy to think my son is already three years old and we have another one on the way. While I was in debt, my goal was to get out before we had children. Once my wife and I started talking about trying, I had to get my but in gear. The realization that you’re about to bring another person into the world really gets your money motor running. I was able to pay off my debt a few months before our son was born back in 2012. He has since changed my life for the better along with my finances.
I reached out to a newish blogger on the block to share his story with you today. His name is Vic and he blogs over at Dad is Cheap. He is awesome and make sure to go check out his site. Vic wasn’t great with money before his daughter was born, but that changed really quick when he came to the same realization as I. You can’t care for another financially when you don’t have all of your ducks in a row. Here is Vic’s story, so I hope you enjoy…
Take it away Vic!
I’ve always been a numbers guy. I worked in real estate, finance, and marketing analyzing data for companies. You would think that I would be the one in the relationship handling the finances, right? That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Growing up I was spoiled rotten and didn’t really understand the value of a dollar. So naturally, I let my wife handle our finances since I had no opinion of our money. While we made good salaries and lived comfortably, we didn’t have any real goals or plans for the future. We were content as long as we had enough to go out to eat and buy whatever we wanted.
That all changed when our daughter was born in April 2014.
Becoming a Parent Changes You
Being responsible for the well being of another person is such a huge responsibility. It was overwhelming. I worried about the cost of feeding her, clothing her, and putting her through college. How could we possibly afford this child when it seemed like we didn’t have that much extra at the end of each month?
My wife and I knew it was time to change our financial habits.
I started listened to podcasts, read personal finance blogs and books in an attempt to absorb as much information as I could so that we could apply it to our lives. We got on a budget, started side hustling, reduced expenses, and have increased our investments. Even though we haven’t gained much more income since my daughter was born, we feel so much wealthier now and worry less about our finances. I was even laid off for a few months and we were able to adjust our budget accordingly so that losing a job was merely an inconvenience and not a catastrophic event.
Your Financial Eyes are Opened
As a result of our financial change, our marriage has never been better. Before our daughter was born, money was such a taboo topic in our relationship. Oftentimes any discussion revolving around finances would lead to an argument. The only thing that mattered to me was that we had “enough” money in our bank accounts. I didn’t care to know about anything else.
Related Read: The Unexpected Savings Plan
Now we discuss money openly on a regular basis. Budget meetings are even scheduled on our calendars. We talk about longer term goals such as retirement, saving for our daughter’s college, and paying off our mortgage. We no longer have issues if the other person wanted to treat themselves to some fancy shoes or a new gadget. It’s in the budget.
While we lived a good life before we had our daughter, we want more for her. When it came to finances, we finally realized that good enough is not good enough. Our daughter deserves to have every opportunity in life that we can afford to give her. Paying more attention to our finances will help ensure that she will always be taken care of.
Our Future Has Never Been Brighter
I started my blog at Dad is Cheap last year to share what I’ve learned about personal finance from the perspective of a new father. I’m not a couponer or extreme saver, I’m just a regular guy trying to figure out the best way to get the most value out of our dollars. While we can’t all be filthy rich, there are plenty of things that anyone can do to save and earn more money. Personal finance doesn’t have to be hard or boring, in fact it can be quite fun (nerd alert)! Through my blog, I hope to show people that you don’t have to be a millionaire to grow your wealth, you just have to be a little more aware of your money.
Related Read: Start an awesome blog in just 5 steps
And one day, I hope my daughter will read my blog and realize how much better of a person I became when she was born.