Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby Changes

Over the past few months I've read a lot about getting your finances ready for baby and we'll be making so significant changes to where our money goes. Most of these changes will be temporary- but help us handle any big changes after the baby. Each month I'll pay the required things- mortgage, monthly credit card bill, car payment, student loan, utilities and what we set aside for insurance. In a perfect world I'd pay these all directly from my husband's check but I don't think that will be possible again until June/July. Any additional funds that are left (including my paychecks) will go to new sub account titled baby stuff and oh baby.

Baby stuff is for (shocker) the things we'll need to get for the baby. I'm giving us a tentative budget of $3000 for gear, including the crib, mattress, car seats, and clothes that we aren't otherwise gifted at the baby shower. I'm hoping that our friends with older babies will want to give us their used stuff so we don't have to spend anywhere near this amount.

Oh baby is the baby related emergency fund. A few days a week I listen to Dave Ramsey at lunch. Anytime someone says they're having a baby he tells them to pile up cash (what you would send to debts otherwise) until the baby gets here. If everything goes fine make a huge debt repayment. If there's a problem for mama or baby you have the cash to help deal with it. I was on the fence about this initially but then I got a survey from my HR department. They're currently shopping for next year's (July 1 for us) rates. Right now I have an HMO and delivering the baby would be $1000 but the survey made it seem like everything, including high deductible HSA plans, was on the table. Since I'll deliver within 2 months of our new plan start I want to make sure we're covered if the costs change drastically.

Any money in the checking account above the regular bills will go into two funds or the low months fund. It will be 30% to baby stuff, 30% to Oh baby, and 40% to the low months fund. Once we get baby stuff to $3,000 I'll reevaluate the percentages. Last year I optimistically thought $3,400 would get us through the low months. This year I want to aim for $10,000. I won't be able to work the extra hours over the fall/winter and maybe spring. I also don't want to worry about money while we're getting to know the baby.

The only bill we will pay more that what is actually due on is my student loan. When I switched to reduced payments it was with the understanding that I'd be paying the original amount each month to avoid extending repayment.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How much is a week worth

Our fiscal agent for work, who is also technically our employer, has a kind of crazy vacation policy. The start of this fiscal year we could accrue PTO without limit. This year they decided that at the start of each fiscal year they don't want anyone to have more than 80 hours, scaling us down in 32 hour increments each quarter. If you don't meet the new limit you don't accrue new PTO.

Yesterday I sat down with HR to ask about some of my maternity leave questions. We don't technically have maternity leave. We have a burn all of your vacation hours and then you can access an extended leave bank plan. Though I work for a non profit, so I'm not really complaining. After those two options you can also take 30 days of unpaid leave. When we talked HR lady brought up an alternative to what I had been planning- stop taking PTO now (and accruing in July) if that will give me more time.

I'm aiming for about 10 weeks off full time and then coming back 1-2 days a week at a time. The baby is due September 10th. The other thing about my boss that is great is she will let me flex time around appointments, so I don't have to take off the time for appointments.

Currently I have 110 hours. We accrue 18.7 hours each month. April's time hasn't been accrued yet. The extended leave plan will be at 190 hours by then.

Plan A- Take enough time off over April, May, June to get down to 80 hours. This is aprox 1 day a week until the end of June. The time off is wonderful, though sometimes a challenge to fit in. My boss is awesome though and sometimes lets us fudge things a bit. July-baby I will accrue 18.7 hours/month. (117.4 hours)

Plan B- Stop taking time off now. I will accrue the 18.7 hours for April-June and stop accruing (166 hours total)

Plan B gives an additional 48 hours or 1 week and 1 day of time post baby, for a total of 4.15 weeks of paid time before extended leave. Plan A gives 2.93 weeks post baby before extended leave. But plan 8 means taking 86 hours over the next 2.5 months.

I can't decide if the time now or the time later is better. Since I have the additional buffer of 30 days leave without pay it comes down to my pay for that additional time. Is 6-7 days of pay worth not taking time off between now and the baby?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A bit much

In a move of stunning brilliance I think I've really over scheduled my next 10 days. Today I have a quarterly report, a letter telling someone I can't pay for her class, creating certificates, and editing multiple MOUs while missing 3.5 hours due to meetings. Tomorrow I'm off, which means all of the work stuff must happen today. Tomorrow I'll be doing my hair (it's an all day process) in preparation for a banquet for hubby's job Saturday evening. That morning I'll be subbing for one of my trainers for 6.5 hours. Starting Sunday morning I'm babysitting overnight for a week for a 7 yr old boy.

Just typing that makes me want a nap.

On the up side I get paid for the last two things. I didn't discuss a rate for babysitting, but that will be somewhere in the $300-400 range. This is more because she's a great friend of my mom's than for the money. If they didn't have the relationship I wouldn't have taken the job. On Saturday I'll make $27/hr for those 6.5 hours. Though if I can find another sub in the next 36 hours I'll happily give it up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A little conversation

The sceen: Our living room. Sitting on different couches, laptops in both of out laps. Project Runway playing in the background. I'm working on the month end numbers, he's listening to something on his laptop because he hates PR.

Me: Pause what you're doing, I want to tell you something.
Him: What?
Me: (very excited) All of our debt is under $200K.
Him: (very dejected) That's just depressing.
Me: Dude, we've paid of $10K in 3 months. In the three months where you make the least. That's pretty impressive.
Him: No no, still depressing.

Though he thinks it's depressing I'm still excited. That's every penny we owe someone else, including our mortgage.

Dear CO,

You rock. We submitted out taxes on a Saturday. By the following Friday our refund was in our bank account. It has long since made it's way to our car loan. I am happy.

Tonight I should get through out month end numbers and get those posted. There's also been some maternity shoping. And lots of sleeping.

Happy Tuesday :)