Congratulations, moms-to-be! How is it possible for one little person to suddenly change every aspect of your life? As eager as you are for baby to arrive, there are certain things you’ll want to tackle free from the distraction of a crying newborn. And if you’re reading this, the clock is probably ticking! From car seat installation to interviewing a pediatrician, here’s what’s most important to check off the list before that first contraction.

Some moms may immediately think of the cost of new clothes for the baby, designing the nursery, etc.

However, I have found—from both personal and professional experience—that those areas are rarely where the large expense items come in. Many of us are fortunate enough to receive gracious hand-me-downs and lovely gifts from friends and family that quickly address these concerns.

Take cognizance of your housing expenses. Babies come with a lot of stuff and many families make plans to increase their home size to accommodate the additional bedroom and living space that a little one needs.

Whether you are renting or a homeowner, the ongoing housing expense will likely increase, and there are multiple other factors associated with this change, including moving expenses, temporary storage, and repairs to your home before you move.

Work on your emergency fund. Your emergency fund should be about 3-6 months of living expenses, which you may have heard before—it’s a frequently referenced guideline.

But what does that mean for you?

Instead of looking at one month in isolation, I recommend you review your spending over multiple months and then take an average to be sure you account for variability in spending (vacations, insurance policy premium payments, medical expenses, car repairs, etc.).

If you are a single-earner household, I recommend increasing your emergency fund towards six months of savings. If you are a strong, dual-earner household, then three months likely would be sufficient.


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