Becoming a dad for the first time - week 29

Brooke has another routine blood test. This blood test is conducted to rule out gestational diabetes.  This test is conducted between 24 and 28 weeks of the pregnancy. The test can take up to 3 hours depending on the mother-to-be’s medical history and body/weight type. Thank fully Brooke had to just under go the standard 1hour test. Now, hopefully the results will come back negative. Yes, negative is good when it comes to medical tests. Fingers crossed!

Unfortunately for Brooke there were some side effects from the glucose component of the diabetes test. She has had stomach cramps, wind pain and nausea. To make sure nothing major was happening, she jumped on Google and found that these can be side effects for some women!

This week we have also started to make up the nursery for the baby. You may even call it nesting as it’s a time for cleaning out and getting rid of the material things that you accumulated over the years. Just between you and me, I think my wife should be on the TV show Hoarders on Foxtel. She refuses to part with anything. Having said that, after much persuasion, she did get rid of a lot of things and we are half way into converting the bedroom into a baby nursery.

We also got our finances under control this week. This subject has been really stressful due to obvious reasons. Since we will be losing Brookes’ income for at least 12 months, we had to plan out what we are going to do about our household expenditure on a single income. Brookes’ work doesn’t pay maternity leave. We will be missing out on the Governments’ paid maternity leave scheme as that commences in January 2011. Oh the timing of it all!! All is not lost though; Centrelink does pay $5,294 in 13 fortnightly instalments, which works out at $407.23 each fortnight (see ). Something is better than nothing.

We sat down and put all our outgoings and income and paper. We worked out our outstanding balances on the debts we have (credit cards, locked in contracts such as mobile phones etc). Since we deliberately pay extra tax during the year, we get a nice little lump sum as a refund at tax time.  We intend to use that to pay off the debts.  So by the time our baby arrives we are debt free and all those monthly repayments we don’t have to make can go towards the baby’s expense and perhaps some savings. Paying extra tax during the year is a form of savings.  We are also looking to get a second car and installing a cooling system for the house to keep bubba cool through the hot summer. So we needed to find extra money to do that. We met with our bank and inquired at the possibility of toping up our mortgage. We have been paying extra on our mortgage through the GFC (Global Financial Crisis). If you are wondering how I managed to do that, I’ll explain. Whilst the interest rates were plummeting during the GFC, the minimum monthly repayments on the mortgage was following suite. I deliberately fixed my repayment at the level it was prior to the commencement of the GFC. This meant we were paying more on our mortgage than we are required to. Doing so built up a small equity which helped us to show the bank we are capable of showing financial restraint. So when we met with the bank our request was approved on the spot. What a relief?!!  Now I’m on the hunt for a new car and also searching for some quotes on a cooling system and will still have some savings left in the bank for an emergency.

Brooke has started making our lunches so that we have even more extra money left over each pay. The smallest things really can make the biggest difference!

Everything I have read about becoming a first time parent said that it can be a very stressful time. Given that we will be losing one full time wage, we figured the best way to eliminate stress was to get our finances in order.

Hopefully the above has given you an idea on how to go about preparing financially for the arrival of you baby. The scenario above is based on our financial situation and the planning & actions are based on that situation. If in doubt, please consult a qualified professional.