Our Big Announcement & 5 Future Financial Plans

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It was Friday, December 29, 2017.

I just published a post called “Musings on 2017 – Marriage, Kids & Money” in the morning.

In that article, I mentioned that Mr. FAF and I had thought about having a second baby, but that nothing had happened yet.

That night, Mr. FAF went to his friend’s place to hang out. I was at home with my MIL and Baby FAF.

Aunt Flow was late, so I thought I’d take a pregnancy test to see if we had any news.

Prior to that, in about 3 months, I had used up about 10 RiteAid pregnancy tests Mr. FAF’s aunt gave us when we were in China in December 2013.

Basically, the tests had expired a year ago. But I used all of them anyway.

On our 4th anniversary, we stopped by the Dollar Tree to pick up five $1 pregnancy tests.

Mr. FAF insisted that I should wait for longer before trying the test because it costs $1, meaning it’d be a waste of money if I weren’t pregnant.

That Friday night I tried the test alone in the bathroom.

I watched as the two lines started to faintly appear.

I turned away for a short moment to mask my anxiety.

And when I looked back at the stick, I saw two clear lines. I’m pregnant!

Part of me was happy. Our family is growing.

We will welcome a new member in a couple of months. But part of me was nervous. Taking care of Baby FAF is tiring. And now we have another baby on the way.

I know many of our friends and neighbors have multiple kids, and they are doing a great job at parenting.

That means that we can also take good care of our kids if we try hard enough.

When Mr. FAF came home, I surprised him with the news. He was speechless for five seconds. I think he was in shock.

Like me, he was happy to soon be a father of two. But I could tell that he was nervous about the financial and parenting implications of the pregnancy. He said he was both happy and scared.

Reality just hit. And it hit hard.

I waited for another two months to tell my friends and colleagues. But we just had to share the good news with our family right then and there. After much planning, we finally decided on the following plans:

(For administrative purposes, Baby FAF will be referred to as Baby F1, and our future baby will be referred to as Baby F2 from now on.)

Related: Boy Or Girl & How Many Kids Should We Have?

1. My mom will come to the US to help us take care of Baby F2.

My in-laws came to America to help us with Baby F1. My MIL even stayed for another year after she brought our son back from China.

My parents feel that now it’s their turn to take care of their grandchildren. My dad can only come to visit, but my mom will stay for at least six months. We really hope that she will be able to stay for a year, but it depends how she feels about it and if her visa situation works out.

2. We will send both kids to daycare.

One of the first things that came to my mind was daycare tuition. We currently pay about $15,500/year for Baby F1’s daycare. Baby F1 will be 3.5 years old when I give birth to our second baby.

Our county doesn’t offer free Pre-K, meaning we will have to keep sending Baby F1 to daycare for another 1.5 years. We plan to send our second baby to daycare after he/she turns 6 months. It means that there will be a one-year period when we will payΒ $31,000/year to keep two kids in daycare.

After Baby F1 goes to kindergarten for free, we will keep paying $15,500 or more for Baby F2’s daycare. That leads me to point #3.

3. I will keep working full-time.

Although Mr. FAF and I have been planning for baby #2 for a while, we have not considered the possibility of me being a stay-at home-mom for five reasons:

1. Although daycare can amount to $31,000/year for two kids, it is still lower than my take-home pay even after we deduct all the associated costs (taxes, social security, Medicare, inurance contributions, pre-tax transit & healthcare contributions).

2. We receive great benefits from my employer. Our family stays on my health insurance plan because it’s much better than Mr. FAF’s. Given that we will need medical care (i.e. vaccinations) for one infant and one toddler, we both think the plan works well for us.

My employer also offers a fantastic match for my 403(b) contribution. It would be a big disruption to our finances if we gave up both of such benefits (among others).

3. I expect my salary to keep increasing in 2019, which will further justify my decision to work full-time after the birth. Even if I decide to switch employers, my future pay should be higher than it is now.

If I took at least a year off, I will have a gap year on my resume, which can be a disadvantage for my job application.

4. I have one month off for maternity leave (it was only 2 weeks two years ago) and have saved up two months worth of paid and sick leave. I will continue to save up my leave in 2018 so that when I give birth, I will have the option of taking four months off.

However, I will probably take only 2-3 months off in case our kids get sick after my mom goes back to Vietnam. Mr. FAF also has one month of paternal leave.

5. I love our son, but I was just so relieved to go back to work 1.5 months after giving birth to him. It was partly due to financial stress, but I believe I also suffered post-partum depression. I got upset about everyone and everything around me.

I felt like I was trapped at home and had no way out. Once I started working, I felt like myself again and soon got over the emotional mess I had been in.

I know that a lot of moms and dads cherish the task of parenting and are willing to make the sacrifice to stay at home full-time to take care of their kids. But knowing myself and my history, I know it’s better for my mental health if I continue working at least for the foreseeable future.

Related: Why I Don’t Plan To Be A Stay-at-home Mom

4. Mr. FAF will try to earn more income.

Right after I told Mr. FAF that he would soon become a father of two, he told me that he would need to make more money. That means that he would work harder to secure his current job to get promoted or move to a better-paying position elsewhere.

I think he started to feel the responsibility of being the breadwinner and supporting two children in an expensive city.

Mr. FAF has also brought up the possibility of being an Uber driver as a side hustle after he feels that his job is secure. It will also be a break for him from all the coding.

He now wants to devote his time to his current job and taking more courses online to make a smoother transition to something better. If you come to DC one day and meet a Chinese Uber driver in his late 30s, it could very well be Mr. FAF.

Related: How Fearing Lay-offs Affects Our Financial Decisions

5. We will need to save more.

The big expense coming up ($31,000 in daycare) together with other unexpected expenses mean that we will need to be more conscious about our spending.

Mr. FAF and I are frugal, so it won’t be too hard for us. But we will try not to make any big purchases (i.e. TV, electronics, new clothes) in 2018.

In fact, being pregnant will motivate me to seek hand-me-downs instead of buying new maternity clothes. I don’t want to spend too much on clothes I can wear for only a couple of months.

Our food expenses might increase because of my pregnancy craving. But we will try not to eat out too often.

Conclusion

Having a second baby is both exciting and nerve-racking for us. We sure want to have a new addition to our family. But daycare and healthcare costs also stress us out quite a bit. I guess it’s part of building a family and being parents.

Compared to where we were when we had Baby F1 (both of us being students with no full-time job), we are in a much better position to welcome our second baby now.

We will stay positive and do our best to prepare for the arrival of our family member in 2018!

Related:Β 

Boy Or Girl & How Many Kids Should We Have?

Musings on 2017 – Marriage, Kids & Money

What Growing Up Poor Has Taught Me About Money And Relationships

The Pros & Cons Of Being A Female Breadwinner

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79 thoughts on “Our Big Announcement & 5 Future Financial Plans”

  • Congratulations on Baby F2!!! I hope you are feeling alright πŸ™‚ I hope everything goes smoothly as you welcome the new addition!!!

    It sounds like you have a solid plan in place and have thought through many of the details already. As you know, I am also a working mom and your reasons to stay at work ring very true to me as well. I also found myself relieved to head back to work following my maternity leave, and I am so glad I did! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Accidental FIRE! Many of my colleagues can’t even find daycare for their kids in DC, so they have to do nanny share @_@ Making some extra income is great! πŸ˜€

  • Congratulations to both of you on the big news…very exciting!

    You already sound like you have a solid plan and have some time to make sure it all falls into place. Good luck working away at all your goals, and I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly.

  • Congrats!!!
    I can’t believe your company only offers one month of maternity leave – that’s ridiculously low. Good thing you have a bunch of extra time off saved up.
    Daycare is such a huge expense, but I’m sure your frugal self will be able to pull that off, no problem. My mom raised me and my siblings without paying for childcare (my parents couldn’t justify the cost back then), and she says it’s one of her biggest regrets – she spent years of her life caring for us and started her career so much later than she intended. FAF 1 and 2 are in the best of hands here πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Jane! You’re so sweet. I’m sure your mom’s years of sacrifice are paying off. You’re doing so well. She must be so proud of you! πŸ™‚

  • Congratulations! We felt the same way when we had baby #2. My husband was in the process of making a career change so it was a stressful time financially. But you seem to have thought of everything. It’s especially smart to save some leave for sick days after the baby starts daycare and to seek out hand-me-downs. I know that after having baby #2, I was always foisting my hand-me-downs clothes and baby gear on friends and coworkers πŸ™‚

    I can relate to how you felt on the first maternity leave. I had a much easier time all around with my second maternity leave than with my first, and I hope you have the same experience!

  • Congratulations! That’s awesome.
    It’s great that you’re planning for all these things. My suggestion for Mr. FAF is to work on his career instead of Uber. I don’t think it pays that well. At this point in his career, he can grow and make more pretty easily. Good thing your parents can come help out for a bit.

    • Thank you, Joe! You always offer such great advice (like seriously!).

      I feel the same way about Uber. The paranoid part of me is also afraid that some drunk or crazy passenger might hurt him. Right now Mr. FAF is focusing on his job since he’s new. He needs to prove himself to his boss and his colleagues. I read Mr. MMM’s post about him driving Uber and not making much. I will tell Mr. FAF what you suggested. πŸ™‚

  • Wow! Congratulations! Can you share more about your thoughts on planning for number two? I remember reading your older post about sending number one to China because you guys were in transition. Would give you guys the confidence to go for number two? We’re thinking about the same, but right now it’s just so hard because he’s not sleeping at night and our little one is so much work.

    Sam

    • Great to hear from you, Sam! Mr. FAF and I both agree that having more than 1 kid will be lots of work. There have been times when I told him I’m ok having one kid. But most of the time, we’ve always agreed that we should have at least 2 (Mr. prefers 3, but I think 2 is enough).

      Mr. FAF is the only child. He told me he was really lonely and always wished he had a sibling. I have a lil sis and feels so fortunate I have a sister. I want our kids to have another sibling to play with when they are young and lean on when they are older. It’s a lot of work now, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. We also don’t want to put too much pressure (hopes and dreams) on one kid. Maybe you can wait until your son is a bit older (3 or 4?) to have another kid. He will need less attention then.

      You can read more about our decision to have more than 1 kid in this post. Let me know if you have questions. πŸ˜‰

  • Congrats Ms. FAF! That is so exciting.

    It is funny Mr. FAF is thinking about Uber. I’ve thought about it myself. The problem I have is after getting home from work I only have about 2 hours with my little one before she goes to bed. Then I spend time with my wife and work on a few other side hustles. If those side hustles fall through I may have to revisit driving for Uber!

    • Thank you! Other side hustles might help you earn more income than Uber, and you’ll still be able to stay home. Best of luck! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, CJ! We have made our fair share of financial mistakes. We weren’t as ready when we had our son. We’re trying to do better this time!

    • Thank you, Amy! Planning makes me less nervous about the unknown, so I’d like to plan as much as I can and hope for the best πŸ˜€

  • Congratulations to you both! One month maternity leave is a bummer, but thankfully you’ve saved up the vacation time. And I’m glad Mr. FAF gets a month off, too. Can’t wait to read all about how you’re going to frugalize this baby!

  • Congratulations! I’m glad that you have some back up scenarios planned out, it looks like you have the biggest stuff handled here. How awesome it is to have your mom come to help for some time, it’s nice she gets a turn after Baby FAF was taken care of by his paternal grandparents. Just curious how come your dad can only visit and not stay too? A friend had both parents come take care of his son whenever they visited and it was awfully cute to see how both grandparents functioned.

    • Thank you, Revanche! My mom will be retiring soon, but my dad is still working. If he leaves Vietnam to stay in the US for a couple of months, he will lose his job, which he doesn’t want to happen. I’m ok with that. My parents do fight when they stay at home for too long, and that could be a headache in and of itself >_<

  • That’s great news, Ms. FAF! It’s weird to say this, but since I seem to have so much in common with you and I’m trying for a second baby right now, I was wondering the other day whether you were planning a second baby like I am. Congratulations!

    • Great to hear that you two are trying for a second baby as well. I think it took us 3-4 months to conceive. We were getting pretty impatient at one point hehe.

  • Congratulations!!!! That’s was fast! Boy that’s spectacular!!! Are you getting any symptoms besides missing Aunt Flow?

    (What the…I’m so late on commenting. This is what I get for falling asleep.)

    “If you come to DC one day and meet a Chinese Uber driver in his late 30s, it could very well be Mr. FAF.”
    Lol! Challenge accepted.

    • I was waiting to see your comment hehe. I remember feeling extremely sleep during the 1st month. I went to bed earlier but still felt sleepy during the day and didn’t feel rested at all. Then morning sickness kicked in at week 7, and it was miserable! I’m so glad I’m over the 1st trimester now. @_@

  • Congrats Mrs.FAF!

    I agree that a second baby will certainly double your expenses now, but it seems like you and Mr.FAF have a plan laid out. I think naturally you’ll do well since you’re deep into the personal finance realm of knowledge πŸ™‚

    I personally don’t currently have any kids but I hope to be as prepared as you are when the time comes.

  • Congrats to you and the rest of the family!! I’m sure everyone is excited for Baby F2 and now your mom will be handling babysitting duties, a team effort.
    It seems like you got everything planned out to get ready for Baby F2. I’m sure everything will work out for you guys and anticipating all your stories during your pregnancy and the possibility to hear crazy Uber stories from Mr. FAF!! Haha

    • Thank you, Kris! I will def write about Mr. FAF’s experience as an Uber driver once he gives it a try! πŸ˜€

  • Great news! I hope all goes well with the remainder of your pregnancy, the epidural (if you get one) the birth and of course, everything that comes after that.

    We’ve got two boys, 2 years apart and they’re great friends. Yes, they bicker and fight, but they spend tons of time playing and laughing together. We are a happy family of four.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    • Thank you, Dr. POF! I will get an epidural for sure. You’re the only commenter so far that has mentioned the epidural hehe :p We’re preparing ourselves to be a referee of our 32 kids in 6 months hehe.

  • Congratulations to you and your family FAF!! That is so exciting and sounds like you have a great financial plan in place to prepare for baby #2. What an exciting time and I can’t wait to follow along during your pregnancy.

  • Congratulations!!! Sounds like you guys are well prepared and have a solid plan. How exciting!!! (Also, those are so cheap! I managed to get 3 tests for $10 and that was with a half price sale)

    • Thank you, NZ Muse! I’ve almost exclusively used Dollar Tree pregnancy tests since they’re only $1 each. Give them a try, and you’ll see what I mean πŸ˜‰

  • Congrats on Baby F2! I like how carefully you consider and discuss things with your spouse. I also like how honest you are about postpartum depression and the need to return to work. A maternity leave of four months would be great, but I agree that saving some days for unexpected sick days is a good idea. I have two children, and it will be stressful at first, but having your mother there to help will be great. Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and baby! F1 will be so, so happy for a sibling!

    • Thank you, Susan! I’m braving myself for the big day. I can’t believe I will be a mother of two in 6 months!

  • Where I live there is free bilingual education pre-k for children with parents who are not native English speakers. Have you looked into Bright Beginninings or gotten suggestions from Head Start?

    • Thank you for the suggestions, Kayleigh! Those are great programs. Unfortunately, we’re not eligible for them.

    • Thank you, Millionaire Doc! I keep telling Mr. FAF there will be another baby crying nonstop in our house in 6 months hehe.

    • Thank you, Olivia! You can get them for less than $1 on Amazon. Just get the strip without the plastic cover πŸ˜‰ I think they’re called pregnancy test strips.

  • Congrats! How exciting! I am also looking forward to the pregnancy posts, particularly since I am expecting our second as well. We are fortunate that I can stay home, so we do save quite a bit of $$ on daycare costs. But it sounds like you and Mr. FAF have everything all planned and organized. Thoroughly enjoy reading your story and honesty with feelings about money (and other things, too!)

    • I will be in that situation in 3 years. My mom can’t come to help us. It will be hubby and me taking care of a toddler and a newborn. We plan to up our emergency fund and simplify our meals to save time. We also save up our vacation and sick leave to stay at home with our LOs for longer. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

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