Budgeting for baby
When Elle Martinez and her husband found out they were having a baby, one of their initial thoughts was that they needed to be financially prepared. During the process of building their baby fund, the first-time parents learned several valuable lessons that made the transition much easier.
To start, the North Carolina residents communicated with each other to figure out what their goals were. "We sat down as a couple and we talked about what kind of strategy would work so we would be focused on the baby when she came instead of focusing on our money," Martinez says.
They had some emergency savings, but the couple wanted to "double up" on it in anticipation of their daughter, so they created an automated savings account. As online bankers, they set things up so that a specific amount of money would be deducted from their account and deposited to their baby fund on payday. This "forced savings" method eliminated any possibility of deviating from the plan. "We needed to have a financial system we could keep," Martinez explains.
Another way they saved was by reaching out to friends and family. Knowing that their network wanted to contribute, they were able to tap their loved ones to design and decorate their baby room as a gift. This helped to keep their baby fund in tact.
Finally, Martinez and her husband looked at their finances and found that Elle could work from home once the baby came. This helped the couple save on childcare, another extra expense the new parents didn't have to undertake.
Now the Martinez family is expecting a second child for which they are quite prepared. Elle adds, "We feel like going through the process with our first one, with Lily, has brought us together, and it's also helped our finances that we're really less stressed the second time around."
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