34 Comments

  1. Alas, I’d go baby fund for now. That said, I don’t know your due date, aka how much time you’ll have left in this calendar year to figure out your contribution.
    So maybe go 50/ 50. Especially go to 50/50 if you think it will help keep you more calm 🙂

  2. Alas, I’d go baby fund for now. That said, I don’t know your due date, aka how much time you’ll have left in this calendar year to figure out your contribution.
    So maybe go 50/ 50. Especially go to 50/50 if you think it will help keep you more calm 🙂

  3. Kat

    I’m definitely in the 50/50 camp, but that’s mostly because I know that my anxiety would need that response. It would calm me to know that I’d put some towards both.

  4. Mack

    I think you should save then invest. Once the money is in your Roth you won’t be able to take it out if you do have any unexpectedly high costs, but you can always transfer any excess money over to the Roth after the fact, at the end of the year.

      • Mack

        Don’t forget that you can allocate Roth IRA contributions from January-March of 2018 to your 2017 Roth total. So if things are more settled by then you can continue to contribute to 2017!

    • Yup. That was my first thought too. But then I feel really selfish. I’m thinking we’ll definitely max out 2016 since we’re so close, but then we might wait to fully fund 2017 until after Baby debuts. Insert more waffling!

  5. Before you listen to my advice I have a confession. We have ~three years worth of spending in cash despite the fact that Rob only has 1.5 years of school left.

    Okay, now my advice. Keep the cash. Being cash flow negative for a few months was really stressful for me. And I’m talking like 2 months of being maybe $1500 negative. I was already a basket case, but I can’t imagine how nuts I would be if we were anywhere close to the edge financially.

    After you make the transition to paying for childcare, and your new expenses regulate, you can invest the money.

    • I’ve thought for a long time that we have too much cash. Now I’m realizing that no amount of cash in the world will likely ever seem enough when my brain is full of a million what-ifs. Thanks for sharing what works for you!

  6. I think splitting is a great solution. We usually split between three or four goals. But yes, I think investing should always be at least part of the mix, since there’s no time like the present to invest!

    • Normally, we’d add more to the mix, too. But I’ll be unpaid for 12 weeks and then I get 60-ish% of my salary for the rest of the school year. So it’s kind of forcing our hand a bit in terms of narrowing things down and prioritizing this tax season.

  7. I’d fund the Roth accounts. If you need the money for an emergency, you can easily withdraw your Roth contributions without taxes or penalties. But if you don’t need it, it’ll already be invested and (hopefully) growing over time.

    • I’m looking up qualifying reasons now, Kate. They’re bound to cover at least a few of the worst-case scenarios my brain comes up with at 3 AM!

  8. I would finish the 2016 Roth IRAs and then keep the rest in cash until you go back to work and then consider the 2017 Roth IRAs. I would also make sure you hit the Roth IRAs before the mortgage.

    • Definitely! After that last post, I’m not messing with our mortgage anymore (besides the basic payment) until the end of the year. And we know we want to max out 2016. It seems silly not to being so close. That’s a great idea to wait until I go back to work. It’ll be November, so I’ll still have a few months!

  9. What would give you the most piece of mind? You didn’t give us any bad options to chose from. It kind sounds like you would rather put the money in the Roth, so I would go with that. Both options allow you to save for the future, and like Kate said, in a pinch you can always withdraw it if you *really* need to.

    • That’s a great question, Jax. To be honest, I’m not sure. When I hear good things about blood work or ultrasounds, I feel confident investing. But left to my own devices, I can invent dozens of worst-case scenarios where we’d need more in savings. Speaking rationally, probably splitting it…at least until I get too impatient!

      • The good thing about savings is…it can always be invested later!

        Also-mortified by my spelling error-I know that it should be “peace” and not “piece”

        Also came back to ask about why the baby is called “Half Pence” because all I could think about was Mike Pence-until I started to write the question out and realized it’s in reference to currency. ::facepalm::

  10. Depends on where your baby fund is right now. I might do $1000 in the Roth now and hold the $3000 in cash while you get through the pregnancy and see what happens after. Then you can put more in later when you’re reasonably certain of how stable things are.

    • We have at least $25,000 in our emergency fund. I’ll spend through some of that on my unpaid leave. And I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that everything goes smoothly medically. But I also am quickly getting a taste of how fast things add up in baby land — even looking at used items (stroller, bedroom sets, etc.). So I think you’re onto something!

    • That seems like the most reasonable option. I might try it out. My fear is that it might get tedious when the Roths are close to being full. But it doesn’t seem like I have much to lose!

  11. My vote is for cash until the baby comes and everyone makes it home healthy. After that, put the leftover $$$ into your Roths. Girl Scout cookies sports lessons, and college are not emergencies, and you can save for those when they come later.
    And again, congrats. The name Half Pence is perfect.

    • Girl Scout cookies do seem like an emergency sometimes! 😉 You’re right. I can always ramp up our “regular” savings later when I’m back working with a normal salary.

  12. Hey lady! Things sound like they are cookin up great over there…with a few Thin Mints on the side. 😉 I still only get one paycheck a month so I won’t be celebrating extra pay days HOWEVER our company just announced record profits and with it, profit sharing!! For the first time in 15 ears they are giving us a portion of the PS in cash!! So excited. Beyond that, I still have to do my taxes and see what fruits will come of my labor. This is the first year I upped my allowances to 5 so who knows?! Anywho, I have no doubt Half Pense will benefit greatly from your financial knowledge. Orthodontia and all!

  13. As a mom with a bunch of boxes of GS cookies sitting around, I see your concern. Those are delicious but expensive cookies you have to sign for.

    Fill up 2016 Roths, Wait on 2017 (you have 14 months). Build up the cash reserves. Things happen, and you’ll have a host of new expenses to think about after Half Pence gets here…more life insurance? college savings? child care (gulp)? adding a kid on health insurance, definitely. Plus, if you haven’t done it already, you may need to do a bit of estate planning, and best to get it out of the way now.

    • Yes, we are going to do our wills either this spring break or this summer. So happy to have June to get ready for Baby! Adding Half Pence to my insurance will be a breeze (an expensive breeze, but a breeze regardless). Thanks for the reminder that we have 14 months!

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