"How can we afford all these baby-related expenses?"
Between getting the hang of breastfeeding and easing baby into a routine, new moms have plenty on their mind. Know that while you're taking care of those life-sustaining matters, we're obsessing about having another mouth to feed. It costs an average of $286,050 to raise a child until age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When I saw that hugely daunting figure, I anguished over how we could possibly make it on one salary if my wife MJ didn't return to her job. I'm a guy, so naturally I didn't share my anxiety with a soul, but wrestling with this worry nearly eclipsed the joy of my becoming a dad.
Help Dad Deal: Tame his money worries by setting aside time to retool your family budget well in advance of your due date. "More money will be going out the door and less may be coming in," says Jason Alderman, who directs financial-education programs for Visa.
Look for easy ways to trim expenses, such as cooking dinner at home and buying groceries in bulk. And see if you can reduce your child-care costs by enlisting the help of Grandma, joining a babysitting co-op, or getting creative with your work schedules. MJ suggested that each of us take a weekday off and make up the time on the weekends. Fortunately, our bosses agreed to the arrangement. It slashes our day-care bill by 40 percent and also comes with this incredible benefit: I get to hang out with Will on Wednesdays, my new favorite day of the week.