In early August of 2016, the single most amazing moment of my life happened: I became a dad to a beautiful baby boy.
On the day my son was born, absolutely everything changed for me. My perspectives and priorities. My well-entrenched schedules and daily routines. My finances and spending habits.
This past spring my wife (aka Frugal Mother, aka FM) and I welcomed a daughter to our family, further impacting how we go about our daily lives.
I had actually intended on starting this blog right around the time my son was born because I figured that was a good time to start chronicling what I had been thinking about putting into this. As I’m sure is the case for many first-time dads though, I drastically underestimated just how time-consuming being a father was going to be!
I’ve always loved to write, but that was something I simply didn’t have make the time for after my son was born (remember that comment above about changing priorities?). So this little project got put on the back-burner. Then eventually it was simply ignored.
A job change late last year seems not only provided me with a great opportunity to advance my career, but it also seems to have reignited my desire to write and got this little personal project back on the rails.
Over the decade or so that I’ve been in the working world full-time, I’ve become semi-obsessed with personal finance. The proliferation of online resources and blogs dedicated to the subject only served to feed this fixation.
By reading as much as I possibly could on the subject (something I still do to this day), I developed something of a system and some guiding principles for my finances that I feel have worked out quite well for me.
It certainly helps that FM and I have always had a pretty good grasp on our finances and have common beliefs about how to handle them. We try to get the most out of our money at every opportunity and limit wasting any of it. We’re frugal (hence the namesake of this blog!), but we’re not cheapskates!
We paid down our student debts as soon as we possibly could after graduating university. We’ve avoided incurring any crippling credit card debt. We bought (far) less house than lenders would have liked for us to believe we could afford. We’ve driven reliable, relatively fuel-efficient vehicles and stay on top of their required maintenance to keep them running as long as possible. And at every opportunity, we’ve put extra money towards our mortgage and any vehicle loans we’ve had along the way.
Many of the things on the list above were relatively simple to accomplish without kids in the picture – it just took a plan and a lot of discipline.
Even with all of that being the case, expanding our family meant that we had to make some pretty significant adjustments to our finances.
I handle the bulk of the money management in our household (I’m a sucker for numbers and spreadsheets) and I’ll admit that keeping ourselves on track with the financial goals FM and I have set for our family was one of my greatest concerns about becoming a parent.
We were on firm financial footing before our son was born, but in the lead-up to his arrival, I frequently found myself worrying about whether or not we’d be able to keep it up with the reduced income of maternity leaves and the increased expenses inherent to raising kids.
I figured I wasn’t the only one out there going through such a thought process, so I thought ‘why not write about it?’
So that’s what I’m here to do: chronicle my experiences with personal finance during one of the most expensive phases of life that many of us will ever encounter: parenthood!
My goal is to share tips and tricks (and learn from yours!) for keeping costs down and making the most of your money as we move through the various stages of raising kids.
Most importantly though, I’m using this as an added element of accountability to stick to those goals and guiding principles I referred to earlier. My plan is to publish annual sets of goals and objectives, and with those out there online for anyone to see, I view this as an added tool for keeping our family on track.
In addition to this website, you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for regular updates on my frugal adventures in shopping, investing, saving, and affordable family fun. You can also get in touch by emailing me at email@example.com.
So without further ado, it’s time to hit ‘publish’ and get this blog started! Thanks for joining me on this journey!