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I’m back with a new improvement!

October 16, 2011

Quincy has been excited to be a big sister to baby Brooks

And baby makes four

I haven’t posted to the blog since July.  On July 26th, our second child Brooks Tyler Long was born.  I’m hoping to get back to regular posting now.

My wife, Kerri, and I have had plenty of time to gain parenting experience with our lovely daughter, Quincy, who will be 4 in October. We are excited to welcome Baby No. 2 into the world, yet I admit I am not sure that I am quite ready.

There have been several major life events I have felt I was not completely ready for — going away to college, starting my first job, getting married and having our first child — but as the saying goes, I was “as ready as I ever was.”

Waiting for the perfect time can cause a person to avoid or put off these life milestones. Sometimes you have to decide that your situation is as ideal as it ever will be and take a leap of faith. The last thing you want to do is spend the rest of your life waiting.

That being said, this personal finance enthusiast would not do you, my loyal readers, any justice if I did not mention the importance of having stable finances and a plan for the future in place when you decide you want to have a child.

The basics such as food, shelter, transportation, childcare, clothing and diapers are not the only expenses incurred with children. You also should factor in things such as medical expenses and life insurance for you and/or a primary care giver in the unfortunate event of your death to ensure the child is taken care of financially. And then there is college.

Kerri and I started a college savings account through CollegeInvest’s 529 program when Quincy was born, which we contribute money to every month. We will do the same for the new baby.

According to the USDA’s annual report, “Expenditures on Children by Families,” released in June, a middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend about $226,920 — $286,860 if projected inflation costs are factored in — for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years. This represents a two percent increase from 2009. Expenses for transportation, childcare, education, and health care saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2009. There were very small changes in housing, food, clothing and miscellaneous expenses on a child since 2009.

The report, issued annually since 1960, is based on data from the Federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey. For the year 2010, per child annual child-rearing expenses for a middle-income, two-parent family range from $11,880 to $13,830, depending on the age of the child.

The USDA has a calculator that estimates the cost of raising a child at the website If you are ready to have a child and wonder if you have the means, the calculator may help you.

Kerri and I were married for about 2 ½ years when we felt we were emotionally and financially ready to expand our family. However, at the time, we had just moved to a new city, bought a new home and I started a new job. Kerri still was looking for her ideal career.

About six months after our mutual understanding and desire to have a child, Kerri landed what she felt was the perfect job — one she could see herself doing for the long haul, and better yet, would be conducive to being a mother.

Soon, we found out we were expecting. The timing seemed just right for us. We were settled in our new place and both had good careers. Kerri planned on working part-time after Quincy arrived, and with our schedules at the time, we could share in parenting duties and not require daycare.

Shortly after Quincy’s birth we realized another piece that was important to us with a new child, being close to family. Thankfully, I was hired at NJC when Quincy was just a couple months old. Kerri’s employer allowed her to continue to work from our home in Sterling. Everything seems just as it should be.

We took the same amount of care, consideration and planning when we talked about having another child. Over the past couple months we have been putting away money to pay for the medical bills and other expenses we will have with our new bundle of joy.

While a joyous occasion, having a child can be stressful as well without financial troubles in the mix. It definitely tries your patience and changes your life forever. When you add money problems, it can be unfavorable to say the least.

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