Goodbye, 2016! Hello, fresh start! A new year is upon us, grand adventures are planned and a tiny human on the way means reevaluating our budget and finances once more. Yay!

From our previous budget posts here and here, and here, you know that we’ve been diligent about becoming debt-free and paying off our student loans by following Dave Ramsey’s helpful guide, the Debt Snowball Method. This tool has helped us to reorganize our debts, and has also kept us motivated throughout the process (as it can be a long one depending on the dedication, net pay and debt amount one may have).

Bumblebee getting to work in the flower garden.

We began our financial restructuring nearly three years ago and have seen tremendous progress in decreasing our debt amounts. As of a few weeks ago, we only have one more student loan to tackle – mine. That’s right! We paid Ethan’s student loan off and have been grinning from ear-to-ear since. We can pocket that extra money, apply it elsewhere or save it. What a feeling!

From bud to flower.

Our sights are now set on paying off my student loan, and then eventually, our house. With a baby on the way, we’ve augmented our budget even more to reflect possible future expenditures: unpaid maternity leave, infant care and daycare, doctor appointments, baby gadgets and more. Revamping our budget in this way will certainly prolong our debt-free date; however, we both feel it will stack the cards in our favor after baby arrives by not getting into more debt, and saving for these likely expenses now. I think this is a win-win, don’t you?

In what ways did your budget change after having a baby? Are you finding that budgeting gets easier as children age? Or, whether or not you have children, what changes have you made to your day-to-day spending in order to become debt-free?

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