Since we decided that we want to have a baby (we decided that, just FYI) we've been forced to examine and reprioritize our spending. We've always been very frugal and are excelling at paying off our debt as quickly as possible. But with the added expense of a new little one, I've been doing research to discover what it is we need to take care of now, before the little one is even a bun in the oven. Rather than simply squeeze every penny out of each category, I'm forced to begin to plan for other things in the future. I'm used to just planning to pay off debt. That's still our top priority, but we're slowing down on that in order to take care of some other things.
Maternity insurance: Sadly, neither Jarrod nor I are offered insurance at our place of employment. Thankfully, we love our jobs and can afford good health care. I did my research and decided having health insurance that includes maternity coverage is crucial. We added that this month. My insurance premiums raised from $70/month to $340/month.
Insurance deductibles: We normally don't worry about meeting our health insurance deductibles each year. Neither of us ever have. If something were to happen, we would be able to cover the deductibles with cash-flow and our emergency fund. However, with the prospect of becoming pregnant, I'm looking at definitely meeting my $2,800 deductible so we are currently putting $350/month in an envelope for pregnancy expenses. This is only to be used for co-pays and deductibles, not maternity clothes (no matter how cute!) or little baby shoes. :-)
Long-term Disability: I have been dragging my feet on long-term disability insurance for about 6 months. I know we need it. I know that if something happens in the short-term, we can survive for a few months, but in the long term, we will need insurance in place to take care of us. With a potential baby coming, I wanted to be sure it was in place before I am with-child.
It is hard for me to move money from the debt snowball. I like to put as much money in that column as possible. However, I know how important funding these other things is. Making sure that all of our ducks are in a row will free us up to focus on getting and staying pregnant, as well as our new little one, when the time comes. Any extra money we get from any source will, of course, go directly towards debt.