Kids Will Stick You For Your Paper
It’s obvious but smart financial management is one of the pillars of parenting. When a child comes into your life there are these new categories that you begin spending money on — weekly and monthly cash management becomes crucial.
In my experience, the whole money conversation almost overstated when it comes to infants — things like diapers can add up, but your main costs for infants is your time. But then comes grade school…and high school (let’s not even talk about college and college savings yet)…That’s when kids really start to invade your pockets.
I always say that “My wallet gets beaten to death $200 at a time.” There’s a constant outlay of cash — soccer registrations, field trips, school supplies, more school supplies, etc. etc.
People are often waiting for the perfect financial time to have kids — that may never happen. But it’s important to work on the habit of tracking spending and properly managing your cash, so you’re not hurting when those inevitable kid-related expenses come up.
Early Bird Gets The Worm
When you have a kid you obviously will still time for the stuff you gotta do — building your business, professional development, hobbies, etc. I have found that I’m personally able to get this stuff done really early in the morning.
I try to wake up at least an hour (easier said than done) before my kids on weekdays so that I can spend time reading, going for a jog — any of the things I need to do to have a productive day.
The other nice result here is that you are better prepared to engage with the kids when they jump out of bed like little balls of fire.
Get Productive on Weekends
Weekends are sacred gems that are to be protected with a might kung-fu grip. If you are used to spending your weekends watching every football game that comes on, you should start loosening up on that luxurious habit right now.
As the kids get older, weekends might be as busy if not more so than weekdays, so really mapping out your weekends and getting stuff done it critical.
Even if there is a big game on that you need to watch live, it will be helpful to think about the things you can still do to help around the house — folding baby laundry; Assembling that Ikea bookcase; emailing other parents to schedule drop-offs for the next week.
While relaxation is wildly necessary, there’s always something you can be doing during those early days of parenting to make your life easier during the valuable weekend afternoons. It took me a decade to learn this by the way.
Following the 80/20 Rule at Work
This one is pretty simple. If you’re expecting a child, now is great time to start maximizing your workday productivity. The 80/20 rule simply states that 20% of what you do gets 80% of the results.
Start to figure out what that critical 20% is now. With the little one about to invade your life you won’t have time to BS during your work day.
I also highly recommend the book Essentialism, by Greg McKeown.
Creating Systems Everywhere
My wife is probably the most systems focused person I know. And for good reason. If you think you need systemic thinking in the workplace, you probably need it 10x when it comes to the management of a family — especially as the kids get older.
While you’re waiting for the delivery day, spend some time thinking systemically about your life. What systems can you and your partner put in place to balance your relationship and the new addition with your careers, extended family and all the rest of life’s variables?