I started my own small bakery from home two years ago, providing wedding and specialty cakes. I just found out Iím pregnant, and while my husband and I are really excited about the baby, weíre worried about how weíll handle things after the baby is here. We both work long hours, but we donít make a lot of money. I made about $20,000 last year, and he currently makes $35,000 working 60 to 70 hours a week. Do you have any advice for us now and after the baby arrives?
Congratulations! Youíre going to be a mom, and youíre running your own business.
I think more than anything you just need some good business planning and time management. The good news is that you have a little time on your hands before the baby gets here. You can begin scheduling things now and laying out a plan. If you get into a busy time ó say around wedding season ó you may want to bring in a baby sitter or some part-time help for your business. I donít think I would do daycare every day. Youíre probably not that busy 12 months out of the year or even at the height of some seasons yet.
Your husband also needs some relief in the future. Working those kinds of hours, and bringing home just $35,000 a year, is no way to help support a family the way he would like, Iím sure. If his hours are going to back down soon and his income is going to go up, thatís one thing. If not, he needs to look into getting some additional education, making modifications to his current career or finding another line of work. With some careful and realistic planning on your end, and him doing something to make things better on his, a lot of the stress will fall off.
Many people do the kind of things weíre talking about, and it ends up being an awesome experience. Just sit down together, and talk it through. Help each other out, and decide what it will take to get where you want to be as a family and with your careers.
Budget your time, too!
Iím going to college next year, and Iím pretty scared. My older brother is smart, but his grades arenít too good. He says he canít find time to study and work. How do people do it?
Iím glad youíre thinking ahead, and trying to make your college experience a successful one. Itís really just a matter of using your time wisely. You know how I always tell people to budget their money? You can do the same kind of thing with your time.
There are 24 hours in a day. Set aside seven for sleep and that leaves 17 hours. Letís say three meals combined takes three hours. Youíve got 14 hours left. If youíre in class for four or five hours a day, that still leaves you with about nine hours. Thatís plenty of time during the week to study hard, hang out with friends a little and take care of other things. Then, you can work weekends, and have a little down time to relax, study more and run errands.
I worked 40 hours week in college, and I still graduated in four years with good grades. You can do it, Justin!
Dave Ramsey is Americaís trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. ďThe Dave Ramsey ShowĒ is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Daveís latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
Dave Ramsey: Having a baby and worried about the money