We got our $1200 economic stimulus payment today. We put the whole thing into our HELOC, since we have decided to make the HELOC a priority for the time being. We’ve already maxxed out the HSA and my husband’s IRA for the year, and instead of moving straight to my IRA, we’ve been focusing on stashing some extra money in the HELOC first. We’ll probably do that for the next few months, and then go back to our original goal list and tackle my IRA in the fall. Paying off part of the HELOC principal was part of our goal list for the year anyway, we’ve just changed up the order of things. We decided to work on the HELOC for now because the money is very liquid in that account. Hopefully we won’t need it for anything, and can just pay down the principal on the loan. But if we do need the money, the HELOC is linked to our checking account, and we have instant access to the money. We have our ING account emergency fund, which is up to about $1600, and of course there’s the HSA in case of a medical emergency. But with a brand new baby, it would be nice to just have some extra money in the HELOC just in case.
I called our health insurance carrier to add our son to the policy, and it’s going to be $158/month. Ouch. We were expecting about $100 – $120. But our policy has a family deductible, which we already met this year when my husband had knee surgery, so if our baby does happen to need anything medically for the rest of the year, we don’t have to pay anything for it. So the HSA money should be safely locked up at least until next year.
I’m going to start checking out college savings options, and I hope to have a 529 plan set up by next month. We don’t plan to fully pay for college for our son, since we think that it’s important that the student have a part in the financial outlays of getting an education. But we do plan to put aside $100/month from now until he graduates from high school, which should make at least a dent in whatever college costs in 2026.
So for the time being, our expenses will increase by $258/month for sure, just for insurance and college savings. After that, we don’t anticipate a huge amount of additional expenses for now. We have everything we need and then some as far as baby stuff goes. Our homemade diapers are working great, we won’t have any additional medical expenses until at least 2009, and we’ll be staying far far away from Babies R Us. If the last few days are any indication, our other expenses should go down for a while, since we’ve barely left the house since he was born. Our already small entertainment and eating out budget will probably actually get smaller for a while, since it’s so much easier to just stay home and have family time. And since all we want to do it sit and stare at him, that works just fine.