There’s a question buzzing around CNBC these days: Is there something in the office water?
That’s because several of the network’s leading ladies, including Sara Eisen, Leslie Picker, Kelly Evans and Aditi Roy are all pregnant.
The expecting moms recently spoke to Know Your Value and shared how their unique financial expertise is helping them prepare for the newest addition to their families — all while breaking big stories, following the markets and being on live television every day.
1. Budget now for the help you’ll need.
“I learned the first time around that I needed someone the first few days, just so I could sleep,” said Eisen, Manhattan-based co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” and “Closing Bell.”
“It’s a very physically and emotionally draining period.”
Eisen and her husband Matthew Levine, a director at Brunswick Group, a strategic advisory firm, have a 21-month-old son, Samuel. Their second child, also a boy, is due Oct. 11.
Roy, a general assignment reporter who works in San Francisco and lives in San Jose, is also due with her second child in November. She has a nanny helping with her 5-year-old daughter, Saya, in the mornings before school. But that arrangement can be stressful, especially when the nanny calls in sick. “I can’t just turn around and drive home 60 miles,” Roy told Know Your Value.
That’s what she is budgeting now for the help she knows she will eventually need. “Childcare can be constraining, challenging, and expensive,” said Roy.
2. Don’t buy what you can reuse or borrow.
Luckily, babies don’t need a lot of fancy stuff. “The baby industry has a lot of gadgets and gear. You don’t need most of it,” said Eisen.
During her first pregnancy, Roy and her husband took a minimal approach to buying baby items since they were in the middle of a move. “Other than a car seat, we actually bought most items after she was born,” she said. “And we’ll be reusing things like our highchair.”
Picker, a New York City-based reporter covering hedge funds, private equity and asset management is expecting her first baby in December. She has been grateful for gently-used items from co-workers. “These things are costly and you only use them for a short time,” she said. “Why not borrow them from a friend who offers to pass them along?”
New Jersey-based Evans, anchor of CNBC’s “The Exchange” and co-anchor of “Power Lunch,” used Facebook groups to find free baby toys and other items. “I definitely suggest other new parents try to do the same,” she said. “There’s just no need to pay full retail price for brand new stuff you’re only going to use for a couple years—or months.” Evans is due in early November and already has a 15-month-old son.
3. Anticipate savings from lifestyle changes.
Picker and husband Evan Michael Haedicke, who are currently on the hunt for a new, larger apartment, use a spreadsheet to analyze “variable costs.”
“We realized with a new baby we won’t go out to dinner as often, which will cut down on food expenses, and we’ll be traveling less.” Those savings will help them continue to save for the future, she said.
4. Plan for childhood expenses.
Roy’s daughter attends kindergarten at a private school in the Bay Area. “We moved from paying quite a bit for childcare to paying even more for school,” she said.
“Now we’re faced with the decision of whether to move to a better (public) school district and pay more for housing or pay more for private education since eventually we’ll have two going to school.” Finding the right fit will be challenging, she said. “It’s like everything else in the Bay Area, including housing and nannies, there is not enough supply for the demand.”
Plus, children are plain expensive. Think doctors appointments, braces, travel sports, summer camps, and so much more. Instead of budgeting for two, you’re now paying for three (or four) airline tickets, you’ll need to pay larger hotels and rental cars, and buy more food (that your kids won’t eat).
5. Save for the future.
Picker and her husband began ongoing contributions to both 401Ks and a “nest egg” savings they shortly started after their marriage. “We think it’s even more important to keep this up with the baby coming.”
Additionally, Eisen recommends opening a 529 college savings plan when your child is still young. “You can send small amounts each year that, depending on the state, are tax deductible,” she said.
“There’s no doubt, parenthood can be very expensive.”