MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Something new parents find out, seemingly all too late, is that babies are expensive. They require diapers, car seats, formula, strollers, cribs, blankets, medicine … the list is endless. The myriad problems quickly diminish the value of the parents’ once-mighty dollar.
To help in this financial crisis, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society offers a "Budget for Baby" class to help those parents establish a budget to manage their money when it comes to the baby.
"It's a must for new parents," said Sally Salmons, NMCRS volunteer and instructor for the class. "It helps expecting parents with the impact a baby has on the budget, and it gives resources available about the base and in the local community."
The class goes on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Parents are required to bring a Leave and Earning Statement with them. The parents use a budget worksheet to compare their monthly income from their LES to their monthly expenses.
Many parents saw where there money was going, and it helped them build a budget to fit their new lifestyle with a baby.
In spite of the challenge of building a budget for a baby, the focus for the class seemed to drift toward the fun ways to save and still be able to buy new things.
“We talk about things we want to spend money on,” said Heather Disbro, NMCRS volunteer for 10 years.
Disbro gave several tips on saving money by keeping a spending log, paying attention to coupons, starting a savings account for children when they are born, and sticking to a list when buying things.
She also mentioned places to find help on base and in the local community.
“It’s a really good class,” said Disbro. “Even if you have a good budget, it gives good information for when the baby comes.”
Parents were given the opportunity to sign up for Lisa Geduld, NMCRS home-visiting nurse, to visit their home and check on their new baby. Geduld weighs the baby and checks its health, answers questions and always brings free gifts. She also spoke about the New Parent Support Program on base.
At the end of the class, the moment had come for the issuing of the baby’s first sea bag containing free gifts. Each bag included a hand-sewn quilt, sweater and cap donated by Cactus Sew-ables Quilt Guild, along with receiving blankets, sleep-n-play outfits, a book and other things.