Baby Announcement – Our First Born

BY BRANDON VAGNER, CPA, Ph.D., & WALLET WIT FOUNDER

Baby AnnouncementOn September 19, 2019 Walker Neal Vagner was born. He is our first born, and we are incredibly excited! My wife and I will remember that day forever and luckily we’ll get to relive it, because I documented, via photo and video, darn near the entire experience in the hospital. Ultimately, I wanted to announce the birth of Walker on this blog, because it’s such a huge turning point in our lives and there will be a lot of financial considerations to come. Also, pregnancy was not an easy thing for us, and I want to share our story as a bit of encouragement for those that are currently struggling.

Below you’ll find our full pregnancy story. Also, I know that many of you have questions about saving for college, cost of raising kids, how to raise a financially savvy kid, etc. I’ll touch on these topics within this article and cover them in-detail throughout future posts.

Our Pregnancy Journey

Pregnancy is such a complex process, and, to some, seems like such a tantalizing process. My wife and I got married young. I was 24 and she was 22. Given that we had just started our careers and had no financial foundation or stability with working hours, we made a strategic decision to wait before trying to have kids. I remember Partners at the accounting firm I worked telling me in private how much difficulty they had having kids and that the one piece of advice they had was “don’t wait too long.” Being young and naive, I thought there was no way we would struggle, and I just brushed it off as them having experienced bad luck.

After 7-8 years of marriage, we finally decided it was time to start trying to have kids. Surprisingly, at the time, it seemed like almost all of our friends were struggling to get pregnant. That alone was an eye opening experience. I was and still am in shock at how many people struggle with the process of pregnancy. These friends and family certainly weren’t broadcasting their struggles to the world, but my wife and I were privy to the details of their journeys. Still, I thought we would be okay, because, well, look at how many people there are in the world. It can’t be that difficult, right? Nobody likes to think bad things will happen to them, and I was falling in that camp.

Quick side note — The vast majority of all our friends and family who struggled, and some who even went through fertility treatments, ended up getting pregnant and having healthy babies. I hope some of you find comfort in knowing that.

I consider our journey trying, but not near as trying as some people go through. It didn’t take us years to get pregnant the first time, but it certainly wasn’t a quick process. I remember my wife really questioning our capability of having kids and she was actually in the process of scheduling a fertility appointment. Then came the news that we were pregnant. We couldn’t have been happier, and after 12 weeks we decided to announce our joy to the family.

“We gave our all, but it wasn’t enough. It was in our plan, but not God’s… God then healed and blessed us with his plan.” – Brandon Vagner

Within the week of announcing, we found out that we had a miscarriage. We gave our all, but it wasn’t enough. It was in our plan, but not God’s. It was the most heart-wrenching experience we’ve ever gone through, and we sympathize with anybody who has lost an unborn. God then healed and blessed us with his plan.

Again, it was by no means a fast process to get pregnant again and it was a very emotional time for both my wife and I, but we were beyond exited to find out we were pregnant again. The second pregnancy was a success and we were blessed with little Walker. We were so nervous the entire pregnancy that we didn’t tell anybody except our parents until about the 5 month mark. Kori couldn’t pull off hiding it anymore and we figured family would be pretty ticked off if we waited any longer to announce.

I really struggled with whether or not to give as much detail about our pregnancy journey as I just did, but as we were going through our struggles, I just wanted to read success stories. With that, if just one person stumbles across this during a time of pregnancy struggle and finds even a shred of comfort from our journey, then I’ll be happy. Stay positive!

How Much Joy the Baby Has Brought

Words can’t describe how happy we are with having our little man, Walker. His little smiles are so incredibly heart-warming, and we couldn’t be any happier. We’re incredibly lucky he is a happy and healthy boy.

It’s also incredibly satisfying to see how much joy he brings to his grandparents. Kori and I are both lucky to still have both of our parents, and Walker is their first grandchild. Holy cow do they light up when Walker enters the room. It’s wonderful and we count our blessings everyday!

Baby Financial Planning

Being that this website is all about finances, I have to touch on what little Walker means financially for us. I’ll keep it relatively brief in this article, but these are the sorts of things I’m now finding myself immersed in. You’ll find much more detailed articles on these topics in the near future.

  1. Pre-Delivery Budget
    1. Necessary Baby Items
    2. Healthcare – Pre-Delivery Visits & Procedures
  2. Post-Delivery Budget
    1. Food
    2. Childcare
    3. College Savings
    4. Life Insurance (Term Life vs. Whole Life)
    5. Healthcare
    6. Emergency Fund
    7. Transportation
    8. Clothing and Necessities

These are the big baby financial planning areas you’ll want to be thinking through. There is actually a lot more to it than meets the eye. As soon as I get done with the detailed article where I walk through these, I’ll add a link to that article here.

I also have to start thinking about how to raise a financial savvy kid. It shocks me how little so many people know about managing their own money these days. I have some really great plans that I think will help Walker. For example, as he earns/receives money at a young age, he should be planning how that money will be used. He’ll need to designate a portion for saving, spending (i.e. fun stuff for a kid), and ultimately giving. At a young age I want him to understand that you must have a plan for your money.

I also want him to learn to work hard for his money and appreciate the value of a dollar. Starting at a relatively early age, I plan to get with a local business (possibly a farm) and see if Walker can work a few hours on the weekends. I realize at a young age he might not be very productive to the farmer. I plan to request that the farmer pay Walker a designated amount that I’ll provide to the farmer. That way the farmer gets a little bit of free help, but Walker still earns for his efforts. We will of course also be doing a lot of volunteer work together. I think it’s incredibly important for a kid to learn to give back with no expectation of anything in return.