Many new parents can separate their financial lives into two parts: B.B. and A.B. That’s “Before Baby” and “After Baby."

Life before baby usually includes some financial freedom — date nights, traveling, lunches out with colleagues, and indulging our hobbies.

After baby, our budgets bust. The diaper bill alone can eliminate date nights. Bringing a baby home is certainly a shock, but dealing with the financial situation is another drama altogether. While a baby brings joy and spontaneity, dealing with your family’s budget can bring major challenges. However, the good news is that you have plenty of time to prepare for baby and your post-baby budget.

Here are some financial concerns that you should address with your spouse before the new baby arrives.

1. How much money do you have?

This might seem like a basic question, but you might be surprised at how little couples discuss their finances and how little they know about each other’s income. When you’re engaged or newly married you might be more laid back about your finances and there’s less reason to know what’s happening with each other’s money. A baby changes all of that. It’s important to discuss how much money you make and where that money is spent each month.

2. Where is your money spent?

The second part of this conversation needs to focus on your specific budget. Find a money management app or dig up an online spreadsheet with charts and graphs to help you visualize where your resources go each month. Once you have this information, you can begin to have a discussion about your spending habits. Do you need to continue going out to lunch at work five days a week? Is it time to curtail that twice-a-day coffee purchase? How much money is spent on needs and wants? This can be a difficult and touchy topic that requires delicacy and honesty. But it’s for the best purpose possible — giving your baby the best possible start in life.

3. What are your immediate needs?

Once you figure out where you can cut and save money in your budget, you need to figure out what your immediate needs are. You’ll be spending more money on doctor visits. You’ll also begin to acquire furniture, clothes, bedding, books, diapers, and other items for your home. You’ll need car seats and pak-n-play’s. It’s a costly time in your life. Make a list of what you’ll need and how much it will cost and begin to put money aside to pay for it all.

4. How will the budget change?

The bigger impact to your family budget comes from the day-to-day items that you’ll buy once baby arrives and grows up. You’ll need to budget more money each week or month for food, clothes, and other needs. If you can prepare for these items ahead of time by tweaking your budget to incorporate them, it will reduce your stress tremendously.

5. Will there be extras? How much will they cost? 

Get ready for the extras! You and your spouse need to sit down and chat about the extras that you’ll want once baby arrives. Things like Mommy & Me classes, professional baby photos, and baby announcements can all add up, especially when you’re dealing with hospital and doctor bills, diapers, formula, etc. Down the line, you might want to enroll your child in swim lessons and plan a multi-state trip to take baby to meet family members. Those things can be expensive. You also need to start thinking about budgeting extra money for Christmas and a birthday party for your little one.

6. Will one of you stay home?

If you and your spouse work, one of the biggest questions that you’ll need to solve is if both parents will continue working once baby is born. Will your child be placed in daycare or does one parent stay home? This is an economic decision as much as it is an emotional choice. You and your spouse need to have an honest discussion about it.

7. What are your long-term priorities?

Before baby comes home, you and your spouse need to discuss a few long-term plans that you can begin to prepare for now. For instance, do you plan to start a college savings fund? If so, how much do you plan to save each month? You also need to be on top of how much money you’re saving for retirement. Another consideration is getting adequate life insurance to protect you and your family, if something happens to you.

8. How can you make more money?

If you’ve looked at your family budget and feel that are serious gaps in what you make and what you’ll need once your child is born, this is the time to do something about it. You should consider finding a part-time job to supplement your income. If you have the opportunity to move to a better-paying full-time job, you need to weigh whether that’s a good choice for you. If mom plans to stop working once baby arrives, maybe there’s a way for her to stay home with the child but still earn extra income writing, teaching, or consulting. There are many options available to you and you have to begin researching them.