Episode 58 – Mother’s Day Episode


Mother's Day Episode by Astra Financial

In this week’s podcast, we’re chatting mom to mom about motherhood and the realities of financial planning!

My special guest, Nicole Putz, is celebrating her first Mother’s Day this year and shares her candid experiences and favourite pieces of advice as a new mother.

Join us for a lighthearted discussion about balancing motherhood and financial planning and how you can start thinking about your child’s future. Between all the laughs, you’ll find some valuable lessons!

Show Notes:

Zena: Welcome back! Mother’s day coming up, and I have a special guest, Nicole Putz.

Nicole is a certified financial planner that works with millennial professional women. And she is also a great human being. She’s been my sidekick on here before, but with an excusable break, I will allow it. Nicole has had a baby and is a brand new mom. Welcome back here. And thanks for joining. Congrats on baby Emmett. How old is he now, and how are you doing?

Nicole: Uh, I’m doing awesome, and Emmett is exactly five months and five days old. 

Zena: Oh, nice. The power of fives. And, you’re good still to come back and talk. And this is kinda like work. I hope fun for you.

Nicole: This is fine. This is totally fine. Honestly, babies now, it’s funny. I joke with my dad all the time that work is the easy part. Babies are the hard part. 

Zena: It’s true. I know it’s one of the hardest jobs ever. And then, so this is in time with a mother’s day also sneaking up. So I wanted to be – I don’t know if I’m the first yet, but Happy First Mother’s day to you.

Nicole: Thank you. Actually, my, uh, husband Jared this morning was showing me what he plans to get me for mother’s day. And it’s really sweet. It’s definitely like a dual gift, but he wants to get me a Milwaukee attachment for a vacuum.

Zena: You know, you’ve hit a life and career life when you’re starting to look at appliances and enjoy it. A well-thought-out purchase coming from a financial expert. Yes. 

Nicole: Yes. And very, it will be well used. Definitely. 

Zena: So in the spirit and theme then of mother’s day, I wanted to lead us down that path. And I wanted to ask you, so I had met your mom once. And so, she was helping us out on the board and doing some work with us. I loved her. And so, coincidentally then, we have hooked up and met, and I’m like, oh, it makes sense you’re such a good human being because I’ve met your mother, and she’s such a good human being. So what are some little bits of golden nuggets of financial advice? What is something that has stuck with you? It doesn’t have to be financial, but what is something that stuck with you that your mom has installed? And I’m guessing just because I’ve met her briefly that there’s probably like a handful sprinkled all along your life. What’s something that stands out? 

Nicole: Laura. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Laura is hilarious. She is just like the best gem ever. She probably, if I think about it, the best advice she gave me, and it’s nothing like super profound, but it’s just like, just don’t get too hung up on anything when it has to do with your baby. She’s like ‘cause things change, and things develop so quickly. So she’s like if something, or if you’re in it in a day and you’re just kind of feeling super stressed, it passes. It will go. And the next day might be the best day you’ve ever had with the baby. So that was one thing she just said, just try not to almost like don’t take yourself too seriously in parenthood. She’s like, everyone’s always just trying to figure it out. Nobody’s doing it right or wrong. She’s like, everyone’s always just trying to do the best they can with what they’ve got. So that was probably one of the, that’s one of the things that I feel probably I’ve taken from her. Even in terms of like personality, like, I don’t know if she’s ever actually, I’m sure she’s told me a million different things, but I think just like the way Laura’s like lead by example, she’s just very, she’s just a positive person just like by nature, but also just of the mindset like shit happens, especially when you’ve got kids. So you just roll. Yeah. Roll with it and take it in stride. Take it day by day. 

Um, one thing specifically, and it’s funny. Being a new mom, I’m sure you went through this too, Zena. Um, It’s always tough because I think you feel so in it and like your husband’s obviously so helpful, but they just, they’re not, it doesn’t feel like they’re in it as much as you are. So I remember like calling my mom up, being like mom, you know, um, it just feels like. I’m doing it all. Like, I feel like I’m just doing everything, and she’s like, Nicole, listen, she’s like, it’s not, he’s not purposely not trying to help you. He’s like he is helping you the best way he knows how. And she said, honestly, savour these moments when baby boy Emmett wants you. Cause she says, as soon as he gets older, it’s going to be all about dad. So even if it feels like a lot, she’s like, just have fun because one day it’s going to be all about dad. So I was like, oh my gosh. Yeah.

Zena: Yeah. So true. Pretty soon, Emmett’s going to be, you know, Emmett and his dad are going to be walking out the door and going to do whatever that boys do. You’re going to be. Oh, I love that. And that, that totally makes sense because it is just a moment, and it does pass. And then all it takes is a baby smile. Right. And a grin and something, and then it changes. So it is very short-lived. That is great advice.

I asked Isabelle, she’s my youngest. Youngest turning 23, which is just mind-blowing for me. And I asked her, I said, okay, so what is something that you remember? And she’s like, I remember you don’t lie because eventually, it sneaks up with you. It comes back, and it haunts you, and everybody will find it out. So you just don’t lie. And I’m like, okay. In my head, it was like, I was kinda thinking of along finance for this podcast, like okay. But that’s pretty profound too. I like that. That’s a good one. So it’s funny ‘cause you never know kind of what sticks and uh, cause you know, what we think is profound in the moment when I’m sharing with my daughter is I think it probably just went in one ear and out the next, and then what they do keep is like well, that’s a good one. I’m glad you kept that one. Okay. Yup. 

Nicole: Yup. So I know it’s yeah. It’s funny what you, yeah, you retain when you’re in a certain situation. Yeah. 

Zena: So, advice. So if we’ve got, and so I’m not a grandma yet, and I, and maybe one day, so I do look forward to that one day way down the road. But if you had advice for new moms and dads and, or grandparents, something a little bit of a new mum money tip. So I know when we were chatting, we were talking about kind of some of the gear out there. And have you learned anything that has changed your mind? That you thought you knew, and then now that you’ve got this baby Emmett, you’re like, oh my gosh, I was so wrong.

Nicole: Yes. So, okay. There’s two things that stick out, and this is definitely in terms of gear that you can buy. And I feel like these days, especially like the baby market is just so big. It’s kind of like the wedding market, too. I feel like we just get sucked in cause it is. It’s two of these two massive days of our lives that you want to give your baby everything, and you want your wedding to be everything. Anyway. Yeah. Gear wise, like the biggest two that I struggled with was the stroller purchase and another one, which wasn’t even actually my idea, but it was something in terms of people were giving me like, oh, you absolutely need this it’s 100%. You need it. And now that I’ve been through it, I’m like, I did not need that. Yeah. So the first is, so the stroller. And so this, I honestly, I don’t know why it was such a big struggle for me. But, I feel like I was texting everyone for weeks and weeks on end before baby was born, trying to figure out which the best driller was. And these days, a lot of the strollers are sold in packaged deals.

So you get the car seat, the bassinet, the actual stroller itself, and then there’s a gazillion different attachments you can buy. So that’s fine. Like I was, you know, on board, but, the price tag I was not on board with. So this one, in particular, they were kept telling me about. And it is supposed to be unreal-good. But the price tag was north of 2,400 bucks. And I just couldn’t. I couldn’t stomach it. I was just like, honest to God. I just don’t understand unless it’s making me breakfast and coffee every morning. Like, I don’t get why this price tag is on here. So, um, I just, for me, I ended up, and I did, I went back and forth. ‘Cause everyone, like not a single person said they regretted buying it. So I was like, okay, maybe it’s just one of those baby investments you make. And that’s just the way it is. But something in my gut was just like, you know what, Nicole, like, that’s just, it’s just too much. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

And then finally, my one buddy, um, who kind of shares, I guess, similar ideas on what you invest in and what you don’t invest in. And so she said, Nicole, when it came to my kids, you know, me, I did everything second hand, and that was a stroller too. And she said, I never looked back. It worked great. I didn’t worry about resale value just because she’s like, I’ve now used it for all three of my kids.

Um, So, yeah, so she said, go on Facebook marketplace, go on Kijiji, find a good used model. Cause she’s like, in theory, people only use them for a couple years and then get rid of them. Right. So that’s what I did. And I saved like I ended up buying the whole thing, kit and caboodle for 500 bucks, which is probably still a lot. But thinking that I was like getting ready to spend 2,400 bucks, 2,500 bucks, I was like, oh my God. Like, thank God. And it’s amazing. It works great. It’s the best thing ever. 

Zena: Good deal, and guilt-free. 

Nicole: Yes. Exactly. So I guess that’d be one thing is people are going to tell you, and of course, it makes sense. They’re going to tell you what worked for them and whether it’s a big investment or not. They’re just going to say, this is what we used. It worked great, or it didn’t work great. But I just, yeah, so I kept hearing, so sometimes you just got to, regardless of what people are telling you, in terms of budget. If you’re not comfortable spending that much, don’t feel like you have to, it’s not going to be the end all be all. Like your kid will be fine if it doesn’t have a $2,400 stroller, you know? Um, so that was one thing. 

And then the other gear thing, everyone told me it’s like this kind of, it’s called the Mama Roo, and I’ve heard split things on it. It’s basically like a glorified baby hammock. And people were telling me that it was an absolute must-have. Like you will, you know, there’s no way you can do this without it kind of thing. And so I said, okay, you know, cool, whatever. And like, I didn’t know any different. So, and that price tag was $350. Like they’re not cheap either. Um, for me, luckily I got it as a gift. ‘Cause I didn’t, honestly didn’t even really know about it until I got it, and everyone’s like, oh, you’re going to love it, it’s the best thing ever. I kid you not. We probably use it for the first three weeks. I shouldn’t say barely used it. We did use it, but for that price tag, honest to God, I could’ve just held the baby or just put him on the floor, and he probably would have been just as happy.

Zena: Interesting. So my brain is going straight into gifts, and I’m like, okay. So if I wanted to get something that was over the top, that they wouldn’t, that could never justify like, so if one of my daughters ever did, it would be like, okay, I can’t, they can’t justify it. I couldn’t justify them buying it. But if you wanted to get a gift, these are two things that could be in the gift realm, but as a person buying themselves might be like, oh, heck no.

Nicole: Totally. Well, and the thing is even now thinking, um, I guess the gifts, like all gifts are great. I mean, everything has been great, and for us, like we had nothing being our first kid. So, I was grateful for everything. Cause I was like, we had literally nothing.

It’s very true. Like, I remember my sister-in-law telling me, she’s like, you’re not going to know what you need until the baby’s here. So you’ll get all these things, and she’s like, some of it you’re going to use some of it you’re not. Because I remember even going – and that was another thing that baby registry list, like a wedding registry list, I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t know that was a thing. So I’m like sitting there going through this baby registry and like, I had no idea. So I was clicking off everything from like bibs to soothers to everything. And she went through my list and said, Nicole, unclick everything. She’s like, you’ll probably get most of that anyway. But she’s like, some of those things your baby won’t even use or need or want. So I had a bunch of bottles. She’s like, your baby might hate that bottle, and you’re going to buy six of them. Don’t do it. She’s like, wait until you’re trying one. And she’s like, you’re going to have to try a couple of them, but like, don’t buy a whole set of them until, you know, baby likes that bottle. 

And it’s so true,  the one I ended up buying, he hated it. Actually, that’s a story in and of itself. I left Emmett with my mom, his grandma, one afternoon and gave him, or gave her the bottle that he absolutely hates. And I thought it would be totally fine. He’s feeding for the two hours. I was going. And I’m like, luckily Laura is, you know, very positive, a very on the bright side person. But she called, she’s like, your baby’s losing it. He’s been losing it for like an hour and 45 minutes. You should probably come home. 

Zena: Yeah. And that reminds me of like that buying bulk because I remember with my first and I was a very young, new, first in my group to have any children – knew nothing. And I had decided I was going with cloth diapers. And so we went all in, and they were very expensive then. So this is, you know, 25 years ago. And so, my mom and I pooled resources, and, you know, my mom was on a tight budget at that time, I think. And so we ended up buying the entire gamut as if we were going to go in on cloth. And we used it for a week, and I was like, no, someone needs to go to the store right now and buy real diapers. And so I had this entire set instead of just trying a couple, we had gone all in, and so that’s a really, great idea. Because then you can do a gift card. You can say here’s a couple, here’s a gift card. If it works it’s redeemable. 

You know, another topic that has come up. My last podcast, I had a mortgage broker Steve Ryan on, and we were talking about helping adult kids get into the housing market. And so, you know what this sparked and you being a certified financial planner and doing planning and stuff with clients is that it’s – I’m wondering now, ia you as a new mom – so, of course, our thought is Registered Education Savings Plans. We have to start sooner, the better, you know, compounding interest in growth over time to help put our kid through university and they’re flexible. Like if the listeners listening doesn’t know, I mean, send me an email, and I can share a hundred facts about RESPs, which is the education savings plan. And then we have some people that now have a saving bucket for like the wedding. You know, they’ve put aside money in a non-registered and trust for their kids, and it’s for wedding savings of some kind. Now there’s a new bucket that I am starting to consider. I’m trying to figure out how to put it into the financial planning realm.

And I’m wondering if it’s going through your mind. Saving for a house because now house prices and qualifications. And so, when our kids turn 25 or 30, I don’t know, it doesn’t matter what age they are. Steve Ryan was saying that he’s seeing about half need their parents to either co-sign, give cash, something to help them put a down payment on a house. And I think, my sense is not extravagant houses, but just to get into the market, out of renting. So is that a new bucket now to start helping our kids save for houses? Down payments on houses. And anyway, I’m just. It probably hasn’t. I feel like I’ve just overwhelmed you. 

Nicole: It’s great. Like, it’s funny. Um, I will be totally honest. I haven’t given it much thought, but now that you say it…

Zena: Good, you’re busy, don’t think about it yet.

Nicole: Right? I’m like, when did he eat last, when did he poop last?

Zena: What have I done? I’m so sorry. 

Nicole: No, it’s a good thing to bring up because I think you’re right. Like, I think we’re just moving to a day and age where, like you said, housing is so unaffordable now. Like it’s, I shouldn’t say unaffordable, but it is kind of like, it’s not what it used to be. It’s funny. Like coincidentally, I was talking to my cousin and she’s a little bit younger than me, so she’s 33 and her and her husband, they live in BC, and so obviously BC housing prices are astronomical. It’s insane. And they’re trying to figure out, you know, they know they want to own, they’ve made that decision for themselves. But they’re just trying to figure out what is the best way to do it. What financially makes sense. And it’s nuts. Like they’re going to be in it for like, I swear like a million-dollar mortgage like, that’s just the way it is there like, it’s just crazy.

So yeah, I think you’re right. Like it’s kind of, as parents, we kind of say like, yeah, we want our kids to have that option one day. But are they going to be able to do it by themselves at 25? Probably not. So it might be a new bucket.

Zena: Right? And it is overwhelming as a new mom. So I, for you guys, I just like, okay, shelf that. And you’re a professional, so I’m sure you know how to shelve that and take and save it for later, but it is something now in our financial planning world that now with babies now we go, okay, education, savings bucket. Get them out of the house bucket. Like there’s a movie with Matthew McConaughey, his parents they’re trying to kick him out of the house.

Nicole: Failure to launch. 

Zena: Yes! Failure to Launch. Okay. So I do feel like our children are living with us until they’re in their thirties, and it’s like, oh my gosh, I should’ve started that savings bucket.

Nicole: Yeah. Do you know what’s funny? Now that you say that. This is, oh gosh, I can’t even remember where I saw it or what publication it was, but I remember seeing an article, and it was geared towards millennials, and it was about don’t feel ashamed to stay with your parents until you’re 35. Legit, the whole article was about –  and it’s funny. It’d be interesting to hear the perspective of the parents of those kids.

Zena: Here’s a frigging down payment for a house. I’m changing the locks, and text me before you come over. 

Nicole: Yeah, you’re like, you weigh your pros and cons. You’re like,  do I have my kids till 35, or do I just help them get them the hell out? I don’t know. It’s a thing. Like definitely, like people are writing about it, people are talking about it because people are trying to figure out how do you get into the housing game now? Does it mean you live with your parents until you’re 35? Maybe. I don’t know. 

Zena: Well, let’s, let’s shelve this one because I feel like it’s going down a rabbit hole, and I’m like, you probably just would like to sleep for four hours in a row. Thank you so much for joining, and we’ll have you back on, and Happy Mother’s Day! 

Nicole: Thank you, Zena! Same to you. I was so happy to be here. 

Zena: Thanks.