Cost of Baby – More than crib and diapers
Preparing for a new baby – especially a first baby – is an exciting and nervous time for many reasons! Sooner or later, most expectant parents will consider the money question: “How will we cover all the costs of this new baby?”
The first expense that comes to mind may be all the “stuff” - equipment, supplies, clothes,… . In truth, though, these one-time costs are comparatively small, and may be reduced by purchasing some items second-hand, or receiving some as gifts. Depending on insurance coverage, medical costs may also be substantial — families need to plan and save for medical costs.
I’d like to draw attention to two costs that need more attention:
1) Lost income during maternity leave. If mom (or dad) must take leave without pay, that’s a major financial cost. Advance preparation and saving will be essential to get through that period.
2) On-going costs after baby arrives — child care, diapers, formula… evolving and expanding for the next 18 years (or more).
When the baby arrives, priorities will change — some things that used to seem important will become unimportant, as the baby’s needs rise to the top. Why not prepare your finances by making that shift in priorities before baby arrives?
In a two-income household, consider living on just one income during the pregnancy. If that’s not possible, or in a one-income household, try living on less (and saving the extra) during pregnancy. That allows time to adjust spending patterns and build up some savings.
Does it seem impossible? Well think about it… when the baby is here, you will somehow MAKE it possible. You won’t have a choice but to spend less in some areas, to make up for baby expenses. The adjustment will be easier if you get a head start, and build up some savings to cover medical costs and provide an emergency cushion. ~ Barb