If you're expecting a new baby, then congratulations! You're about to embark on one of life's greatest adventures. It's also one of its most--if not the most--expensive. Children are costly. From babies until college, they require a large amount of money to raise, educate, keep healthy, and to entertain. With politics often deciding what can and can't be covered by your baby in terms of health insurance and tax cuts, you may be trying to figure out just how to stretch your dollar in order to support this addition to your family. This article will equip you with a few methods and considerations you may want to take to ensure that your baby doesn't break the bank.
1. Make A Baby Budget
After the baby is born, you're going to spend a large amount of money on diapers alone. Do your research, talk to your parents or other parents and determine what the bulk of their spending money was spent on for their baby, and then see how prices vary. Is there a brand of diaper or formula that is cheaper than the rest? Then multiply that by the estimated amount that you think you're going to need--you'll likely want to think big--and have a rough estimate of a budget in terms of monthly costs to keep your baby fed and clothed.
2. Child Care Line-Up
One of the most expensive parts of childcare is finding a daycare to watch your baby while you work. Daycares can be extremely expensive, so you'll want to do your research on what daycares are readily available to you and the prices of each. You'll also want to consider any regulations they have like age requirements, potty training, if they're required to stay there for a certain amount of hours, and if they prefer to be paid monthly or annually. You may find that those with annual price are actually cheaper than those who require you to pay monthly. By talking to other parents in the area, you may be able to determine the best daycare for your dollar.
If one of the parents intends to stay at home and do the rearing, then you'll have to consider what one less paycheck will look like for your family. This can be especially crucial when considering how it might affect your retirement money. You'll need to determine what is best not just for your baby, but for yourself, in the long-run and choose accordingly. While you may save on daycare costs, losing the additional paycheck could put the family in a tight spot.
3. Investigate Benefits
While it is deplorably rare, some companies offer maternity leave benefits. You should see if your employer can help cover some of those costs that might be faced with a one-paycheck family. If they don't, you may try having the company consider making a maternity leave benefit. You'll also want to look at your health insurance plans. Many have a requirement of a certain amount of days in which you can include your newborn to the insurance plan. To make sure that your baby is covered by health insurance, know your plan and have them signed up for it. Essentially, know your benefits, and have them work for you the best that they can.
4. Pay Off Credit Cards
If you have any debt, you need to work on reducing and removing it immediately. Preferably before the baby is born, you'll want to start out as much in the green as you can. Simply because you're probably going to have to take out some money here and there to support your child. Those savings that you've been working on? Utilize them in paying off those debts and start your life with your new family debt-free.
5. Consider A 529
529's are plans that offer tax-free growth. All cash gifts can be deposited into them, and they can be withdrawn for college. This is an excellent way to set up a college fund for your baby immediately. As they become older, that amount will grow, and hopefully, by the time college comes around the corner, they'll have enough to pay for a few semesters, if not their entire college career. This is an easy method to start investing in your baby's future.
Shopping at thrift stores gets a bad rap, but it's an amazingly cheap way to find a bunch of clothes and baby gear. Considering that your baby is going to be growing rapidly, you'll want to have throwaway clothes for the majority of their young life, anyway. Not to mention, you will be seeing a lot of stains as they develop. Secondhand clothes and gear is the best way to procure what you need whilst staying on budget.
Plan, Plan, Plan
The best way to budget for a baby, essentially, is to plan. Expect that prices will change, that there will be a few surprise moments, perhaps a hospital visit or two. Prepare accordingly and your wallet will survive.
Author : Jessi
Since I was 17 I was a full time Nanny. I lived with various business parents who, sadly, were so focused on chasing money that they had no time to raise their children. That’s right, they had enough money to pay a full time live-in nanny and still wanted more. I do not begrudge them this. Being overly maternal, even from
a young age, I landed my dream job. I played mother to children and got paid for it. This went on for a few different families before I met my husband, 14 years later. I now play mother to my own children and am looking forward to providing guidance across their whole lives, not just the early years with Parent.Guide. The pay is less and the hours are much worse, but I couldn’t imagine anywhere I’d rather be. After accumulating a wealth of knowledge from my many years of nannying I created this blog to share my expertise with other mothers. Love, Jess