Expecting your first child is a very exciting event and the financial aspect of raising a child is probably not the only thing you have on your mind. However, having a child means you’ll soon have some new responsibilities, including preparing for your new arrival from a financial point of view.
A lot of new parents underestimate the cost of having a baby. These are some of the main expenses you’ll have to cover in the next few months:
- Doctors’ appointments during the pregnancy and for the baby
- Birthing classes
- Maternity leave can impact your budget if your employer doesn’t offer paid leave.
- Purchasing a stroller, crib, car seat, and some baby clothes
- Saving up to cover any other expenses you didn’t plan for
The good news is that you have nine months to prepare and save some money. This will be easier if you assess how much money you expect to spend on baby-related expenses during the pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.
Put aside a certain amount on a weekly or monthly basis to reach your goal.
Consider these items as well:
- Go over your current health care plan to figure out how much coverage you have. At least a dozen of checkups will be needed throughout the pregnancy if there are no complications. You should also go over your policy to see if you would be covered for a C section since this is a more expensive procedure.
- Open a health savings account and make regular contributions. These contributions are tax deductible and this is a good way to cover a part of the costs of the pregnancy and delivery.
- What about your career? As an expectant mother, you’ll probably have to put your career on hold for a while. If you work for a company with less than thirty employees, your employer is not required to offer a paid maternity leave. Talk to your employer to find out if you can count on getting your job back after the maternity leave.
- Increasing your income. Raising a child costs $165,000 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You should expect to spend between $8,000 and $10,000 during the first year of the baby’s life. Saving money is necessary, but you might want to look into ways to earn more money in the long-term.
- These items would also be beneficial:
- Disability insurance that covers any complications linked to pregnancy
- Term life insurance
- Look into upgrading your health insurance. If you plan on scheduling all your appointments with the same professionals, a preferred provider option can be more affordable and provide you with more coverage.
- A 529 Saving Plan to start saving up for your child’s college education
Avoid making the mistake of overspending on items you don’t really need, like a lot of young parents do. Focus on upgrading your health care if needed, putting as much money aside as possible, and shopping for good deals for baby essentials.
It will be easier to avoid overspending if you have a good idea of the expenses you still need to take care of. Help yourself to meet your money goals for the baby expenses by creating and following a budget.
Having a baby is a major life event. Saving money should be a priority, but don’t hesitate to ask friends and relatives to help with some baby items. They’ll likely be glad to help out with baby clothes and other essentials.