Couples often ask how much money they need to save before having a baby. The truth is, there is no one answer to this question because every family’s needs and finances are different.
There is, however, a variety of things that you can do to make sure that you are as financially prepared as possible before having a baby.
“A new baby is like the beginning of all things — wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”
~ Eda J. Le Shan
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Your Achievable Plan to Saving for Baby
Laying the groundwork first and foremost is the key to success in achieving financial freedom even with the hefty price that comes naturally with a baby.
Follow these simple steps to start saving for your baby today:
Figure out exactly how much you need for monthly expenses.
Your monthly expenses can include your rent or mortgage payments, insurance payments, car payments, gas, electricity, water and phone bills.
Don’t forget to add in how much you spend on average on your groceries too.
After you have an idea of how much money you need monthly, look at your spending and see if there are things that you can cut out and divert that money into savings or paying down debt.
Cancel insignificant subscription services.
Make sure that you aren’t spending on subscription services that are not as important. If you feel like you can live without it, scrap it.
Check if you might be paying for a service you are not using anymore.
As crazy as it sounds, our hectic schedule can sometimes make us forget about subscriptions for services we no longer utilize and that is money we can be saving.
Study your monthly income.
Take a look at the money you have coming in each month.
Are you a single-income household or a dual-income household?
If you are a two-income household, would it be possible for you to pay your bills on a single income?
Be certain and do something about it. Raising a child is no joke! I am not trying to scare you. That is a fact.
Tackle your debt.
Now, let’s take a look at your debt…
How much debt do you have? Besides your mortgage payment, do you also have car payments? How about a credit card payment or two?
Ideally, you want to pay down as much debt as you can before starting a family. Not having to worry about monthly credit card payments or car payments can relieve a lot of financial stress.
You can then divert that money into your savings account or get ahead on your mortgage.
Start saving some extra cash.
It really depends on how much you can afford to set aside.
I suggest you open a High-Yield Savings account and start an emergency fund as soon as you decide to be a mother.
You can start with a weekly savings of $50. That is $2,600 in a year!
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, save $10 everyday instead. That will add up to $3,650 in a year!
Whatever you decide on doing, bear in mind that saving some extra cash before baby can tremendously help your family in the long run.
Related article: 21 Beautiful Baby Names with Meanings (for Boys and Girls)
Saving for Baby: Expenses to Prepare for
Here are the major expenses to expect when you are thinking about having a baby and what to do to keep these costs down. Let me reiterate that — these are only the major expenses to anticipate.
Labor and Delivery
No matter where you live, the cost of childbirth is not cheap at all.
In the United States alone, having a baby costs almost $11,000 on average.
Check out this interesting and informative post by the Business Insider on how much it costs to have a baby in every state here.
One of the biggest expenses that you will encounter having a child is the cost of childcare.
Childcare costs vary depending on where you live and the type of care you choose, be it in-home care like a nanny, a family-run daycare in a home, or a childcare center.
In some cases, the cost of childcare is so expensive that it makes more sense for one parent to stay home.
Something else to look into before starting your family is your health insurance. Your deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses must be reasonable enough.
If you know all of this information in advance, you can go ahead and set aside some money for your out-of-pocket medical expenses for prenatal care, delivery, postnatal care, and pediatric care.
You may also want to consider starting a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA) to help with any of these expenses.
PRO TIP: A supplemental insurance can be a practical idea as well. If you are employed, talk to your employer about looking into Aflac.
Aflac has a great short-term disability insurance and a hospital insurance you can avail through your employer. Quick note: You should not be pregnant when you apply. Wait for at least 30 days after it starts taking effect.
Diapers and Wipes
Babies go through a LOT of diapers. You can expect to change a newborn eight to ten times a day!
You could always go the cloth diaper route if you wouldn’t mind the washing part. It will indubitably save you some money and it is better for the environment as well.
If you go the disposable route, that’s okay too. You can save a lot of money by purchasing diapers and wipes in bulk.
Get them through membership clubs like Sam’s or Costco, or purchase them through online retailers like Amazon.
If you choose not to, or are otherwise unable to breastfeed, your biggest expense after diapers and wipes will be the baby formula.
Baby formula can run up to $40 a canister and you will likely need more than one canister per week.
In addition to the formula, you will, of course, need bottles and nipples.
Once again, save on formula by purchasing it in bulk, but not until after you find the right type for your baby.
You can also use a generic formula that is every bit as good as the name brands that come at a higher cost.
Retailers would love for you to think that a new baby needs all kinds of fancy and expensive baby gear, but that’s simply not true.
You don’t really NEED all of these things. Even if you get them as gifts, you will more than likely find you only use a couple of them.
A crib, a playpen, a swing or bouncer seat, an activity mat, and a wearable baby carrier or a stroller… That’s it! (At least for now…)
Get MOST of these items at consignment shops or second-hand stores in great condition for a lot less than you would pay for brand new ones.
Important note: Be certain that they really are in great condition! When in doubt, leave it out!
Of course, it is completely fine if you buy these items new or place them on your baby registry. Just know that you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars just to get what your baby needs.
You will also need a car seat for your baby. While you can find them used in great condition, it is highly recommended to buy a new one so that you know it has never been involved in an accident.
Baby clothes are adorable and they can also be pricey. You will likely receive a lot of brand new baby clothes at your baby shower, and it can be hard to resist them when you pass them in the store.
You can also find lots of new or barely worn baby clothes at consignment sales or second-hand shops. Most new moms end up selling or donating quite a few outfits that their baby never even got a chance to wear.
Final Say about Saving for Baby
There are several things you need to ponder before having a baby, as well as evaluating whether or not you could get by on a single income if you needed to.
What if you find out that you are expecting unexpectedly? Not to worry, it happens a lot, and you still have nine months to get your finances in order and prepare for your new bundle of joy.
Essentially, you just need to do all of the things listed above. Here’s a summary:
- Assess your finances and cut any unnecessary expenses.
- Pay down on your debt before the baby arrives so that finances won’t be as tight once your new baby arrives.
- Start saving as much as you can so that you are prepared for any surprise expenses.
- Look for the best deals you can find on baby essentials.
Having a baby is expensive regardless of whether or not you are planning ahead of time financially or if you find yourself expecting unexpectedly.
There will always be expenses that you haven’t planned for nor considered. Once you are holding your new baby in your arms, the financial aspects will likely be the farthest thing from your mind.
Always remember that you can do it, Mama! Parents are resilient that way in making even the impossible possible when it comes to starting and raising their families.
You got this!
Talk to you soon,
[By the way, do you remember that labor and delivery nurse I told you about? She also has this amazingly helpful online prenatal class for couples. You should sign up for it. A better childbirth experience with your husband is one thing you will need. I assure you… It is packed with everything you want to learn about giving birth in a hospital or birth center setting.]