Preparing financially to have a baby

Your bundle of joy can cost you a bundle of cash. Here are some tips to help you save money during the process.

Before you began having kids, you probably had the luxury of being a little more casual in regards to budgeting and spending habits. But once you have a baby to consider, it may be time to buckle down on a sound budget and consider some effective money-saving tips that come with having a baby.

According to a 2010 USDA report, the average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in the first year of their baby’s life. For your convenience, we’ve assembled some popular ways to save money through the pregnancy and shortly after the birth.

Don’t turn down baby showers. You may have offers from friends, family, neighbors or co-workers wanting to throw you a baby shower to buy gifts for the yet-to-be-born baby. Don’t turn them away! Be sure to give them lists of things you need so they can buy practical gifts for you and the baby that can ultimately save you money.

Compare hospital costs. Delivery costs can be really expensive. If you have insurance, consult your insurance company to identify which hospitals and procedures are covered by your plan. In addition to the actual delivery costs, consider any additional costs that can affect your hospital stay. For example, some hospitals may charge extra for a private room, TV usage and the use of toiletries. It may help you manage costs if you plan ahead for your hospital stay.Image of a sleeping baby being held by someone sitting on a couch. Text overlays the image saying "Preparing financially to have a baby".

Create a new budget. With a new baby entering your life, your old budget may not work for you anymore. Talk with friends or family members who have had a baby. Then you can get an idea of what kinds of expenses you can expect. By building these expenses into your budget, you can get a better idea of how your income will be impacted by welcoming a baby into your life. This can give you confidence in your financial situation moving forward.

Buy disposables in bulk. When it comes to purchasing items like disposable diapers and wipes, buying in bulk can be a huge money saver. Online sources like Amazon® or warehouse stores usually offer these products in bulk. This method of shopping may save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Do your research on specialty items. It’s natural to want your new baby to have everything. But before you go out and spend a fortune on baby products being marketed to you, do some research. Items like changing stations, wipe warmers, designer diaper bags, bottle warmers and all of the latest crib accessories may sound like necessities, but chances are you don’t need all of them. Consult friends and family who have been through this process for advice on prioritizing these types of purchases.

You may also consider saving for your child’s education from an early age. Be sure to check out our previous article on this subject for more information.

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