Spoiler alert: having a baby is expensive. For example, a recent report found that “the average cost to have a baby in the US, without complications during delivery, is $10,808.” On top of medical fees, you’ve also got to factor in the cost of things such as baby clothes, furniture, toys, and food! To put it simply: it’s one of the most expensive (yet most rewarding) ventures you will embark upon.
In order to support you during this time, we’ve pulled together a range of tips that you can use to get your finances in order before your due date arrives.
Money prep for new baby.
Spend your money wisely.
When preparing to welcome your child into the world, it is easy to go a little crazy when shopping. After all, you want to ensure that you are prepared for their arrival and have everything you need to hand to care for them.
While there are some essentials that you simply must buy, such as formula, food, cribs, and diapers - it is important that you’re able to differentiate needs from desires. Some things you might like for your baby, but may not be necessary right away (or at all). Being able to recognize this when shopping will help you better manage your money. Remember, if you realize that you need something you avoided buying at a later date, you can always head over to the shops and collect it where necessary. Alternatively, many online shops now offer same-day delivery, meaning you can have the items brought to your door in record time. You could also save money on baby items by buying second-hand or from thrift stores.
Put together a Baby Budget.
Budgeting enables you to make the most of every dollar that you earn. However, your current budget is likely tailored around yourself and your partner - without factoring in the additional costs of raising a baby. As a result, you should take some time to go through your expenses and figure out how much more you’ll be spending monthly once the baby arrives.
This could also mean cutting back in other areas in order to cover these costs, which is particularly important if you’re going to be living off a single or reduced income. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can cut back on your spending, such as by canceling unnecessary subscriptions or using price comparison websites to ensure you’re getting the best deal on all of your purchases, from car insurance to utility bills. Remember, every dollar makes a difference, so don’t spend a cent more than necessary.
Be willing to accept help.
Your friends and family will want to help you make the transition into parenthood as smooth as possible. This often means that they’ll be willing to help you out a little with your expenses during this time. For example, they may offer to buy certain items for the nursery on your behalf, stock their wardrobe, or even send a little bit of money your way to spend on the child. While you may want to be as independent as possible, there’s nothing wrong with accepting these offers, especially if they can help to keep your stress and anxiety levels low.
Up your savings game.
Upping your contributions to your savings account while expecting a baby is another great way to ensure you’re financially prepared to support them upon their arrival. While it may mean cutting back on your current spending habits, you’ll be glad to have a reserve of cash to fall back on in emergency situations. On a similar note, now may also be the perfect time to upgrade your life insurance policy and prep your will - again with the intention of ensuring there’s a plan in place to support your family through difficult situations.
While you may feel worried about how you are going to be able to manage your money when your child arrives, it's important to note there are plenty of ways you can save money ahead of time in order to start off on the right foot. Whether you are working on growing your savings account or taking a few items out of your online shopping cart, simply encouraging yourself to become more financially conscious is a great way to start.