Budgeting For A New Baby

Budgeting For A New Baby

It’s terrifying to think about the fact that, over the course of your child’s life, you’ll spend a quarter of a million dollars to clothe, feed, house and otherwise care for your little one. And that doesn’t include the car he or she wants for their 18th birthday or the ridiculously overpriced dress you’ll have to buy her for graduation.

But more often than not, new parents are much more concerned about their budgets in the here and now. A baby isn’t cheap and it’s important to start budgeting for your new arrival as soon as possible.

Delivery or Adoption Expenses

Budgeting For A New Baby

Budgeting For A New Baby

The first part of budgeting with a new baby comes as soon as you bring him or her home. If your wife delivered the baby in a hospital, for example, you’ll have to pay for the care she received before, during and after delivery. These medical expenses can drown your budget whether or not you have private health insurance.

My wife and I adopted, but our expenses were comparable to that of delivering in a hospital. There are numerous fees associated with adoption and no insurance to cover them. The good news for adoptive parents, however, is that you often know a year or more in advance of your plans and can start saving for the baby.

Medical Expenses for the Baby

What new parents don’t always comprehend is the enormity of the task in front of them. You are responsible for another human being, and when the knowledge of that responsibility hits you, it’s almost impossible to think of anything else. Consequently, every strange noise your baby makes, every mark that appears on his or her skin, becomes a medical emergency of epic proportions.

In short: You’re going to run your kid to the doctor far more than necessary and will rack up a few hundred dollars in bills for a guy in a white lab coat to say, “Your baby is fine, sir. No, really. I promise. It’s just a virus.” If I get told ever gain its just a viral infection…

Plus, your new baby is likely to incur medical bills for valid ailments, from colic to formula intolerance. Set aside a portion of your household budget for these expenses.

Education Savings Plans

It’s hard to think of your new baby in school or college when he or she isn’t even out of nappies, but it’s important to start saving as early as possible. It can ease a lot of the stress you’ll be facing in the years to come.

There are lots of education savings plans available, however, and I recommend searching online, where you can search for savings plans by state.

New Baby Help

These days, households with two working parents are common, and there will be times when both you and your wife need to get out of the house for a few hours. You might need a full-time nanny, a part-time babysitter or a generous friend or family member, depending on your circumstances.

It’s important to budget for childcare regardless of how often you think you need it. Right now, you might not be able to imagine leaving your new arrival in the arms of a stranger, but eventually your sense of self-preservation will kick in and you’ll realise you need at least an evening free of spit-up, screaming and dirty nappies.

My advice: If you just need a babysitter for a few hours, go with a friend or family member, preferably someone who is a parent him or herself, so you know they know what they’re doing. Plus, this will save money in your baby budget and allow you to get away guilt-free.

What other expenses can you share that you need to prepare for?

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