Budgeting for a Baby
Having a child is full of new experiences for a first-time parent. Some of these will be expected and some will be a total surprise. Let’s examine some things to consider when budgeting for a baby.
The First Year is a Shocker
Before the baby is born, the expenses will already be rolling in. Prenatal doctor visits will increase as the due date approaches, and as the date gets closer these visits will include extra expenses such a lab work and ultrasounds. If you have insurance, it will cover some of these costs but depending on your coverage you will likely see some medical bills come your way.
Prenatal Care and the Delivery
Before the baby comes, there will be prenatal vitamins and changing dietary requirements to consider, as well as the mother’s changing wardrobe. As her body changes, she will need to get different clothes to accommodate the growth. There are many options available here, so don’t just run out and start buying clothes. Ask friends and family if they have old maternity clothes you can borrow or have. Many of these items are still like new and their former owners will be glad to part with them.
Then comes the delivery, with its own set of expenses. In addition to the cost of the actual delivery, there will be a hospital stay, anesthesia, and other possible charges. Again, if you have insurance some of this will be covered, and some will not. Be sure to go over your plan beforehand so you can budget for the things you will be responsible for.
Child Care and Ongoing Expenses
One of the most overwhelming costs of young children is the cost of child care. Depending where you live you could find yourself paying $1,000 or more for child care. For many new parents these expenses are as unavoidable as they are unsustainable without careful budgeting. Unless you work from home you will need someone to watch the little one while you work. This is especially true for single parents living alone. And even if you are fortunate enough to work from home, you may find it impossible to maintain productivity while tasked with watching the baby.
There will be obvious expenses, such as food, diapers and clothing for the baby, as well as unexpected expenses such as higher water and electric bills from all the laundry. Sudden or ongoing illnesses would be another example. But even the healthiest baby will have doctor checkups and accidents.
At CreditGUARD we believe it is critical you should have an emergency fund. Once you have a child it will be even more imperative, because the unexpected is always just around the corner.
Use these tips to build your emergency fund quickly, if you haven’t already done so.
The Costs Will Grow with the Child
As the child grows, so will the expenses. As the baby’s and parent’s needs change, the budget will need to change also. As the baby begins to eat solid food and then eats more and more as they grow, these factors must be accounted for when making the family budget. The clothes get more expensive as they increase in size as well.
At CreditGUARD we understand how overwhelming it can be for a new parent when already struggling with debt. Give us a call today and see what our certified credit counselors can do for you, so you can focus on the most important thing, your new baby!
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