If you’ve had the happy news that you’re pregnant, you’ll soon experience the pleasure of being a parent and raising a child. The unfortunate news, although minor when looking at the bigger picture, is that it will significantly impact your finances. There are a lot of expenses that will be added, and it’s a lot to think about. Planning for a new addition to the family involves creating a budget and sticking to it as much as you can.
The first thing you’ll have to think about is what the baby needs. These are priorities in your baby budget, and they include furniture, clothing, diapers, and other baby gear. Furniture isn’t just a crib; it’s also the mattress, changing table, and dresser. You’ll even need a car seat, stroller, and monitors. One of the most significant expenses, when you have a baby, is the cost of diapers and food.
When you have to buy an abundance of diapers, it can be relatively expensive, especially when you look at the amount they go through. You’ll also have to buy wipes and diaper rash crème. If you’re choosing to feed your baby formula, you’ll have to budget for the cost. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll have to buy a pump. Either way, you decide to feed your child, you’ll have to budget for all of the bottles you’ll need.
Once you’ve made a budget, carefully consider if this is what you thought it would be and see if there are any areas you can adjust. You’ll both have to figure out what you’re priorities are. For bedding, think about if you need a massively themed room of Winnie-the-Pooh or if a few items would suffice.
For clothing, consider buying in the offseason so you can get the items at discounted rates. It’s good to remember that kids aren’t kids for long and they’ll outgrow a lot of the stuff very quickly. Also, consider having a baby shower and ask for some of the gifts that you know you don’t want to spend a lot of money on yourselves. Showers can give new parents a lot of things they first need when they have a child.
Once you figure out what you still have to buy, be sure to record everything that you buy. This will make it easier to keep track of your budget and notice when your spending is getting out of control. If you end up spending less on something that you thought it was, consider putting the excess money in your child’s savings account.
When you have a child, you’ll also have to take care of other aspects of your lives. If you’re working parents, you’ll have to budget for the cost of childcare. Research the area on who is certified to care for newborns and what their prices are. Both parents should sit down and heavily consider life insurance if they haven’t already.
You need to make sure that in the case of a tragedy, that surviving family members will be taken care of. Also, you should write wills for the very same reason. You should check with your employer regarding maternity and paternity leave and what the cost of health insurance will be once your child is born.