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How to Financially Prepare for a Baby

So you are going to have a baby. This is the most exciting time of your life, congratulations! Parenthood is a roller coaster. It will hit you from all angles, emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. Today, let's deal with the financial.

So you are going to have a baby. This is the most exciting time of your life, congratulations! You will have a few days of euphoria before the panic about your impending parenthood sets in. The panic is just as normal as the euphoria. Parenthood is a roller coaster. It will hit you from all angles, emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. Today, let's deal with the financial.

Part 1

1

Medical costs

Having a baby comes with a lot of associated costs, but surprisingly the most forgotten is the cost of actually having the baby. You can expect to pay $1,500-$5,000 for your hospital stay plus the cost of all the doctor visits. There is nothing more unwelcome than a huge hospital bill after you welcome new life into the world. Prepare for the expense in advance by going through and cutting expenses from your budget now.

2

Maternity and baby clothes

Mom, you are going to need some new clothes. And since you'll need clothes to accommodate your growing belly for several months you can expect to spend at least $400. Oh, and that little baby is going to need some clothes as well. If you are lucky you'll be in a hand-me-down chain or perhaps you'll even be gifted a lot of clothes, but it probably won't be enough. Of course, how much extra you spend really depends on your taste. If you want a baby fashionista expect to really shell out the big bucks. Bare minimum expect to spend $200 and up on clothes for their first year of life.

3

Baby gear

Ever wandered why parents drive vans? Because kids need a lot of stuff. From strollers to swings to play yards to bouncy seats, kids, especially babies, require a lot of accessories. Like baby clothes, hopefully you'll be gifted or handed down these items, but if not you can expect to spend anywhere north of $500.

4

Food and diapers

As a new parent you'll have to make a lot of decisions, one of them being whether or not to breastfeed. The decision is yours to make, just know that formula will cost an additional $80-$120 a month. Another decision you will make is whether to use disposable or cloth diapers. Disposable diapers will also cost about $80-$120 a month. Yep, $240 a month is a tough pill to swallow.

5

Childcare

No matter how you dice it, childcare is expensive. Good childcare will cost you a pretty penny, which leads many to consider staying home. Whether you stay home or pay for daycare is just another of the many decisions you'll have to make as a parent, but make sure you do it with open eyes. You either need to make room in your budget for the cost of childcare or for the loss of your entire income. Either way you do it, it will be a sacrifice.

Having a baby will be a time of great joy for you, but it can also be a very stressful time financially. Mitigate some of that stress by going into parenthood with clear expectations. You have about nine months before your world gets turned upside down. Take the time now to start evaluating all your expenses. Cutting unnecessary expenses now will help prepare you for all the new expenses you will take on after the baby comes. The best way to truly enjoy your baby is to financially prepare for it.

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