Budgeting for a New Baby

Deciding to have a baby is a big decision. There is so much to consider. Will a parent stay home or will you hire a baby-sitter ? Cloth diapers or disposable? When should we start saving for their college education? While all of these decisions matter, none are more important than whether or not you can afford to have a baby. It’s no secret that while babies bring us a lot of joy and happiness, they also cost us a lot of money. Here are a few financial things to consider if your thinking about having a baby.

 

Carefully review your insurance plan

Understand what appointments, procedures, and labor expenses your health insurance covers. Consider getting better coverage if your out-of-pocket pre-natal, hospital, and post-partum expenses seem too be to high. While you’re at it, find out the cost of your co-pay for post-pregnancy doctor visits including baby check-ups and immunizations.

Discuss maternity leave with your employer to find out what kind of leave you have available

Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employers may grant employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new baby. Should you choose to take unpaid leave, consider your expenses and come up with a plan to cover them for that time period.

Consider your living situation

Do you have space for another person in your current dwelling? Don’t underestimate the amount of space a baby takes up. There are cribs, car seats, strollers, playpens, highchairs, and the list goes on and on. An upgrade in living space may be necessary.

Figure out who will care for your child

Perhaps one of the biggest things to consider when deciding if it’s the right time to have a baby is childcare. Who is going to stay home with the new baby? Will one parent leave their job, will you hire a baby-sitter, or will you pay for daycare? Don’t forget that childcare is an ongoing expense. Even when your child is old enough for school there will still be a need for after-school care.

Of course there are many other long-term financial expenses to consider too, like a college fund. Adjusting your budget to accommodate a little bundle of joy may seem overwhelming but it can be worth it. Get your finances in order so that the only thing you have to worry about is raising a healthy, happy child.

Do you have questions about saving money for a child? Feel free to swing by a branch or give us a call at 800-835-3400.