budgeting for a baby

Budgeting For A Baby


by Adriana Noton

One of the most important ways expecting parents can get ready for the new addition in their lives is to take the time to assess their budgets. Too often new parents are startled when they finally are forced to deal with how much a new baby costs financially. Once a family learns that a new baby is on the way, it is vital to go over their income and draw up a realistic budget with regards to how much a new baby will actually cost. A new baby should be a joyous occasion. You don’t want to have to worry about finances when it comes to providing your new baby everything he or she needs.

budgeting for a babyMost babies tend to be born in July, August and September. So your child’s birth date has a good chance with colliding with the new school year. This will get you in the habit of budgeting early on for important milestones and times of the year, as you start to draw up a strong financial plan. Parents tend to consider only the most basic costs when they are expecting a baby. Of course, you need to factor in the costs of diapers and groceries, as well as toys and new furniture. In addition, baby-proofing a home can also make a small dent in your finances. So take this all into consideration. Generally, a couple can expect to devote anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 to their child from birth to the age of 18.

Your baby will require special groceries. This will generally cost up to 100 dollars a month, depending on whether your baby will be breastfed or will be using formula from the beginning. Should your child have any special dietary needs, it is possible that you may be spending more than this amount.

One way that parents can significantly reduce the costs of having a baby is by using cloth diapers. While disposable diapers are incredibly convenient, they will cost parents $1600 to $2300 from birth to by the time a child is potty trained. In addition, by using cloth diapers, you are choosing the green option, as reusable cloth diapers create less of an environmental impact.

When budgeting for a baby, it is also necessary to factor in the costs of furniture and toys. Your baby will require a crib and a stroller and probably a car seat. By purchasing these items prior to the birth of your baby, not only will you have them when they are needed, but you will have a better understanding of how much money you have to work with when the baby arrives.

Also, don’t forget to factor in the loss of income when one parent needs to stay home for parental leave. While most employers give parental leave to one parent, some people decide to take more time off then the allotted amount. As well, it is always a good idea to start saving for your child’s educational fund as early as possible.