Getting ready for a new baby is all about being prepared. To be prepared, you must manage your money and your time before you have the baby, because once your bundle of joy arrives, you won’t have much time to shop or plan for the things that you need.
Here are some of the top things to consider and budget for when you are expecting a baby.
Get Ready for The Medical Expenses
The hospital visit and care for a child birth is several thousand dollars. And that’s if it’s a natural birth. Almost 40% of births are now c-sections, which can total as much as $30,000. Make sure that you sign your newborn up for insurance as soon as you can. Forgetting to do this can cost thousands in medical expenses. Check with both you and your spouse’s employers to see whose plan has the best coverage on the birth itself. When we had our child, we chose insurance that was effective for the child immediately, but what we didn’t know is that it didn’t cover any of the hospital visit, such as the nursery and other costs. It ended up costing us over $6,000 out of pocket, but if we had put our son on my wife’s Cobra insurance for just one month, he would have been covered 100%. Mistakes like this are costly so make sure you do some research and are prepared for the medical costs.
Buy or Get Big Ticket Baby Items
Before the baby comes, you’ll want to start buying the big ticket items. You’ll want to do this months before the baby is due because you never know what will happen in the last month or two. Sometimes mothers get confined to bedrest and sometimes the baby comes a month or more early. Be prepared by taking care of the big stuff early. If you have friends or relatives that want to buy or give you some of these items, you should organize a baby shower well in advance. Some of the things you’ll need to budget for are a crib, changing table, stroller and a car seat. You should also prepare the baby’s room at this time.
Stock Up on Baby Supplies
There are lots of little things that you’ll probably be running to the drugstore for after your baby is born, unless you build a good supply of the essentials in advance. We’re talking about things like diapers, rash ointment, baby bottles, medicine, and enough clothing so that you can change them several times a day and not have to do laundry for at least a few days. Seriously, there are so many supplies that I’m missing on this list, but search around or ask recent mothers for what they consider the essentials.
Consider The Income Impact
When budgeting for your baby, you’ll of course have to consider the impact on your income that your bundle will have. Will both of you go back to work, or are you considering dropping one of your incomes? If so, you’ll have to make sure that you can survive on one income now that your daily expenses will rise dramatically. If you know that you’ll both be going back to work, you’re going to have to setup some type of childcare. This can take months, so make sure that you think about this early in the process so that you don’t get stuck without daycare.
Those are the main points that I’d like to make about baby budgeting, but we also found some other advice from TheNest.com that discusses how to help your baby budget. They have these ideas to save money on your baby:
Consider buying the big-ticket items like the crib, stroller and changing table secondhand. Oftentimes, you can afford higher-quality pieces by getting them used. Online community bulletin boards, auction websites and consignment shops with physical locations are great sources for scouting on a budget. Keep in mind that if you take good care of these larger items, you can sell them in a couple of years when your baby outgrows them.
Take part in a swap program to get rid of things you no longer need and to request items that you want. The beauty of swap programs is that you can give away anything — from the bread maker you never used to the collection of comic books you no longer want — and in return you may ask for baby items. The idea of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true for every request that is granted…for free!
Accept hand-me-downs and shop consignment for baby clothes. Babies grow so quickly that spending money on new clothes just isn’t worth it. Save buying new for the occasional picture-taking outfit; otherwise, keep it simple by spending as little as possible on clothing. It’s a good idea to wash anything you let your wee one wear, whether new or secondhand.
You can find the rest of this article at How Do I Plan for a Baby on a Budget?
These are some good ways to save money. Luckily for us, we had several friends and neighbors that had recently had kids and sent or gave us tons of free clothing and supplies. Recycling clothes, strollers, cribs and so on can literally save you thousands of dollars, and this type of stuff is so readily available because baby’s grow so fast that they don’t wear things out like most household items. If you don’t have friends or neighbors with kids, just hit some garage sales and you’re sure to find some savings.
Do you have any advice on how to budget for a new baby? If so, please share it below.