June 20, 2018
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Now You Can Have Your Baby and Your Budget Too

If you’re making plans to begin or expand your family, you’ve got a lot to do. Of course, expecting a baby is one of life’s greatest joys, but it can also bring on big financial changes. Unfortunately, not enough parents financially prepare before the baby comes and then end up struggling with their budget. Being prepared can make all the difference.

The cost of raising a child to age 17 is on the rise. Everything from food, clothing, housing, and childcare, to medical care, insurance, and education have to be considered. Without a doubt, having a baby will increase your monthly expenses. To head-off a financial struggle, it’s well worth the time to plan ahead. Try focusing on these eight ideas before your baby arrives:


1.      Get to know your maternity leave options. If you’re working, find out details about your company’s maternity leave benefits. Many offer six weeks leave plus options to add short term disability or paid leave. Company benefits will enable you to minimize the impact on your income.

2.      Research childcare choices. This being a very emotional decision, many moms plan on staying home for a certain period of time and then seek child care services. Whether it’s with a family member, home-based childcare, or day care center, being well prepared can help you anticipate your budget as well as eliminate a lot of stress. It’s a good idea to visit some day care centers and network with other parents. Remember, many childcare centers have long waiting lists.

3.      Get ready for the new addition. If it’s your first baby, you’ll probably have a baby shower, but you’ll still need to purchase some essentials—crib, stroller, car seat, rocking chair, and other big-ticket items. It can be very worth your while and economical to check out garage sales for slightly used baby items that you may only need for a short period of time.

4.      Check into your medical benefits. It’s a good idea to review your healthcare insurance for adding a child. If you’re expecting your first child, there may be a change in your premium or co-pay for adding a dependent. If both parents have insurance, compare costs and benefits to determine which one offers the best program for a family.

5.      Look into life insurance. Once you have children, the desire to secure their future needs is on every parent’s mind. Term life is the least expensive, but you’ll need to find out what is best for your family. Look into any employee benefits that may be available.

6.      Get a will, or revise an existing one. Although you may not like this subject, it is extremely important to have your wishes known and implemented in a legal fashion without being tied up in court. You will also be able to name a guardian for your minor children. While there are do-it-yourself kits, it’s better to hire an attorney so your specific needs can be addressed and conforms to the laws in your state.

7.      Review your monthly budget. Spending more on a baby is a given, but don’t panic! Money in other areas of your budget will probably be freed up, such as going out to dinner, movies, and other entertainment. You’ll probably be spending more time at home.

8.      Start saving! Save your bonuses and vacation pay, or increase the amount you typically save. There will definitely be some unexpected expenses popping up when the baby comes. Also, look into college savings plans—it’s best to start saving early.


Remember, don’t wait until the baby comes, prepare ahead of time. The key is to know how your money is being spent and how that will change when your baby arrives.



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