19.01.2015

Having a baby expenses

Enjoy these things while you can, because once you have a baby, you’ll say goodbye to a lot of freedom, free time, and free cash. At the risk of oversimplifying the answer to a complex question, I think that if you’re even taking the time to wonder if you’re financially ready to have a baby…you are better prepared than most. One thing is for sure, if your budget is already stretched without a baby, adding one to the family will put a strain on your finances. Term life insurance is the least expensive and the best choice…you can buy it online or through a local independent insurance agent. The most expensive things have been shoes (which she outgrows every couple weeks), and diapers. I can’t believe that you have to pay upwards of 10K to have a baby in the States (if everything goes smoothly). Ugh…add this to the pile of reasons why even the thought of having kids goes farther and farther out of reach.
But to help put the cost of having a baby in perspective, here are some of the costs we experienced from the first year and a half of parenthood.
You should prepare to limit your expenses during this time or, if you must, prepare to draw on your emergency fund. Obviously you can get by with less, but I would guess that any new parent is looking at about $500-$1,000 in essential baby gear.
When you have kids, working parents face an enormous choice: give up one source of income to stay home or continue working and put your baby in daycare.


When you have a kid, dates with your partner and nights out with friends get a heck of a lot more expensive if you have to add a babysitter to the bill.
If you think higher education is expensive now, the projected average cost of a four-year college education in 20 years will make your head spin: $89,093 (2009 dollars) for four years according to a New York Times college cost calculator.
There are countries in the EU with guranteed 12 months+ paid maternity leave, free healthcare for both mother and child, good public transport (so you can just use one stroller (or even a baby sling) everywhere), free education (including college, even up to PhD, if the kid is smart at or above average), free daycare and also a state monetary support (both one-time support and child birth and some monthly payments for the first 12 month).
The babysitter trade is a good idea and I’m sure as our daughter gets a bit older we’ll do that more often! Again, there’s a way around this: mom can breastfeed which is supposed to be better for the baby anyway. Should you die, you don’t want your surviving spouse to worry about paying for living and childcare expenses without your income.
On the other hand, scheduling and paying a babysitter may force you to go out less and help your bottom line. Fortunately, the vast majority of the items purchased were given to us as gifts (people love to buy baby gifts!), and several items were hand-me-downs, so we have been fortunate to not have spent much on her so far. My husband and I spent five years saving for our baby (and both working part-time jobs in addition to our full-time jobs), and because of that hard work I now have the privilege of taking a year off work to be at home with her.
I’d say now that my oldest is 3, we are just starting to see the grocery bill get a little more expensive, but nothing to write home about.
Should your little one have special medical needs, however, you may face more out-of-pocket expenses.


So for anybody who wants to foot the entire tuition bill for a baby born today, that means saving at least $300 a month every month for the next 22 years and hoping for at least a 7 percent annual return. Essentially, that means having something set aside and making room in your budget for new expenses. If you want kids, you don’t have to put them off until you’ve banked $100 grand.
We’re using cloth diapers (nearly all given as gifts), breastfeeding, and trying to resist the urge to buy lots of baby products in general. I do think that having a child forced me and my husband to think more seriously about our future. But having a stable income, health insurance, emergency savings, and room in your budget for diapers will help you spend less time worrying about money and more time enjoying your new family.
I am military so all hospital bills are paid for and the baby would have good coverage for insurance. Even with health insurance, some plans may require you meet your deductible for childbirth expenses, meaning bills of $1,000-$2,000 or more.



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