Starting Your Own Family - What’s it Really Going to Cost You?
The thought of creating a tiny human can be stressful enough just in terms of keeping it alive. But ask any couple who begins to craft their baby registry list and they’ll tell you—there’s a ton of costs to incur when you decide to procreate!
The good news? If you’re reading this article, that means you are being proactive already. Research is your friend when you are preparing to bring home your littlest family member. And there are a lot of smart ways to set yourself up so that money is the last thing you’re worrying about in your blissful, sleep-deprived state.
Yes, kids are expensive
You’ve probably already thought of the obvious expenses having a child incurs. Things like diapers, daycare, and the larger baby accessories likes cribs, and bouncers. You may have even thought of the indirect costs too—a new car to fit that “how come it’s so big” carseat, maternity clothes, and parenting classes. Even with the best insurance policy, the average cost of childbirth in the US is upwards of $10k out-of-pocket.
But there are lesser known costs, too. Take insurance for example. The baby will need to be added to your medical insurance plan. If you don’t already have it, you’ll want to get life insurance for you and your partner, too. It’s also prudent to draft a will prior to delivery, and lawyer fees can be steep. Grocery and utility bills can also increase during maternity leave because of the increased time spent at home.
Where you can save
Beware—baby stuff is adorable, and if you’re the one cooking said baby, those hormones will convince you that every last precious accessory is necessary! The nesting urge is strong, my friends! But really—you don’t need all that stuff. For one thing—you haven’t met this little person yet. And he or she may hate that expensive swing you spent hours price-comparing. The absolute necessities fall somewhere on this list: car seat, diapers, crib, formula (even if you plan to breastfeed, it could still end up that baby has other plans), and clothing.
With any luck, you will have a baby shower and it would be smart to only include those things absolutely necessary on that list. People will always get a few cute things for you too, simply because they just can’t help themselves. But this way, if your budget is super tight, you’ll be covered on the big stuff.
It should go without saying that trying to build up a nest egg of savings prior the baby’s arrival is a smart thing to do. Aim for the month’s salary you and your partner might miss from parental leave, plus a few extra months for unforeseen situations. If you find that you are still not meeting your safety net of money, another option is to look into loans. Whether you go into parenthood needing to borrow a small amount to get your through missing a paycheck, or you did plan, but then your financial situation changed unexpectedly, know that there are fast online loans that can be pursued if necessary.