Before it becomes obvious to the rest of the world that you’re adding another member to your family, you and your spouse will ride a roller-coaster of emotions but you need to ground yourself in-between all the day dreaming. Money, or lack of it is probably the biggest stress producer in everyday life.
A new family member means you will require more money. For starters ask yourself these three questions;
1. Are you on a budget?
If not, now is the time to start. it may take you up to 3 months to get used to budgeting.
2. Will your income change after the birth of the baby?
Does your financial situation change after your baby is born? Do you intend to be a stay at home mom?
3. Will a relative be available to help you with childcare or do you need to pay?
You should start living like these changes are already in effect. This will make it easier when the baby arrives.
Finacially preparing for your baby Pre-natal care is usually in the form doctors visits. These add up to about 14 visits over 9 months that may consists of lab work and ultra-sounds. Prenatal vitamins will also be necessary during the 9 months.
After the 9 months of check ups are over, comes the hospital stay and delivery charges. Cesarean sections can cost as much as $11,000. Hospital stays cost on average $300 a day with normal delivery stays being between one to four days.
What’s the plan?
Save for emergencies
Save all the extra money you can while you are pregnant. You never know what emergency may crop up during the pregnancy or childbirth. If no emergencies happen, after mom and baby are home, you have a big chunk of money to take care of expenses.
Save for mom
Pregnancy means bigger clothes and more food. After the baby comes, you’ll still need more food, not to mention diapers, and other things for the baby. Plan for higher grocery bills and set aside some money for maternity clothes.
Talk to a mom
Every baby is different but talking to a mom will help you figure out what to expect. New or used items? Cloth or disposable diapers? Other mom’s experiences will go a long way in helping you understand what to expect.
Buying for the baby
The minute you found out you were pregnant, you couldn’t help but start to buy little cute clothes every time you laid your eyes on them; tiny onesies and shoes are hard to resist.
Babies really need very few things so don’t feel pressured to deck out the nursery with everything in the store. Do you really need that gadget? Your baby won’t be able to use it for at least another 3 years.
Pay with cash. if you can’t do it without swiping a credit card, leave it at store.
Complex medical costs from prenatal care to delivery can get confusing, review your coverage with your provider.
Now that you’re done frantically adding up these numbers, realize that its going to be okay. Babies are costly but as long you are prepared, you’ll be fine. Shop around if you need to.
Do you have some financial wisdom to share with first time parents? Please use the comment section below.
First published at daveramsey.com