On top of the commonly considered expenses of diapers, formula, and an entire room of baby-sized furnishings that you’ll need to purchase for your new little to be, a baby comes with a whole set of costs you may not have considered.
Between insurance premiums, hefty medical bills, and a sizeable Starbucks addiction to help maintain your ever-more fragile sanity, heading into parenting, with anything less than a fully stocked arsenal of know-how and a military-style proper plan of attack can leave your once-full wallet withered and weary.
With a little planning and a well-thought-out strategy, however, you can get both your literal and figurative house in order before your little arrives, and ensure a stable and safe financial future for your entire family.
This Is How Your Finances Will Actually Be Affected by Having a Baby and How to Prepare
Taking Leave – Well before it’s time for the new baby to arrive, you’ll need to plan some time away from work for those critical first weeks.
Double check with your employer to find out what type of maternity or paternity leave your position offers and start to plan out your next few weeks with a possible pay break in mind.
Little Tip: Not all maternity leave is unpaid, so make sure that you check out your benefits thoroughly. Partial pay coming in is better than having no revenue stream at all.
Wrap It Up – Don’t wait until the last minute to start picking up attire for your little.
The earlier you start shopping for clothing, the less of an impact it will have on your wallet after your baby arrives. Start as soon as possible and store up the goods for a time when your baby will grow to size.
Little Tip: If you’re not sure what gender your baby to be is, pick up some stylish choices in light grays, off-whites, and taupes to prep a gender-neutral wardrobe.
Doctor, Doctor Give Me The News – Now’s the moment to figure out what doctors you’ll be seeing when the time comes.
Don’t wait until after your baby has arrived to find the nearest pediatrician that’s in your network, that you actually like.
Make sure that you know ahead of time what any copay’s and deductibles are so that you can factor them into your postpartum budget.
Little Tip: Your insurance company should be able to send you out a list of covered health care professionals in your area, so no need to spend the time guessing.
Plot A Course – Just talking about a budget isn’t going to do the trick once you’ve got your little, you need to have a solid course of action pre-plotted.
Break out google drive, office, or just a plain pen and paper, and start browsing your area for the best deals on everything from diapers to formula so that you know now what you can expect your monthly expenditures to be.
Little Tip: Make sure to do a little shopping around before you settle on a price for anything. Babies come with their share of hidden expenses, so anywhere you can trim that budget back is a fiscal win for you.
Break It Down – Start a separate, baby bucks only bank account to help you keep up with your planned saving.
Look for an account that’s going to give you a decent interest rate.
The more you put in now, the better your options will be when it comes time to withdraw.
Little Tip: Don’t stop putting in regular deposits after your little arrives. Building up a way to defray future expenses is always a smart fiscal move.
Get Your Affairs In Order – Morbid though it may seem, you’ll feel a whole lot better knowing that your baby will be taken care of no matter what.
Pick up a new life insurance policy, and get a will prepared now, just in case.
Little Tip: Double check with your work about any life insurance benefits you may get through them. Many employers offer free, or low-cost options to get you set up without breaking the bank.
Size It Up – Don’t make the crucial mistake of waiting until the final hours to figure out your nursery plan.
Take a look at the spaces in your home and see if you’ve got the room for a nursery now.
If space is at a premium in your current home, you’ll want to get onto finding a larger space asap so that you’re not looking in the final moments before the baby comes.
Little Tip: Your nursery doesn’t have to be a traditional space, a portion of a shared room, or sectioned off area can suffice.
A Rainy Day – If you don’t already have an emergency fund to help defray the cost of the unforeseen, start one up right now.
Adding a small payout to the emergency fund each payday can help keep your fiscal wall built up to keep you and your family safe from future financial woes.
Little Tip: Try to avoid dipping into your reserves for anything outside of a complete emergency. Once you start, it can be difficult to stop, so put your money in an account with a withdrawal delay to keep yourself away from temptation.
Party On – Baby showers are more than just a way to celebrate the new life that you’re bringing into the world, they’re a way for your friends and family to come together as a community and support you both emotionally and financially.
Set up a shower, and get a few helping hands with what you need to be ready for your new arrival.
Little Tip: If you’ve already got what you need to get started with your new baby, ask instead for anonymous donations to the child’s education fund to help get the ball rolling for the future.
A Little Heads Up – If you haven’t already done so, let your insurance agent know that you’ve got a little one on the way.
You’ll want to add them to your policy immediately, otherwise, you could wind up footing the bill for some costly medical expenses after they are born.
Little Tip: Now’s the time to talk shop with your agent about family rates and see if you can’t renegotiate to save a few extra dollars.
Know Where You Stand – A new baby can be a financial strain, and if you’re already in the process of paying off student loans, car payments, or credit card debt, the added stress can cause a budgetary breakdown.
Start to figure out how much per month you’re currently paying off, and see if it’s realistically feasible to work those payments into your new fiscal plans.
Little Tip: If you’re not seeing a clear path to repayment, now’s the time to call and negotiate a lower monthly bill, or a restructuring to ensure that you’re not breaking the bank in the future.
Stocking Up – Before the baby comes, you’ve got a chance to start distributing some of the future financial burdens by stocking up on some supplies that will be in high demand later.
Diapers, formula, and cleaning supplies all keep well and can be purchased in bulk to help keep their overall costs down.
Little Tip: If you’re not already a member, pick up a card for your local Sam’s Club or Costco and start getting some real savings on bulk buying.