Post # 1
So my husband (yay! I am a newlywed!) and I have been talking about trying to have a baby in the next year or so but the concern is the financial aspect. We both make decent wages and fairly stable jobs and we own a 2 bedroom house but we don’t have that much left over income after all our bills are paid. This is partially because we have credit card debt and student loan debt that we have been slowly paying off.
I have trouble figuring out how much having a baby actually costs. Like daycare, food, clothing, etc etc. I don’t want to have a baby yet if it will be a big struggle for us. I feel kind of sad that is the reason we are waiting but at the same time I don’t want to be completely broke and stressed out all the time.
What have you all done in terms of financial planning for a baby/do you have insight into how much baby related expenses cost (such as per month)?
Post # 3
I don’t really know this answer and I’m curious what all the moms and mommies to be will say. I do know that I talked to my brother and his girlfriend (who had a kid about a year ago) about the same fears that you have. That I don’t think I have enough saved up to have a kid. Like you, my Darling Husband and I both have good stable jobs but we are paying off credit cards and student loans. My brother and his girl asked us how we save for our wedding. Since we paid for 90% of our wedding on our own, I told them that we really had to scrimp and save. We had to give up somethings in order to save for the wedding. My brother and his gf said it’s almost like the same thing. I still wasn’t convinced but after talking to them about it, they actually made me realize that we are somewhat ready. The thing I realized is that some brides spend $1200 or more on a dress or on a photographer or something else wedding related. If I saved $1200 alone, that could outfit my kid’s nursery with new furniture. If you thinking about it, a lot of us spent a lot of money for a one day celebration. Imagine putting that same amount aside for a kid. It’s possible. If I could save up for my wedding budget in roughly 2 years, then I can certainly do the same when I have kids. Yes, right now we don’t have college tuition saved up our kids. I would love to have that but it’s not going to happen at this point. I know I will have something started when we do have kids. Also, my parents couldn’t afford my college tuition and I came out fine. Also, I’m trying to prepare myself to be baby ready. There are plenty of parents who had unplanned pregnancies and they are doing fine. I think since I’m a planner, I have always said that I wanted everything planned and put in place. And that I never thought I was ready. I know we’ve all heard it that there will never be a perfect time to have a kid. There will always be excuses like we need to pay of credit card debt or student loans or we need to buy a house or we need to pay off our mortgage or we need to have college tuition save up… I could go on and on. I think I’ve decided that if I continue to wait for the right moment, I probably won’t have kids. I’m ready to be a parent. I’m not 100% there but I’m 80% there. I really want to start a family so I think I’m ready and I have most of the key essentials in place. Well, we are going to hold off a couple more months to TTC but it’s definitely soon. I’ve had a lot of setbacks this year. We were ready to TTC earlier this year but then something set us back and we needed to wait. Then we were ready and then another setback happened. After having all of those setbacks, I realized that it was just all excuses. Looking back, those setbacks weren’t that bad. We would have worked around it and we would have made it work if we were expecting a child.
Oh, as for expenses, I’m trying to cut costs by using cloth diapers and by working from home so I don’t have to put our kid in daycare everyday. I’ll have to change my work schedule around so its more family friendly and so will my husband.
Just like saving for a wedding, there are things you can do to save for a baby.
I can’t speak for you since I don’t know your financial situation but this is what convinced me that we are as ready as we can be without having to wait another 5 more years to be more ready.
Post # 4
Here are some things to consider:
Health Insurance for both of you
Medical expenses including your OBGYN, Labor & Delivery, monthly pediatrician visits + any additional testing required (hearing tests, etc).
Diapers – babies go thru 8-12 a day early on
Feeding – either the cost of formula and bottles or breastfeeding (which is free but you’ll likely need a pump, bottles & storage)
Childcare – usually a minimum of $220 a week for infants
Baby gear – stroller, car seat, crib – you can get a lot of deals but it still adds up
Clothing is probably the ONE thing you don’t have to worry about. People looove to give baby clothes when they find out you’re expecting.
That being said people have been making it work for years so don’t stress that you have to be able to pay for everything at once, there are tons of ways to save money and get by with less if necessary.
Post # 5
We were not planning on getting pregnant for another year, but our little surprise is due Christmas. My husband and I were working hard to pay down our debt by the end of the year and will have some but not all of it come my due date now. It has added more stress than we need on top of prepping for baby I’m afraid to say. We are making it work now that we’ve looked into the cost of all of the items suggested below in our area, and keeping each other positive, but I’d say to try and cut expenses and try to pay down your debt as much as possible before trying. However, just know that no one is ever prepared 100% for babies and their unexpected expenses, so if you all are ready don’t feel like you have to put this off for years until you are debt free 😉
Post # 6
People will usually find ways to make it work even if there’s not much money to go around. HOWEVER. Having a baby is stressful enough at first without the added pressure of knowing that money is tight. I would not begin actively trying to conceive until your money situation is a little better and allows you more breathing room. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a baby, but you also don’t want to be down to your last two diapers wondering how you’ll make it til payday when you can buy more, you know? When you get to an area where you can handle the basic expenses and be reasonably prepared for any surprise extras (health issues with the baby, health issues with YOU, etc.) then start trying to conceive.
Post # 7
Thank you for all your input. I looked into it a bit this morning since I was thinking about it. It looks like the daycare at my work is about $900 a month for infant through 2 year old. To add a child to my health care appears to be about an additional $100 every two weeks. Already that is more than we really have to spare. But like stated above people find ways to save up for their wedding and we paid for the majority of our wedding ourselves.
Post # 8
Also think about maternity leave – you wont need daycare, but you won’t get your full salary. Check with your employer so you know exactly what you would be paid, and maybe consider looking for an employer with great maternity benefits. For a cheaper day care option, consider in home care. Bonus: your child can bond with one care provider instead of different teachers all the time at a large center. Cloth diapering and breastfeeding not only save you thousands of dollars up front, you will save long term on health care costs by boosting babies immunity and reducing exposure to toxins. WIN WIN WIN! Babies will never remember having the latest jumperoo or stroller, they would rather be in your arms anyway, so don’t let the price tag scare you out of mommy hood 🙂
Post # 9
You also have to consider unexpected costs. I was planning on breastfeeding, which obviously is free. Well my milk didn’t come in fast enough, so we ended up having to use bottles and pump. Renting a pump is pretty expensive, and we had to buy a certain kind of bottles and formula. My baby’s only 6 days old, so I’m expecting to have more surprises like that.
Post # 10
@FireflyT:Basically, it costs ALOT of money. I don’t know how people can actually “plan” for a baby. It’s like planning to live your entire life, not possible. There are always going to be unexpected things that happen. Nobody will ever be fully prepared for a baby. Shit happens and you can’t control it. Don’t put so much thought into it. You’ll stress yourself out and that’s the last thing that mommy needs.
Post # 11
Childcare – usually a minimum of $220 a week for infants
And a hell of a lot more than that depending on where you live. I don’t know where you are, OP, but in my area infant day care can cost between $1500 and $2000 a month.