(Closed) Planning for the baby – when is it financially possible?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
2871 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011


I am in the same boat.  My Fiance and I talk about kids all the time and we both have been hit with the baby fever.

I feel like we really cant afford them, and when I say this to our families they say that if people waited till they felt they can afford kids, no one would have any.

They said that they learn to adjust, you end up spending your money differently, For me it will be getting the $5 bottle of wine instead of the $15.  Or going out to eat less, not getting my nails done as much, TJ Maxx instead of Macys. 

I guess you find a way to make it work.   I’m still having a hard time with this one too.  I guess I’m just an over planner.

I feel like once you and your hubs decide that you cant live another day without a little one running around you figure out a way to make it work. 

Post # 4
1765 posts
Buzzing bee


In my case-never, it hasn’t been easy AND I am still happy that I have them!!!  (And they are 25 and 27ish 🙂  (I still help them out as I can, because they are both still in college.  If you wait til you can afford children, you may never have them. 

Post # 6
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

@coconutmellie: My husband and I decided to try for a baby in May. We found some baby calculator websites that estimate baby costs. (Of course, I know they are simply that-just estimates) It gave us an idea as to what most baby items cost and what to expect. Also, you need to look at your health ins. plan to find out what is covered. After we looked at the overall expected/estimated costs, we added a little more (10-15%) to be on the “safe” side. I know what you are going through. It was hard for us, too, to figure out what costs to expect with a baby. If you just google “baby costs”, there is a whole bunch of interesting info.

Post # 7
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

There are a lot of baby cost calculators online that can help you get an estimate.  I believe they say first year average costs are $10,000-$15,000, but there is a lot of flexibility in that. 

Post # 8
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

If you are in a position where you can wait until the best time financially, then this is what I think. Ideally, you should have an emergency fund already set aside of enough cash for you and Darling Husband to live off of for at least 8 months. In addition to that, the means to start up a separate college fund. And also it would be most ideal if you already owned your own home in a good school district.

But I think the majority of parents don’t have the means to wait until this ideal moment and it still works out. LIke others have said, you just adjust to making due with less.

Post # 9
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I can tell you exactly how much our daughter costs:

Initial baby preparation costs: about $2000 (crib, dresser, and stroller/carseat travel system were bought for us; we bought everything else)

Medical bills for labor/birth, hopsital stay, and baby care: $20,000 before insurance

Epidural: $1900 before insurance

Medical bills for first 3 months of care: $750 before insurance

Monthly expenses:


Diapers and wipes-$100/month

Childcare (private nanny)-$1500/month

Clothes, toys, medicines, odds and ends, etc…-$150/month

Obviously, we spend more than you really have to (formula fed instead of breastmilk and private nanny instead of daycare).  Babies are expensive, though, and I think the most recent counts state that, to raise a child to the age of 18, it costs around $200,000.  I think the most important things are to be debt-free and have some savings before you have the baby.  The rest of the expenses can be reduced or even eliminated depending on your situation, but the initial costs are the most expensive.


ETA:  I didn’t include college savings, because that’s part of our “savings budget” not our “baby budget.”  But we add $150/month into her savings account as well, if that helps.

Post # 10
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

The ladies before me said it best – everything is an estimate.

You can be very frugal and cost-conscious, if you buy some things second-hand or are gifted or handed down/handed over certain items. I know it’s “wrong” to count on gifts, but chances are, this is going to happen to some degree.

I would personally start out by assuming you will acquire NO “big ticket items” at no cost to yourself and go from there – estimate the cost of a stroller, a car seat, a crib, etc. etc. – all the biggies –  and go from there. My friends with babies all claim that the consumables (diapers, clothing for ever-growing baby, formula, etc) end up costing more than the combined total of all “the big tickets” so maybe multiply your “big ticket item” total by 2? That should get you started…

I personally do not think that you need to be debt-free before having children. Sure, that is helpful (both before having kids and in day-to-day life) but look around at everyone who has kids – are they all debt-free? Probably not. I would not choose to sacrifice your desire for children for being debt-free – I say this because it could take years and years to accomplish. If you are currently 30 and wish to have children in your early 30’s, I think you will come to regret it if you put it off for multiple years just for the sake of being debt-free. Obviously it’s a personal decision based on one’s own situation, but that’s mine.

Also – I didn’t pay attention see on your first post  where you are from. Keep in mind, if you are from Canada, you don’t need to pay for a hospital stay or an epidural, and in many, many cases, the large portion (if not the entire portion) of medical costs are often covered largely by insurance.

Post # 11
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree with others that there is never a perfect time to have children.

That said there are things to take into consideration. Health insurance coverage is an important one, since it can costs thousands if you don’t have it or only have partial coverage. Next is do you need to find day care. That’s a significant recurring expense that you need to have in the budget somewhere.

After that, assuming a healthy child, the costs can be minimised. Cloth diapers are much easier than they used to be and save a lot of money. Buying big ticket items second hand or getting from friends/relatives (crib, swing, bouncy seat, furniture, etc….) There is TONS of barely used or new baby stuff out there for someone who wants to look around for it. I bought a brand new pack n play ($150 model) for $35 bucks! Babies don’t need a lot of the stuff that is one the “essential” list. In fact they need very little off of it. 


Post # 12
439 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Wow, I almost chocked when I saw the first year estimates, but forget about things like paying medical bills in the US. Phew!

We’re currently expecting our first and hubs wanted a “nest egg” before we started TTC {we’d also just had our wedding and bought a new home which needed renos}. For us, that egg was between $2 and $5k. We live in Canada so don’t have to worry about the same medical expenses, I’m planning to breast feed and also work from home {so no daycare}. We’re also all about consignment shops and gently used baby items {they grow out of things so fast you can get like-new items for a fraction of the cost}, and borrowing from friends and family when available.

Plus, looking at some of the lists baby stores put out for “must haves”, you really don’t need all that stuff! And you can buy as you go. Baby doesn’t come home from the hospital and go right into the swing/exer-saucer/etc….

As for big $ items, that’s all up to you and your budget. You can spend $200 or $1000 on a stroller, same as a crib, car seat, high chair, etc. It depends on whether you’re all about the brand names and trendy/expensive items or realise that while those are nice things to have, your kid won’t care what brand of clothes they wear or if their nursery is decorated all matchy-matchy!

Like one PP said, budget assuming you’ll receive nothing, but I’d add: know that you probably will be given a lot more than you expect!

Post # 13
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Our goal is to have about $5k saved up for the initial start up costs.  From there we will just adjust our budget to accommodate our new lifestyle with a baby.  

Post # 14
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

We have $1500 alotted for start up items. I believe we plan carefully, buy sparingly, shop frugally, borrow or accept donations often, get lots of support from family and friends, and a solid budget in place. We are intending on doing cloth diapers and breastfeeding.  Our careers, savings for plan b, and home life are currently stable and  secure.

Beyond that, we are adding $100 more for baby’s month-to-month costs (counter meds, books, toys, wipes, etc) and $180 more a month to expand our family health care *check with your provider; ours covers almost everything for maternity/childbirth. The monthly costs may change and then we may have to adjust in the future years to come but we will try to keep things in check as decisions come up. We haven’t started planning a college fund yet b/c we want to see how workable this is when the reality hits.

Post # 15
2344 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We’d like to have a large emergency fund (at least 6 months expenses), have a good handle on our debt and own a home before we try to conceive. Ideally, at that point Darling Husband would have a substantial enough salary that while I am pregnant, we can “practice” for me being a stay-at-home mom by me putting my salary in a savings account specifically for post-baby life, that way the extra financial burden won’t cause us to dip into our emergency savings. Of course, I am not 100% that I want to be a full-time Stay-At-Home Mom, and in that case, we would devote as much of my pay as possible to things for the baby, including a college fund and saving for another baby, and live off his salary.

Post # 16
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@daniellemybelle: This is a really good idea to start putting away your salary and budgeting to live off of one. When we bought our house only one of us put our income down.  We wanted to be able to afford the house without relying on two salaries (just in case)

I think that will be the hardest part about having a baby is adjusting your budget.  If you don’t have a good budget to start with, the extra financial strain could be tough.  We are trying to get on a good budget now so when we haev to adjust it its not so terrible. 

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