Babies are one of life's greatest joys, but raising a baby comes with many unexpected costs. Adjust your budget to cover these one-time and recurring costs.
Typical expenses that new parents don't plan for include:
1. Buying Diapers - First-time parents underestimate how much they are going to spend on diapers. A single child goes through over 2,700 diapers. If each diaper is $0.20 cents, then the average cost is $550 dollars per year. Add in the fact that as the baby grows bigger, fewer diapers are sold in each pack, and diapering grows to cost a small fortune.
2. Medical Expenses - Babies require multiple doctor visits during their first year of life. They need to be seen by a pediatrician within the first week after they leave the hospital, and then require periodic visits thereafter. Young children also get sick due to their developing immune systems, which results in extra doctor visits. Babies tend to become ill in the middle of the night, and any parent can attest to rushing to the emergency room only to come home and find a gigantic hospital bill waiting for them in the mail. Medical costs vary depending on your insurance policy, but expect to pay more after the baby arrives.
3. Day Care - Maternity leave lasts for six weeks in the United States. After that, parents need to find someone to watch their baby while they are at work. First-time parents don't understand how much money they are going to spend on daycare. On average, out-of-home daycare costs can be as high as $14,951 dollars a year, according to Investopedia. In-home day care is even more expense, averaging out at $44,200 per year.
4. Baby Traveling - Planning to cover travel costs goes far beyond purchasing a baby car seat. Thinking about taking a flight to visit friends and relatives? Most parents hold off on flying until the baby is older, but air companies require that children two and older have their own tickets. While parents understand that no two year old is going to sit in their own seat on a long airplane flight, they still have to buy the extra ticket for the child.
Got a budget without a lot of budge? Follow these tips to save money in other areas of your lifestyle.
1. Family Meals- Staying at home and cooking a family dinner means more than just saving money by dining out at a restaurant. Eating together helps build a valuable family bond, and it also teaches baby good table manners. Save leftovers to take to work tomorrow for lunch, and you can cut down on how much money you spend on food.
2. Garage Sales- Trying to make room for baby in a full house? Clean out the clutter, make room for the nursery, and get money on the side by holding a garage sale. These days, you don't need to limit yourself to neighborhood garage sales either. Try selling your stuff through online websites like eBay or Craigslist where you can reach a wider audience.
3. Thrifty Threads- You can find a whole lot more than acid-washed jeans at a thrift store. Secondhand shops offer a wide range of merchandise, including name brand clothes. In fact, some thrift stores specialize in selling lightly used, brand name clothing, allowing the entire family to save serious cash on infrequent wardrobe expenses. Have too many clothes in your closet? Sell them to secondhand shops.
4. Save Coupons - Never underestimate the power of a good coupon. Babies need all kinds of products, from lotions to socks, so stock up on all those Buy One, Get One Free offers. You can even save on family outings by subscribing to a coupon service such as Groupon, which sends discounts for local businesses to your email.