Budgeting for a Baby

Sun, Nov 16, 2014


Some rights reserved by gabi_menasheWe all know that babies can come unexpectedly, but millions are actively planning for a baby. Budgeting for a baby can prove discouraging, when you realize how much a baby will cost! Between diapers and other supplies, they can really break the bank.

So, how do you prepare? If you have plenty of time, you simply put away some money each month—as much as you can. If you don’t have plenty of time to prepare, then you do the best you can. It’s harder to research how much a baby will cost, and it really doesn’t matter too much since the baby is coming. But you can be prepared and know the best places to shop.

So for diapers, would you do cloth or disposable? Disposable diapers are required for certain situations, like daycare. However, cloth could be an option at home. Just remember that cloth diapers require lots of washing. Do you have the capacity to do that? If not, you would do well to do some price shopping. For instance, certain stores have better prices on disposable diapers. Certain places have better shipping prices if you shop online, and there are also clubs and coupons to help you save money.

Then there is breast versus bottle. Bottle-feeding can get pricey. Babies drink more formula than you can imagine, but there are so many types of formula that you can really do some good price comparisons. Types of formula include liquid, powder, single serve packets, or even single serve bottles, and they all come at different price points. Also, let’s hope that your baby doesn’t require special formula, because that can double or triple your food budget.

Breast-feeding can cost less for sure, but it comes with its own set of equipment. A good pump is needed to maximize your output if you are working or away, and then you need various storage devices for the milk. All of these add up.

You can usually find good used equipment at garage sales, consignment sales or shops, Craigslist, or from friends. Make a list of what you need far in advance. Register things on your list for your baby showers. In addition, realize that you don’t always need everything the books say you do; you often need a lot less. But don’t scrimp on some real time savers just to save money, be realistic. Your sanity is worth some extra expense!

Don’t forget—childcare can be one of the biggest expenses. There are many types of childcare you can hire, and make sure that you investigate the best one for your family. Childcare expense can really wreak havoc on a budget and the right care is super important for your child’s well-being. Of course, if one of you is able to quit working to care for the child that is possible to counteract. However, this is a decision to make carefully. Make sure you consider every ramification of the decision to be sure that your budget can survive less or revised income.

Once you have a handle on what the baby will cost for the first year, make sure you will have enough to support the baby. Don’t forget doctor bills, car seats or even the new car! Of course, you will probably be spending less on those nights out or a weekend away, which can be helpful in saving too. I hope that you can take advantage of a relative or friend’s generosity for a night away too, though. Most of all, enjoy that baby!

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by gabi_menashe

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