Finally, the stork is on its way! A few months from now, you will get to meet this little person and experience the joy of being a parent. But in the midst of thinking what he or she will be like and so on, you can easily forget that this bundle of joy comes with a price tag.
Yes, having a baby can be costly. A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2010 showed that in a baby’s first year of life, average middle-income family will spend about $12,000 on child-related expenses, and the expenses just keeps getting bigger as the child ages.
Having a newborn though doesn’t have to wreck havoc on your family’s finances. If you plan well for your baby’s arrival and have a realistic grip on the expenses, you should be able to breeze through this life-changing experience. Here are some practical tips that you might find helpful:
Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that normal delivery runs at around $9,700 while a cesarean section runs at $12,500. The hospital bill could ramp up to $300,000 if complications occur. So, take care of your health and visit your doctor regularly to ensure healthy and normal delivery. In addition, take advantage of your managed-care plan, if you have any. This can save you lots of money from prenatal visits to the doctor.
As much as you would like to doll up your little one once he or she gets home, it makes lots of money sense to be realistic and practical. Avoid buying baby clothes far in advance, and avoid buying too many. This is because newborns can have sudden growth spurts. Also, go for unisex colors and styles for the staples – undershorts, onesies and socks – so that you can easily bleach them when they get dirty, which doesn’t cost a lot, and still use them as hand-me-downs for your next child.
One of the great things about expecting a baby is that people would want to buy gift for the little one – just let them! Let them know of the things you need; create a gift registry if you must.
When you’re inside a baby specialty store, it is easy to get carried away by all the displays that you would want your child to have everything – a high chair, a walker, a stroller, a crib, some crib pillows, feeding spoon, dozens of bottles and so on. You can easily break your wallet from shopping.
To save on baby gear, look for multifunction furniture and accessories. For example, cribs that can be converted into toddler beds and a high chair that can be converted into a booster seat. You can save a lot of money by planning your purchases well.