So you want to have a baby? Well…..as of 2014, the cost of raising a child added up to be a mere 245 thousand dollars. Broken down, a child adds about $15,000.00 in annual expenses to whatever you spend anyway. Here we are three years later and unless something new and revolutionary happened to the economy, having a baby this year will cost you upwards of $255,000 during the baby’s life. OUCH!!!!
High Heels doesn’t have babies in it’s inventory, so the cost of having a baby is a shock to say the least, and these stats are just the beginning. Toys are not even taken into account.
Money managers everywhere advise soon-to-be parents to assess their current expenses to see if baby will fit financially before making physical room for baby. Planning isn’t always possible because experts say the list of considerations is staggering.
- Estimate future income (good luck with that)
- Factor in the cost of insurance (life, disability, health, property..etc)
- Cut costs such as your cell phone plan, entertainment costs, cable, eating out etc.
- Practice the new budget before you get pregnant (good luck with that too)
Many people of child bearing age, such as Millennials, have student loan debt. If that is the case, moms-to-be especially should check to see if she or the father qualify for any loan forgiveness programs. In addition, The Baby Center offers a calculator to help future parents figure some ongoing costs. The site shows the average first year costs of items such as a breastfeeding pump-$250, a dresser for baby clothes-$250, safety gates-$120 each and even photo printing costs-$127.00 and that’s just the beginning. There are many resources to assess the cost of having a baby, but how many people actually get financially ready, wait until they are more financially sound and feel ready when the time comes? Not too many.
Monthly costs for formula can run between $70 and $150 a month. Financial advisors suggest breastfeeding as long as possible to save. Diapers cost between $30 and $60 a month. Parents can save by using cloth diapers…the ones your mom used to dunk in the toilet before washing. The Baby Center also suggests signing up at diaper manufacturers websites to get coupons. That way you can stock up when diapers are on sale. Childcare may be the most expense for working parents. Childcare can often exceed one parent’s monthly income if they are not wealthy. Food expenses run between $50 and $100 a month for babies. Toys and books can also cost up to $50 a month.
Investopedia.com took a look at the cost of starting from scratch. There are no hand-me-downs necessarily, in this case because this is the first baby. According to Castlight Health, that means routine maternity care; $8,775 (depending on location), routine delivery; $6,075 in Kansas City and $15,420 in Sacramento, California. Cesarean delivery ran as much as 11.5 thousand dollars in Pittsburgh, but over $27,000. in Sacramento. (For some some advice on how to cut medical costs, check out 20 Ways to Save On Medical Bills.) The Simple Dollar’s Guide includes a resource that breaks down the total cost of having a child, including medical and prenatal care. In addition, the site has a calculator that expectant parents can customize to research costs.
Let’s not even bother to figure the costs of things like stroller, cribs, baby carriers, diaper bag, car seat, portable play pen, bassinet, portable swing, bouncy seat, crib mattress, changing table, rocking chair, monitor, diaper pail, bottles, burn cloths, cleaning equipment…etc.
One other factor to consider is the type of family leave, if any, is provided by the mother’s employer. Larger companies may offer up to 12 weeks under the FMLA. However, smaller companies don’t have to offer maternity leave at all.
The last but certainly not least important factors to consider are college savings tools, life insurance and flexible savings accounts. The average cost per year (NOW) for college ranges between $10,000 and 25 thousand dollars a year. Many women know the baby is going to be expensive, but that doesn’t deter the family from growing. Lots of parents depend on shower gifts for the necessities, they depend on family for babysitting and they often borrow or accept items from friends and family to cut the cost of furniture and clothing. That’s great if you can get it, but can you get it if you try?
In the end, how wonderful are babies if life greets them with happiness and a well planned life ahead? ©
by Dianne Thompson® comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org