Becoming a parent is an overwhelming experience as well as the most difficult one, at the same time. Financial hay-wires are a strict no-no. A financial jolt is unavoidable, be it in the case of planned pregnancy or a sweet surprise. Giving birth to a child is just an exclusively magical moment of the parent’s life. So, finances should never be a hindrance to enjoy this beautiful phase of family life. However, with some well-planned strategies and hard work in avoiding this financial chaos, you will well be able to go through this phase, without any difficulties.
If we got through the past records that what is the cost of having a baby, then in 2017, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, middle-class American parents spend approximately an average of $233,610 to raise a child from birth to 17 years of age.
Therefore, below is a detailed guide, basically pre-baby financial planning for the expectant parents to raise their child hassle-free and prepare you monetarily for the arrival of the new family member.
- First Month– The first trimester is basically the time to cut down on your future expenses. A good place to start with would be the credit card expenses, because, this, eventually will hamper your family’s growing ability to get loans for homes, etc. Another important step in this month would be to create an entirely new budget. Keep a fixed budget for all your expenses, so that even at the end, you are left with good enough amounts.
- Second Month– Computer programs have become quite beneficial today. There are applications for personal finances as well, which provides us with a form, where we can create a budget, and insert chart-making tools in it, to ensure tracking healthy cash flow. Creating a saving’s account, if you don’t have one, will do more good than harm. With this, you can cover your baby’s cost, which in turn will prove to be helpful, especially when the income is low. The cost of having a baby knows no bounds, and so, building an emergency fund is also recommended.
- Third Month– During this period, ensure that all your loans and debts are cleared and enjoy a stress-free life. In such cases, a non-profit credit counselling organization can prove effective. Pre-baby financial planning requires a lot of efforts, as rising up a child is. Such organizations will definitely help you set a realistic budget and repayment of plans as well. Therefore, it’s the best time to clear the loans, and not when the baby arrives in this world.
- Fourth Month– The cost of having a baby is less, but the pre-baby financial planning associated with it is not. When the fourth trimester arrives, take out time to talk to your insurance provider about all your prenatal, delivery and post-delivery reimbursements. You must all be willing to consider life as well as disability insurance, which is highly recommended for both working as well as staying-at-home parents. Try to put your decided amount that you are willing to spend on your baby, into short term money-market accounts.
- Fifth Month– Pre-baby financial planning requires a lot of time and different ideas, to ensure that you don’t feel that the cost of having a baby is huge. Have a look at how much will the hospital or birth centre charge, and prepare yourself monetarily for it. Checking and then making sure is the best option. So, before making up your mind to one particular hospital, check with other hospitals too that how much they charge for the same.
- Sixth Month– The time is almost near when all your pre-baby financial planning will come to an end. During this month, consult your company’s HR, and discuss what their policy on parental leaves is. While doing so, look carefully into paid maternity leaves, flexible spending accounts, sick leaves, vacations, flexible timings, new mom benefits, and much more, depending on the company’s policies. Thus, the cost of having a baby can never be more, if these are executed well.
- The seventh Month– In this month focuses on creating a realistic budget. In brief, this means that you should consider the type of home and childcare you will adopt, post having a baby. You should bring your pre-baby financial planning in use, from this time onward. Budgeting is the best way through which parents could forecast and predict the estimates for child care expenses, child nutritional diet expenses, child’s educational expenditure along with extra co-curricular charges like toys, books, and many more.
- Eighth Month– The cost of having a baby doesn’t mean spending too much, but spending judiciously. As it is just one month left, try talking to your mother and another parent’s too, to know the kind of experience you should have. Start designing and plotting the room décor for the child’s play. Make all the necessary arrangements of funds beforehand. For the mother, proper diet and bed rests are a must and timely checkup to the doctor is crucial to analyze the condition and birth technique that will be used at the time of delivery.
- Ninth Month– In the last stage, when you are all done with your pre-baby financial planning, it’s time to do some effective shopping for your little one. Prepare a budget for that and enjoy this blissful time by pampering yourself and taking care of yourself and your child. Buy all the items beforehand like the child’s toys, diapers, baby food, etc. Moreover, start decorating and designing the child’s room for the happy welcome of the newly born into the world.
Thus, the cost of having a baby isn’t that difficult too. So, just follow the monthly planning to secure your finances, to lead a happy life in the future. The cost of the baby is not the main issue if you plan your budget beforehand in order to avoid unnecessary delay in the growth of the child.