When we prepare for a new baby, there are many things to consider and prepare for. There are so many expenses involved, from the prenatal visits that add up, and that is before baby is even here, to all of the many doctors visits you will have once baby is here. That does not include all of the other expenses like the clothes for the new baby, the furniture, like the crib and a dresser and what about the formula and diapers? When it comes to the formula and diapers, well those expenses come just about weekly, and it does not stop there. Babies grow very fast, and they grow out of the clothes very fast. I learned after having my daughter that instead of buying 20 newborn outfits, to only buy 10 then stock up on onsies, gowns and footies because the newborn clothes only fit for about a week. With Wyatt, he never even wore the newborn clothes and he only wore his 0-3 months for about a month, so even then, I had to save the receipts so I could exchange for what he needed. I know that when I had Estrella, I was nowhere near prepared. Not mentally and definitely not financially. Her dad and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, we were young and when it came to saving and spending we had the two backwards. I had to learn and pull my head out of the clouds and quick. It was not a easy thing to do either. We made mistakes, a lot of them, but I learned from them, and I learned that having a baby is not a cheap thing in any way what so ever. I also know, that after talking to friends over the years that I am not the only one who thought they knew it all and who thought they knew what they were doing. In fact, I was far from it. I remember thinking, how could a box of diapers cost so much, and how is it that this little can of formula is so expensive. I also remember feeling the anxiety and fear of how I was going to be able to make ends meet when I became a single mom when she was a baby, right before I had met my husband. Having a baby, working and going to school, and trying to do it all on your own is not easy and I know that when they say that it takes so much to raise a child, I honestly can not say how I did it, but I did. So when my husband and I were married and we decided to have children, the whole idea scared me. Not because I was bringing another life into the world, but because of the thought of there being any financial struggles. We planned on having Robert. We did not plan on all of the medical issues that came along with him, which no parent does, and with that, comes the financial issues. I mean, with a healthy child you are looking at spending at least $12,000 on child-related expenses in the first year of life. According to TransUnion, parents will spend about $50 a week on formula, baby food and diapers. Then by age 2, parents are looking at spending about $12,500 per year on that same child. Having a new baby should be a happy occasion, but say you miss a payment to the doctor, well, your credit score will go down, and that is not so joyous. The people from TransUnion know that having a new baby is a joyous occasion for families, and they want to help parents celebrate and help pay some of those baby expenses by hosting the TransUnion Baby Shower Blowout Sweepstakes where you could win $5,000 to spend at Diapers.com!! To enter this amazing sweepstakes, head over to the TransUnion Facebook Page and enter on their TransUnion Baby Shower Blowout!
While starting a family is a very exciting time, it is also important to remember that the little bundle of joy can sometimes come with a big price tag and it is important to be financially prepared. TransUnion provides the following tips for starting your new family off on the right financial foot:
- Make a list of the essentials and the "nice to haves" for your baby and focus on the essentials.
- Evaluate your medical insurance policy to see what expenses will be covered during pregnancy and infancy.
- Skip the top-of-the-line, high-priced stroller or crib with all the bells and whistles. Consider purchasing a highly recommended, reputable and safe stroller or crib that still fits within your budget and you'll have money left over for diapers and formula.
- While it may seem early, couples can open a tax-advantaged or other college fund for their newborn by setting aside a specific amount each month. This can help alleviate stress when it's time to send kids off to school.
- Research the cost of childcare and discuss which options are right for your family.
- Do your best to be sure your financial house is in order before baby arrives. You can get started on this by working together to reduce debts and making sure both of you have credit that's in good standing.
- Create a "baby budget" in advance of having the baby. Consider putting away money now for daycare, diapers, food and clothes. Remember, childcare services can cost a few hundred dollars per week or more and just one container of formula can run as much as $25-30 and it goes fast.
- Having a baby is an exciting time, but don't let spending on gifts and clothes for your unborn child get out of control. Kids grow out of their newborn clothes and move on from one toy to the next very quickly.
- Once your little one has arrived, start a nest egg for him or her. Instead of registering for gifts, consider asking your friends and family to contribute to his or her college fund. That way when the big day arrives and they leave the nest, they can use that money to fund their education.