How to Financially Prepare for a Baby

Money Planning Tips for your New Addition from a Financial Coach

Making important money decisions when baby is on the way.

Congratulations, baby is on the way! You’ve seen the pregnancy test plus symbol, been moody, emotional, nauseous in the mornings and now, reality sets in: BABIES COST MONEY!

Thoughts of excitement, fear, apprehension and great enthusiasm are probably all present at the same time...and with good reason: According to the USDA annual report known as “The Cost of Raising a Child”, the average middle-income family will spend $233,610 from birth through age 17 on child-rearing expenses. (And this doesn’t even begin to touch college!)

As a mom of two, and a financial and stewardship coach for over seven years, I hope to help ease your mind of financial fright and give you some action steps to eliminate the fears of managing money with a new addition on the way.

How to Financially Prepare for Baby's Arrival

Renowned financial expert, Dave Ramsey, says on his website, “Once you learn about your new addition, all you’ll want to do is dream. What will it look like? Will it have your eyes and my smile? Will its hair be curly or straight? Will it have any hair at all? Will it be a boy or a girl? Sooner than later, though, you’ll need to float down from your dreams and land on the ground long enough to face your financial reality.”

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These surefire tips will help you make sure you’re able to greet the baby of your dreams without breaking the bank. Sure, it takes some learning, effort and investment, but isn’t that true about anything worthwhile?

Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table. -Proverbs 14:23 MSG

Make Sure You’re Living on a Budget

It usually takes about 90 days as a couple to get into a good rhythm on a written, zero-based budget. Good news! If you’re not currently budgeting, you’ve got nine months to practice! If you are, awesome! Start to tweak your new budget, planning ahead for upcoming baby needs, either from past experience or by talking to experienced moms. There are also tons of resources on Babywise.Life about must-haves for a newborn and this article I wrote about living our family’s financial journey.

Make Budget Adjustments Right Away

Think about upcoming changes to your financial situation and begin to implement the differences right away. Will mom (or dad) take on the ultimate career move and stay home with baby? If so, begin living on that adjusted income. Do you need to research some ways to make extra money from home? There's no time like the present.

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According to a 2010 USDA report found in Parenting magazine, the average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in their baby’s first year of life. (WOW!) By age two, parents are up to more than $12,500 per year. You’ll have diapers, wipes, clothing, and if you’re not breastfeeding, formula costs to consider as well.

Mom’s belly (and appetite) will inevitably grow, and that means you’ll need to budget for maternity clothing and perhaps even an addition to your food budget. Maybe mom-to-be will want to join a prenatal yoga class or you’ll have the addition of some parenting or birthing classes, supplements, and maybe even a doula or midwife.

Let’s not forget additional medical expenses involved with pregnancy, health care and childbirth. Even with good insurance, you have many costs to consider:
● Co-payment amounts for doctor visits
● Deductible before co-insurance
● Your maximum out-of-pocket for the year
● Your percentage of co-insurance
● Type of birthing facility
● Any additional costs incurred by going out of network

Really look at your budget and life under a microscope and come to agreements early on in your pregnancy with your spouse to prevent challenges later.

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him - Psalm 127:3 NLT

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Buying for Baby

Your pockets will be itching to buy everything you see for baby everywhere. You’ll want a Joanna Gaines-inspired nursery and the latest fashions you see in Pregnancy magazine. At some point, you’ll hit full nesting mode.

However, remember to begin budgeting for baby and really making decisions based upon needs vs. wants. Talk with seasoned moms to see what you’ll really need. Also, consider what gifts may arrive for your baby shower, and what you are able to purchase second-hand to stay incredibly budget-savvy. Make sure you’re sticking to your budget and not racking up debt by paying cash for baby-related purchases, and staying far away from the plastic.

Get Your Insurances in Order

If you don’t already have term life insurance for mom and dad, get that in order now. Even if mom isn’t the 'main breadwinner', it would be impossible to replace her physical duties without a substantial salary for full-time help so dad could continue working. In our financial plan, our life insurance comes high at the top of the priority list. Additionally, make sure your will is updated and consider creating a family living trust.

Begin Saving for Baby’s Future NOW

According to Senior Vice President of Primerica, Ken Hobbs II, “There is no better time than now to plan ahead with a financial coach. The steps you take today will make a huge impact on your child’s and family’s future! You can benefit from multiple forms of tax-favored savings including 529 plans and UGMAs, and gain even more benefits from wise saving now more than ever with new tax laws.”

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Help Eliminate Worry by Building a “Baby Emergency Fund”

If your current budget includes paying down debt, you may want to consider making minimum payments for the maternity season in case of extra healthcare needs or emergencies. Then, once mom and baby are home and healthy, you’ll have the large chunk of funds you’ve been accumulating to put towards the debt. You can add this savings to a money market savings account.

Wherever you are with your financial plan, it’s never too late (or too early) to get started making an impact on your future. Don’t become paralyzed by money fears, get diligent and fiscally savvy to make money work for you and your family’s future.

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
- Proverbs 21:5 MSG

Have more questions about how to prepare financially for baby? Leave a comment below or reach out to us on our Babywise.Life Facebook page; we'd love to hear from you!

Jen Reyneri

Jen Reyneri

Renaissance Woman Jen Reyneri and her husband Luis often live life on the road with their two home-schooled sons. Popular author and speaker, Jen is founder of Spirited and spirit filled, she savors life, poetic words, sabbaticals and strong coffee.

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