Whether it’s your first or fifth, babies take planning. Even in the event of an unexpected pregnancy there are still nine months leading up to baby’s arrival that will require plans of some sort! A lot of couples plan everything from baby’s conception to nursery color. A lot of these plans require spending money everything from pregnancy tests to diapers. Being prepared will ease some financial pains when it comes time to have a baby.
You don’t necessarily think of conception requiring money per se but for millions of couples worldwide, conception can be the most expensive part of having a child. We were fortunate in only requiring the purchase of pregnancy tests, which only set us back $20-$30 total but have had friends spend hundreds on fertility drugs and tens of thousands on IVF. Though I wish any couple who wanted a baby could easily have one, it’s just not that simple. There are hundreds of reasons why it doesn’t just happen for some and my heart hurts for them. Conception costs can range from a few dollars on pregnancy and, or, ovulation tests to tens of thousands for IVF. If you think getting pregnant may be difficult for you, bring you concerns up with your doctor and see if you can make plans before hand.
Now that you’ve had that “My Wife’s Pregnant!” moment, it will probably hit you that pregnancy itself can be very expensive. Though I live in Canada and don’t pay for any medical appointments, a huge proportion of the world has to pay for prenatal, pregnancy and post natal care. Make sure when you’re planning for a baby that you factor in any medical appointments, medications (even pre-natals), ultrasounds or medical tests such as bloodwork.
You will also have to clothe your growing body. While you don’t necessarily have to buy maternity clothes you will likely need to invest in a few pieces of larger or maternity items to get you through the last few months of pregnancy (and possibly first few months postpartum). I shopped around at local thrift stores, borrowed from friends and only ended up buying three or four items of my own throughout my entire pregnancy. I couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on seasonal clothes I may only wear once, for three to six months. This will obviously depend on your lifestyle too. I wear scrubs all day and was able to wear them throughout my pregnancy only buying two pairs of bigger pants so really only needed clothes for the weekend. I also recommend checking online and larger department stores as well. Old Navy, Walmart and Target all have decently sized maternity sections now at affordable prices.
After baby is born you will need stuff. Babies require a lot and again this will vary depending on choices you and your family make (such as to breastfeed or formula feed or cloth vs. disposable diapers). Shop around before you have your baby and price stuff out. Ask friends, research certain things and get an idea of how much you will need ‘extra’ per month for baby. Also factor in any maternity leaves or loss in income.
The more prepared you are financially the better off you and your family will be. You can never be too prepared for a baby. If you end up saving more than needed, reallocate the funds to something else for kids such as post secondary savings or child activities. We weren’t prepared for our daughter’s arrival and spent the first six months after she was born scrambling to get our footings. I know if we choose to have a second child we will be in a much better spot financially.
Did you plan for your baby? What steps did you take?