Are you ready for a baby? Are you expecting a baby or know someone that is? If so then this is the perfect article for you.
I recently reviewed Generation Earn. I mentioned how many of the sections in the book were sort of useless to me in my current life situation. There was a chunk of the book dedicated to baby and wedding talk. That part wasn’t of any use to me. However, that’s the great thing about writing about personal finance. You can really write about anything that you want. Since I know couples that have recently had a baby and chances are that many young professionals will go through this eventually, I figured I could actually read the part about babies and we could talk about getting ready for a baby today.
Hopefully you were expecting your new baby, if not then it’s still all good. You still have 9 months to prepare.
The pregnancy stage is the best time to find out how much it’s going to cost you to put another person under your current health plan. You need to get this over with so that you don’t have to deal with it later on in life.
Some experts on this topic advise you to save up a few months worth of baby expenses, others urge you to get used to living life with baby-related expenses while still going through the pregnancy. Either way you should try your best to put money aside for your new found baby expenses (toys, diapers, clothes, etc.).
A friend of mine was considering buying a new car for the longest time. Finally when he found out that his wife was pregnant he decided to take the plunge and buy that new car. He felt that he needed something more reliable for the new born. Many older friends have told me that it’s a great idea to take care of your major expenses in life (home, new car, home improvements, and education) before you bring a child into the world.
I remember mocking a male friend because he was going to stay home with the new baby instead of his wife. He explained to us that he was doing this because his work granted him a one year leave of absence, while his wife could only get 6 months off. Every work place has different policies in place for maternity leaves. You should look into yours so you know exactly how much time you or your partner will be getting off
Once you’ve started to plan for your baby financially and generally, you can then move forward to worry about figuring out how you’ll pay for your new baby and baby related expenses.
You might know other couples that just had a baby, or you could even ask relatives. Chances are that you won’t be the only couple in your circle of friends to have a baby. This is why you should always help out others. Hopefully another couple that you know will be willing to loan basic baby supplies to you guys.
You can sign up at freecycle.org to find used baby items from other parents. You should also look for as many freebies as you can. I know that when my youngest brother turned 6 that my parents couldn’t wait to get rid of all of the baby stuff. Luckily for another couple in our family, they were able to pick up all of this baby stuff for free. These are major savings for a young couple in their 20s.
You never know what kind of toys your baby is going to want to play with. You also never know what kind of freebies/gifts you’ll receive for your newborn baby. It’s recommended that you save the money but hold off on any actual purchases for baby toys until after birth.
Some parents are simply too busy with their careers to take any extended time off. Unless you have a relative that is retired and willing to help you out or you work from home, chances are that you’re going to have to pay for daycare. Daycare is not cheap by any means. Young couples are often advised to consider living on $500-900 less a month. The reason for this is that this is how much you might end up forking over for daycare costs. Could you survive financially without this money in your pocket?
[Note: I'm not a parent nor am I expecting children any time soon. However, having a baby is a popular topic for young professionals. The goal of this blog to help you guys deal with any money issues that might come your way in life.]
Have any of you had a baby lately? Were you ready for it financially?
(photo credit: jcestnik)
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