The arrival of a new baby is exciting and will bring about many changes to both your life and lifestyle. There will be both newfound appreciation and adjustments to be made when you welcome a new baby. Of course, there will be expenses which you did not have, pre-baby, but don’t confuse those expenses with having to. They can also be overly expensive but they don’t have to be. Even though budgeting for a new baby can seem overwhelming if you plan and budget properly, the transition into parenthood can be easier than you think will be like taking candy from a baby. While every family’s needs are different, the following is a can’t tell you everything that you will need, we can give you a guideline to the basic budgeting essentials for first- time parents.
According to the most recent data from the Consumer Expenditures Survey, in 2015, the average middle-income family will spend about $13,000 in that first year. There are a lot of one time purchases necessary and the costs will vary greatly depending on where you live and the quality of the items. Here’s our summary of the costs you can expect to find.
Medical Bills ($1200 & up)
Make sure to review your insurance policy to find out exactly how much you will have to pay out of pocket for maternity care. According to data from Castlight Health, the average cost for a routine vaginal delivery is about $10,500 and will vary depending on where you live. Cesarean delivery will average $17,000 and also vary depending on location.
Home Needs ($800)
Between the crib, gate, changing table, and various other miscellaneous items plan to spend about $800. This is an area where personal preference dictates the cost. If you are on a tight budget, you could consider co-sleeping to reduce costs. It’s also good for the baby!
Travel Needs ($800)
Most people need to purchase a stroller, a rear-facing car seat, and a baby carrier to keep their sanity as well as to get out of the house. The prices for strollers and car seats can cost as much as $1,000 or as little as $80 each. If you travel by air - even if only a couple times per year - keep in mind that typically air travel is free for children, two years old and under. After that, however, expect to pay full-fare for your toddler on any trips you take. Find a budget that works for your income and stick to it!
If you didn’t receive a mountain of baby clothes from your baby shower, you can expect to spend approximately $60 a month. This will continue as your child continues to grow -- and they grow fast!
The average baby will use about 2,700 diapers in their first year which will add up to about $550. Then add $20 a month for those baby wipes. You could consider the eco-friendly option of using cloth diapers to reduce your long-term costs.
If you’re breastfeeding around the clock, you can expect to see little to no costs. Aside from a breastfeeding pillow ($75) and a breast pump ($250), you won’t have to buy much else. If breastfeeding isn’t possible, the costs for formula ranges from $900-$3,000 in that first year depending on the type used. Around the 6-month mark, babies can begin eating solid foods complimented by milk. This will cost an average of $60 a month.
This will be your single largest expense. For full-time care, budget for at least $800-$2,400 a month. Full-time, center-based care averages about $10,000 a year. But within this average, depending on where you live, how much care is required, and what type you use, you might be able to get away with as little as $400 a month. If you’re on a tight budget, find people you trust, like your parents, to help take care of your child and reduce the costs of childcare care. One of the most important factors to consider when planning your budget is whether or not a parent can and should stay at home. If one of the parents will be staying at home parent, there will be a reduction in the family income but you will also eliminate the largest expense.
When you and your partner are budgeting for the first year, don’t forget to factor in the 12 weeks of unpaid leave one of you may have to take.
Babies may be small, but they require a lot of stuff, a lot of time, a lot of planning, and a lot of love. Proper budgeting and planning will go a long way in welcoming this new member to your family. The main thing to keep in mind is that you will be able to afford your baby on any income and situation, as long as you have an emergency fund, budget well, and follow our guide.