Today I am talking about babies and what they can do to your checkbook! I am interested in this topic because last Friday I attended the Edie Kochenour Lecture with the topic of ‘Do babies matter?’ It was a very interesting and informative presentation that focused more on the takeaways between women and tenure career positions. For me I am more interested and curios as to what price do babies come at? Of course babies are fun, so cute and a huge milestone for anyone’s life that they are of course to me considered priceless. But at the end of the day no one can deny that they do not come cheap. They are not a one-time payment or a loan that can be paid off because once you become a parent it is one of those things that you will be for the rest of your life. According to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture data the average cost of raising a child until they are 18 is $234,900. This startling number does not include college, weddings, help after 18 and could even be missing some within the first 18 years. But don’t fret and scare yourself away from the joy of children, if we all waited until we were really “ready” would anyone have children?
Here are a few tips that can help you prepare for the financial aspect of babies!
- Get in control of your debt now: Saving yourself from paying that monthly payment will really help you once that little one comes. If you have a car payment or credit card debt begin to pay more than the minimum amount to get it paid off sooner.
- Plan ahead for your budget: If you or your spouse is going to stop working then you should plan to only rely on one steady income. Begin to get used to that or buy things far in advance.
- Start a 529-savings plan: If you are going to want your child to have secondary education then you should start a college savings plan as soon as you can. Plus the sooner you start with this the more time the money has to build interest.
- Have baby showers: They really do save you money whether it is with your friends, family, or coworkers! They all are going to be happy for you at this time and that is what showers are for is to help you as a new parent. Having one of these can really eliminate some of the cost of buying things for your baby.
- Coupon Shop: It is never to early to start cutting out coupons and shopping ahead of time before the baby comes. If having a baby is something that you are sure is in your future then buying diapers, formula, and clothes etc. ahead of time only gets you prepared sooner and eliminates that cost when the baby has come.