What to Expect Financially, When You’re Expecting

Parents feeding their baby

The average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child related expenses in their baby’s first year of life. Having a newborn doesn’t have to be a financial crisis. If you have a realistic view on the expenses you’re likely to face, do some advance planning and keep your eye out for deals, you may be able to save a bundle on your bundle of joy.

Here are some of the expense categories to consider:

  1. Nutrition
    1. Cost: $70 – $150 per month for formula (or more if your baby has special dietary needs), costs may be less or similar for breastfeeding depending on supplies or gear purchased.
    2. Ways to save: If you decide to use formula, consider purchasing a store brand or generic. Always look for coupons from the manufacturers, whether purchasing formula or supplies for breastfeeding.
  2. Childcare
    1. Cost: Childcare costs vary. Plan for $10 per hour per child. If full-time childcare is needed the cost could be over $1,000 per month.
    2. Ways to save: Consider looking for in-home care from a relative or friend who may charge less than traditional day care. Another option may be to coordinate work schedules with your significant other to cover some of the time needed for care.
  3. Diapers
    1. Cost: $30 – $60 per month for disposables.
    2. Ways to save: Using cloth diapers may save you money. If you prefer disposable, buying in bulk is the best way to save. Again, signing up for coupons through the manufacturer also will help with savings.
  4. Gear
    1. Cost: Baby gear costs vary. Some websites estimate an average family spends $2,000.
    2. Ways to save: Create a registry so family and friends can join in and help with bigger ticket items. Start with the basics: a good car seat and stroller. Check for items at garage sales, secondhand stores or community websites.

Other big expenses include hospital charges (for mom and baby). Also keep in mind the potential loss of income while mom and/or dad is home with baby on maternity or paternity leave.

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