123s of Baby Budgeting
The average child will cost his/her parents $221,000, and that doesn’t include college. There are many areas to consider when preparing for your baby budget. Some of these include:
• Baby Supplies: Experts suggest stocking up on baby items in a fiscally savvy way. For instance, you can buy used shoes since infants don’t wear shoes for long. Also, borrow as much as you can from friends who have older children. You can also borrow other supplies like toys or even cribs. Just make sure any second-hand items have not been subject to a recall.
• Medical Expenses: Child birth alone could range from $8,000 to $10,000 or more depending on your insurance coverage and where you live. Choosing a midwife or birthing center could cut your costs by half or more. If you have insurance, ask your company about your copay, deductible and other related costs.
• Childcare: According to the 2009 National Survey of Childcare Resource and Referral State Networks, the average cost of childcare exceeds the annual cost of food per family in nearly every state. You can ask a loved one or close friend to watch your child for a reduced rate. Sharing childcare duties can also be a community event. You can take turns watching each other’s children for the evening or during the daytime.
• College Savings: If money is tight, some experts say college savings should be your last priority. You could start with saving as little as $10 a month and work your way up. Experts say to never sacrifice your own retirement for your baby’s college fund.
SMART WOMAN CONTACT:
Kelley Long, CPA