Looking forward to your first child? According to American Pregnancy Association, there will be more than 6 million people pregnant in the United States in 2012 and although it's undoubtedly a time for celebration, it's also time for some financial planning. In the excitement of planning for the upcoming addition to the family, it's easy to forget about the added expense that will come with the delivery.
In a survey done by babycenter.com, in your child's first year, you will spend close to $10,000. If that seems like a lot, you might not have thought of all of the expenses that you'll incur. In 2011, Babycenter.com did a survey asking moms about the unexpected expenses that came with having a new child.
Loss of Income
Most companies no longer compensate new parents for maternity leave. Many use sick leave or short-term disability as a way to mitigate the loss of income. Consider depositing money into a flexible spending account or health savings account so pretax dollars can be used for many of your child's expenses.
If you and your spouse work outside of the home, you may not realize how much money you save on utility costs each day, but when one of you take time off of work to care for your newborn, there is no longer a cost savings. Many survey respondents said that their utility costs doubled when the baby arrived.
Insurance isn't as good as it once was. When you were born, your parents may have paid nothing out of pocket, but today it isn't uncommon to pay more than $1,500 for the birth of your child. Add to that the $20 co-pays that come with each visit to the pediatrician, as well as immunizations and possibly a trip or two to the emergency room, and the costs are much higher than you anticipated. (For more, check out Top 5 Ways To Budget For A Baby.)
Although you might think that the birth of your child is the perfect time to eat out less, survey respondents claimed the opposite. You'll be exhausted and rather than cooking, may succumb to the convenience of fast food.
Not only that, if you decide to breast feed, associated expenses can quickly add up. If you're working and need a breast pump, plan to spend $150 to $200 for a high-end model or a little less for a mid-grade unit. You may also need nursing clothes, which could cost you $500 or more once the final bill arrives.
Are you planning to take baby classes with your child? There are a variety of classes available for moms who want to develop their child's cognitive abilities early. These classes can cost $100 or more per month. Don't forget about all of the toys, furniture, diapers, changing table and the many other must have products for the new mom. As one mother said, "we're a marketer's dream."
The Bottom Line
Having a child is a wonderful time for all couples, but the bills that come with it are not so wonderful. If you're not yet pregnant, you have time to save for that first year. If you are pregnant, start saving now and you'll spend less time worrying about bills and more time savoring those precious moments of your child's first year. (For related reading, see New Baby, New Tax Break.)