The U.S. is the most expensive country in the world to have a baby, and while price tags vary depending on the hospital, according to a Childbirth Connection study as reported recently by
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That makes preparing for the costs of having a baby a must, from the moment you learn you’re about to be a parent, or ideally, well before.
First estimate your medical costs. How much will you have to pay after insurance? You may need to speak with the appropriate human resources representative or the insurance company directly to get an idea as to what your out-of-pocket costs will be. You’ll also need to consider the loss of wages from your job (most companies in the U.S. provide only unpaid maternity or family leave, though you may be able to use some paid vacation time), as well as diapers, formula (if you don’t plan on breast feeding) various gear like a crib, stroller and car seat, and so on. Consider buying at least some of those items used and you’re likely to save quite a bit.
If you haven’t already, start saving. Financial experts recommend having at least three months’ income aside for emergencies before baby comes into the world.
One of the biggest impacts to your financial situation is the loss of income. When preparing your budget, be sure to plan well in advance as to how you’ll pay the bills on just one salary. You might even practice doing this while your household still earns two incomes in order to get into the habit of spending less while saving at the same time. You may need to find ways to cut back, such as using coupons and getting rid of cable TV. If you have two vehicles, consider sharing one and selling the other if possible. As you’ll probably need more space, this is a great time to sell any items you’re not using and eliminate clutter. You’ll gain space and raise some money too.
If you (or your spouse) plan on going back to work, start searching for child care now, long before any maternity leave is over. Finding the right situation for your baby takes time and can be a very long process. Depending on your budget, your options may be even more limited. The