How to Prepare for the Costs of Having a Baby

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 The Guardian, the average for an uncomplicated vaginal birth and newborn care totaled nearly $33,000. For a caesarean section, the average is over $51, 000.


 


These days, the advanced technology of medical billing software aims to ensure that patients, and their insurance companies, pay all that’s owed as quickly as possible. And, if you don’t have the means you’re going to be hounded by collectors or possibly forced into bankruptcy.


 


 


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.



Estimate the Cost


 


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.



Start Saving Now


 


 


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.



Living on One Salary


 


 


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.



Plan for Child Care


 


 


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 average cost of child care in California is $1,683 per month, in Washington DC, it’s nearly $3,000. Even in the least expensive states, like Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas, it’s around $900 a month, a large chunk compared to the low-income average in those states.


 


 


 


 

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comments (5)


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    Nice advices, thank you! I agree that we live in the most expensive country and after childbirth, we will have a huge new expense. That’s why I cannot afford to be careless and start my maternity leave. I'm about to be successful with my remote online tutoring. Writing college essays and other academic paper samples I earn some extra money for living

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