Tips for Pregnancy Week 13Brought to you by
The Baby and the Budget: Planning ahead for these expenses can soften the blow to your budget.
There are many considerations for trying to develop a working budget that includes all the costs associated with your new addition. Of course, your budget will be influenced by your individual situation, such as your income and expenses, whether or not you'll be going from two incomes to only one, and all the usual factors that come into play when planning a budget. It can be challenging to look into a future of financial uncertainty. In order to better prepare, here are some costs to consider when determining your budget.
Health care (including hospital charges, doctor visits, prescriptions, and insurance costs)
Your insurance will determine how much you pay for your prenatal care and delivery. Special circumstances, like bed rest, multiple births, or a NICU, stay may influence these costs. You can check with your insurance company to find out your individual co-pays and deductibles. Once you are out of the hospital, you'll be seeing a lot of the pediatrician. You'll probably be visiting the office at least seven times in the first year, and that is only factoring in your well-child visits. You should also consider that adding a baby means increasing your monthly insurance costs. Just how much more you'll be paying depends on your individual plan.
Food (including breastfeeding necessities, formula and bottles, and baby food)
Many women figure that they will nurse for the first year, but don't consider the costs of nursing, or of a possible transition to formula. If you nurse, you may want to rent or buy a breast pump, especially if you are returning to work. If you are formula feeding, you'll be buying formula regularly. Babies with reflux, allergies, or other special needs may be on special formulations that can cost significantly more.
Once babies start solids, there are jars of pureed food, snacks, and more. Some mothers will find that making their own baby food proves to be a more cost-effective solution. It can be as simple as using a steamer to cook, a blender to puree, and an ice cube tray for freezing individual portions.
Lots, and lots, and lots of diapers… Collect coupons, buy on sale, and try out store brands to see if more expensive really means better. Want to estimate costs? The average newborn will go through ten to twelve diaper changes a day. Check out the prices of various brands to do the math.
Of course, there are other costs to be considered, but these are a few of the major players. For many parents, the baby's arrival will soon show a change in the charges on your credit card bill. Instead of designer shoes and drinks with friends, you'll see designer shoes (of the baby variety) and diapers. What can you do to prepare? Save when you can. Try to prepare for maternity leave early by living on one salary and saving your earnings.