Having a baby can really throw one's finances into disarray. The costs of raising a baby to age 18 is estimated between $125,000-$250,000 and that is assuming your kid sponsor his/her own way to college.
A family can expect to wash out their savings of about $9,000-$11,000 after having a baby in the first year alone (for diapers, formula, baby furniture, clothing, baby gear, etc.)
And not to forget, the delivery itself. A normal vaginal delivery costs between $5,000-$8,000, and for Cesarean delivery, you could be staring at bills of $12,000 to $15,000, depending on complications which develop. Check your insurance to see if they cover these cost.
When you are toting up these mind-boggling costs of having a baby amid a recession and your spouse is laid off, things can get pretty challenging financially. But a recession need not dampen the arrival of your bundle of joy.
I feel that bringing a child into this world is a miraculous event for any couples. Implement these baby budgeting tips, and you can prevent a lot of money squabbles by spending your money wisely instead of surviving on credit cards:
1. Make your own baby food
Occasionally, there are special sales of baby foods in your neighborhood grocery stores. You can take advantage of them but I prefer making our own baby food. It may be time-consuming but you can add whatever your baby likes to it. For homemade baby recipes, click here.
If you have more than a baby, a lot of stuff can be reused. In fact, I am a big fan of hand-me-downs as it is wasteful to throw away clothes worn by an older brother or sister which are in good condition. You save hundreds of dollars a year from buying fancy baby clothes at upmarket departmental stores. Even if you are having your first kid, you can always ask a friend or neighbor for hand-me-downs.
3. Make your own baby wipes
Baby wipes are expensive but who says you can't make your own? It's easy and shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes. Be creative and follow instructions for making your own baby wipes here.
4. Garage Sales and Thrift Stores
Although hand-me-downs is a great way to save money, you should also stake out garage sales to purchase baby cloths. Other items like cribs, toys, and other baby products are offered at a bargain price during garage sales too! Also don't forget thrift stores like Good Will where you can buy maternity clothes for only $10-$20.
5. Switch to cloth diapers
Having a baby will turn any parent into an expert diaper changer. After all, you get to perform the laborious task 10-12 times a day.
When you use disposable diapers, that is a lot of money involved every month. Thus, if you don't mind doing laundry, I recommend the use of cloth diapers. You may need more effort in washing and drying the diapers but you cut down on buying diapers and save more money.
gDiapers is environmentally friendly. They're organic and feel like cloth, so your baby will feel cozy and comfortable.
You can expect to spend (until your baby is one-year-old) between $1000-$2300 if you use milk powder or ready-to-pour liquids. That works out to about $40 a week on infant formula. Breastfeeding for a year or more will reduce these cost drastically.
Besides saving money, breastfeeding is also a healthier choice. Remember the melamine tainted milk from China? You also save time time making baby food.
It may be a good idea to borrow a breast pump or even purchase one if you're planning on having more than one baby.