It’s hard to know what to expect financially when you’re a new parent. It’s common knowledge that kids can be expensive, but you can’t fully grasp how expensive they can be until you’ve experienced parenthood for yourself. Here are some tips to help you prepare to be a new mom and budget for your beautiful new bundle of joy!
Being a new parent comes with the desire to fill a closet to the brim with the cutest baby clothes you can find. The price tags on baby clothes keep increasing, especially with inflation.
Try to hold off on buying overpriced (but super cute) clothing. Babies grow so fast that you’ll be bummed if they don’t fit by the time they’re ready to wear them.
Chances are, you’re going to receive numerous outfits as gifts. Babies outgrow clothing so fast that spending a lot of money on them is almost wasteful. If you must buy them new clothes, consider shopping secondhand for them at consignment stores.
Buying secondhand clothing can reduce your carbon footprint and help you save money. If the outfits are fancy, like for special occasions, they were most likely worn a handful of times. Skip the footwear when you can, as well.
Opt for cute little booties instead of expensive shoes your baby will grow out of at lightning speed when outdoors. Baby gear like cribs and car seats can also be excellent items to shop secondhand.
Try to limit the amount of money you spend on decorations for your baby’s nursery. You can use numerous inspirational ideas to decorate minimally without sacrificing cuteness. Try using natural elements to decorate and incorporate texture on the walls.
It’s common to want to splurge and create the cutest nursery, making all of your Pinterest dreams come to life. Realistically, your baby doesn’t spend much time in their room for a while.
You will want your baby close by when they are very young in a bassinet by your bed or sleeping next to you. So, all the money you want to spend on over-the-top decorating can be saved for something more pressing.
Adjust Your Insurance
Knowing what you will be responsible for paying out of pocket is critical to help you financially plan for your delivery.
Many factors are involved in the delivery cost, ranging from your general health and health insurance provider to your location. In Nebraska, the cost of delivery is under $9,000, but in New Jersey, it can exceed $29,000.
You will want to amend your health insurance plan to include your new baby and prenatal care. Since this can take some time, it’s helpful to review your coverage so you can budget accordingly.
There can be some hospital delivery costs that aren’t covered by health insurance. Get familiar with your health insurance plan so you know what to expect and how much money you need to try to save.
Create a Baby Budget
Financial advisors urge new parents to create a baby budget to prepare for further expenses. Regardless of income, all new parents face similar objectives in the first year of a baby’s life. Costs can rack up quickly, from prenatal care to ongoing necessities like diapers and formula.
It’s helpful to take advantage of programs that offer parents financial assistance when you qualify. It’s also wise to begin planning for college expenses. While it may seem extreme to plan so early, you will be surprised by how fast the years fly by and how much prices can skyrocket.
Beginning a 529 college plan to save for college can significantly impact your child’s continued education. Some states even offer tax deductions for contributions to 529 college plans and tax-free withdrawals.
Prepare for Maternity Leave
There are many common misconceptions about maternity leave. Don’t just assume you will be compensated the same as you would be in-office without properly going over your work policy. Timeframes for maternity leave can vary based on your occupation.
Ensure you know how much you will be paid, how much time you need to take off, and when you will return to work. These details can make a significant difference in your budgeting. Small details can add up quickly when caring for a new baby.
Be sure you’re the first to tell your boss the news and discuss maternity leave to get yourself ahead of the game. Research your rights and relevant laws to prepare yourself for maternity leave. Prepare co-workers for your absence and try not to lose all contact with them on your leave. Staying in touch about projects can minimize the difficulty of reentering the office once your maternity leave ends.
Budget-Savvy Tips for New Moms
Bringing a new baby into the world is one of the most exciting things you can do. Don’t get bogged down by stress caused by not budgeting correctly. No matter your income level, you can make a plan to ease stress and have all your ducks in a row before your baby arrives!