Having a child is an incredible, life-changing event. With so much to look forward to, planning early can help your family prepare for the exciting new challenges ahead. As you get ready to grow your family, it's important to plan a place for your little one in the family budget too!
To help you get started, here are some of the most common expenses to expect when you're expecting:
Budget for baby gear
It's no secret that raising a child can get expensive, especially in the early years. Newborns need stuff—and a lot of it! Some of these supplies are essential (like diapers), while others are helpful, but not totally necessary. As you make your list of baby gear, be sure to separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves, for example:
- Diapers and wipes
- Diaper bag
- Basic clothes
- Crib and bedding
- Car seat
- Baby monitor
- Formula, baby food and bottles
- Expensive nursery décor
- Bottle warmer
- Wipe warmer
- Portable playard/crib
- Baby swing or bouncy seat
- Rocking chair or glider
- Smartphone-controlled baby monitor
- Extra outfits, shoes and accessories
Include the essential items in your baby budget and create a monthly spending plan with our easy-to-use financial worksheets.
Consider childcare options
Another major expense to factor in your new-baby budget is childcare. According to Care.com, the average childcare cost for an infant is $211 per week at a daycare center. Daycare isn't your only option, however. One parent may choose to stay at home or work flexible hours. Or, you might be lucky enough to have a family member who lives nearby and is willing to watch your child. Keep in mind that childcare costs typically drop with the child's age. Knowing that you'll pay less over time can make it easier to budget for the costs of childcare.
Keep saving for the future
It's never too early to plan and save for the special moments in your little one's life. As soon as your baby arrives, you can start a 529 College Savings Plan, which allows you to save for college costs tax-free. Along with college, there are other milestones you might want to start saving for now, such as:
- Baby's first holiday season
- A dream family vacation
- Your child's first car
- Your child's wedding
Many parents will open a savings account in their newborn's name and deposit a small amount each week. When the child is old enough, they can start using the account to save their birthday and allowance money. Opening a youth savings account is a great way to help your child save for life's future expenses and learn the basics of money management.
Adding a little one to the family may come with new expenses, but budgeting ahead will help you to have the peace of mind to focus on your new bundle of joy!
At Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU), we're here to help you through every stage of life, including starting or growing your family. Learn how WPCU helps make budgeting for your little one a little easier by checking out our helpful resources or visiting one of our convenient Member Centers.