Preparing for the birth of your child is a thrilling, scary, stressful and exciting time, all wrapped up in one. Finance can be a major stress factor in the run-up to your child’s arrival, with plenty of different purchases and plans to worry about. Having a solid budget and a clear sense of what you’ll need money for can make things feel less overwhelming.
One Time Expenses
There are certain purchases that you’ll make when you’re pregnant that you shouldn’t have to repeat. If you plan carefully, you can often decrease these costs by shopping around for second-hand items. Some parents choose to skip certain items altogether – for example, a crib may not be necessary if you’re planning to co-sleep, and you might not need a pricy stroller if you purchase a high quality baby carrier.
- Crib and accompanying mattress and sheets (If you buy this second hand, make sure you buy a new mattress and sheets rather than re-using an old one)
- Stroller (consider a travel system that comes with a car seat included, this will definitely make life easier until the baby is big enough to need a larger car seat)
- Nursery furniture (compactum, rocking chair, changing table)
- Baby monitor
- Baby carrier/sling (invaluable during the dreaded colicky phase)
- Diaper bag
- High chair
- Play items (electric swings can be very handy, bouncer, play mats)
- First aid kit
- Bath tub
Ongoing Monthly Expenses
These smaller expenses can definitely add up in the long term, so budget carefully for them each month.
- Clothes (avoid buying a ton of newborn-sized items, as your baby may grow out of these very quickly)
- Child care
- Medical costs
- Education savings plan
- Food, once they begin solids