Children are a special blessing and their arrival brings boundless love and joy into our lives that you can’t put a price on. But adding a child to the household impacts the family budget–and women especially–in very measurable ways. Whether this is your first child or your fourth, here are some financial matters to think about and plan for before and after baby arrives.
Budget for baby
Some expenses typically increase when you add a baby to the household, including:
- Groceries, including diapers, formula (you may use some even if you’re nursing), and baby food
- Clothing and baby equipment
- Transportation costs–Will you need to buy a larger, more practical, or second car?
- Housing costs–Will you need to move to a larger apartment or house, or will you simply need to push a bureau a few feet to make room for a crib?
If a housing move is in the cards but you aren’t able to do it before baby arrives, don’t worry. Plan as best you can ahead of time–request a free copy of your credit report and clear up any issues, compare mortgage rates, request a preapproval, look at real estate listings to get an idea of the inventory available in your price range, get estimates to remodel your existing space (if that’s a possibility), and so on.
Thinking about the ways a child can impact the family budget often leads to a larger question.