You’ve taken “the test,” and you are pregnant! Yay! There are baby showers to be had in the coming months, and the ability to obtain most of what you need will most likely come from the generous pockets of family and friends. But, I found out I was pregnant when my husband and I were newlyweds with very little money and a lot of debt. We assumed that the baby shower would take care of most of our necessities, and while the showers did tackle most of what we needed, I wish we had planned better. We learned quickly how important it was to budget for last-minute expenses that would pop up that we weren’t quite expecting.
Big Budget Baby Items to Save For
Once you find out you’re pregnant, contact your health insurance company to get an idea of what kind of prenatal coverage you have or don’t have and what you will be responsible for paying for once the baby is here. Also, ensure you get the baby put on your insurance in the correct amount of time, or you might get a shocking bill a few months after delivery asking for payment for the baby’s hospital bills.
Luckily, the hospital worked with us, and we got it all straightened out. However, it provided an eye-opening experience of how unexpected life would be with our new baby. The importance of having a rainy day savings set aside specifically for our children. Even if you have fantastic coverage and don’t expect to pay anything out of pocket, I recommend having at least $1,000 set aside for bills. It’s good to prepare, just in case. Heaven forbid, mom and baby cannot leave in the standard 2-4 day period. Extended care will significantly affect your bank account.
Repeat it for the people in the back! DIAPERS! Take time to set up a decent stash of diapers during your pregnancy. This way, when the baby is here, you won’t have to worry about diapers for a while. Grab all of the sizes, too. Generally, babies are not in the newborn size or size 1s for very long, so spend time building up the size range of 3-5. Hunt for coupons and deals, and purchase them from friends who are done with them. If your baby’s skin allows the use of the generic brand, I found the generic brand to work just as well at a significantly lower price.
My babies were fed formula, and by living through days and weeks of colicky babies, extreme acid reflux, and an exhausted mama, we determined that both of my boys would need the most expensive formula on the market. It was a budget killer, but when your baby cries unless fed a specific brand, you will do it. So be prepared for the worst and hope for the best regarding the food budget.
If the last 3 months of your pregnancy fall during holidays or birthday parties, decide if those are events you will be attending while very largely pregnant or very newly postpartum. If they are events you want to attend, or at least send a gift, PLAN (and budget) AHEAD! Get gifts ahead of time; get them wrapped, organized, and ready to go. Trying to get out with a newborn and find the money for gifts during the holiday rush at the mall and stores is not always fun. Uh, germs—so take some time and plan ahead!
SERIOUSLY. Childcare can be out of this world expensive. If you will pay for daycare, why not start tucking money away now? It will hopefully alleviate the weight of this new bill and will help you transition into this new world of figuring out childcare.
Money isn’t everything in life. We know that. A healthy, happy baby is always the end goal in any pregnancy. However, money does give you options. With a new baby, you want to be able to have the ability to make the best possible choices for your little one. Sometimes, that means expensive formula, a specific brand of diapers, or costly medication. But we do those things for our kids without blinking because they are our most important things now. Take the time to plan and prioritize what means the most to you in raising your baby. Happy saving!