How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby?

by Leon on February 3, 2013

average cost of having a babyA beautiful baby is something that many of us dream of having someday. And while it goes without saying that a bouncing baby boy or girl can bring so much to our lives, it would be totally irresponsible (plus, a bit delusional) of us to ignore the fact that while children are a worthwhile investment, they are also a pretty expensive one.

According to an article that was published in Forbes magazine in the summer of 2012, it would appear that a child, on average, costs $235,000 to raise and guess what? That’s before factoring in their college education. So, in preparing for a bundle of joy, what are some of the things that you need to have in place to make things less financially burdensome? We’re so glad that you asked:

A job. You would think that this one would be a no-brainer but the reality is that with the kind of economy that we (currently) have, a lot of individuals are struggling to make ends meet. It’s one thing for an adult to live off of Ramen noodles for a week. A baby needs a lot more than that. Therefore, steady income is an absolute must.

Health insurance. OK, who doesn’t groan at the thought of this particular topic? Even if you do have a full-time gig, your employer may not offer the best of benefits and if you are an at-home or contracted worker, it’s usually up to you to come up with your own insurance plan. A child needs a pediatrician. This means you need to have the means to pay for it. This means that you need some good health insurance.

A savings account. Children are a lot like houses in the sense that while they do incur debt, it ends up being well worth your while in the long run. However, the more proactive that you can be with your finances, the less you will have to rely on credit cards and loans to take care of your child’s unexpected needs. If you have a significant amount of money in your savings account (about 3-5 months of your salary), that can give you some breathing room…just in case.

A childcare plan. Whether you’re planning to birth a child or adopt one from a foster agency, if you plan on staying at home full-time, this won’t be as much of an issue for you. However, if you are going to go back to work after your child is several weeks or months old, you are going to need to have a childcare plan in place and here’s the thing: on average, childcare can run you between $130-200 weekly. As you’re trying to figure your finances out, definitely make sure to take this into serious consideration.

Transportation. If you happen to live in a city where there is good mass transportation, that can definitely work into your favor (although, you still need to think about your child’s safety in going that route). But if you don’t then you need to be able to have reliable transportation. It can be stressful, trying to rely on someone else to get you to where you and your baby need to go. So finally, in factoring the costs to have a baby, a good mode of transportation is an absolute must.

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