How Much Should You Budget for a Baby?

How Much Should You Budget for a Baby? thumbnail
Expect to see your annual needs increase after having a baby.

Raising a baby is not cheap. In your infant’s first year of life, you will see your expenses increase by an average of $3,250 per month, when you add up medical expenditures, the costs of diapers, clothing, day care and food. By using some budgeting tips, you can lessen the impact on your family budget.

  1. Medical Expenses

    • After you bring your baby home from the hospital, you aren’t done with the medical expenses. If you have health insurance, your co-pay per medical visit may average $25, depending on your insurance plan. If your little one becomes ill, you have to take him to the pediatrician for an exam and diagnosis, then, if you receive a prescription, you need to pay for that, too. If your insurance plan includes prescriptions, you will need to cover the co-pay for the medication.

    Day Care

    • If you and your partner both work, the baby needs to spend part of his day in day care. You may pay up to $1,200 per month; depending on where you live, you may pay less or you might pay more. Annually, expect to pay over $14,000 for one year of day care for one child, writes WebMD.

    Diapers

    • Your baby will use an average of 75 diapers a week. In one month, he will have soiled over 300. In one year, you will change your baby an average of 3,600 times, meaning that, by the time you toilet-train him, you will have bought more than 7,000 diapers – you may pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for disposable diapers before your child begins using regular underpants. If you buy packages of diapers at club stores, you may save a few dollars per package.

    Food

    • As your baby grows and begins eating baby cereal and jars of baby food, your weekly food budget will increase. While the amounts you feed the baby are small, they do add up, especially as his appetite grows. Expect to pay more than $100 per week for cereal, jars of vegetables, meats, combined meals and fruits. If you buy baby biscuits or any specialty foods, such as yogurts, this may add to your weekly food expenses.

    Monthly Baby Expenses

    • Your baby needs diapers and baby wipes. In his first few months at home, you do not need very much clothing, especially in the summer months. T-shirts, onesies and socks will get him through warm months. If your baby was born in the winter, you will need sleepers, receiving blankets and heavier blankets to keep him warm.

      Include a car seat, baby crib, bedding, blankets, a chest of drawers, baby bath, toiletry supplies, small nail clippers, a thermometer, baby monitor, washcloths and hooded baby towels.

    Budgeting Tips

    • Save on the cost of baby food by pureeing your own baby food. Buy supplies, such as diapers and baby wipes, in bulk. Buy larger sizes of baby clothing. This way, you will have clothing on hand when your baby experiences a growth spurt. This also saves you money over time. Rather than buying baby supplies and clothing, borrow them. Many times, the items you borrow have barely been used or worn, allowing you to get good use out of them. Buy new only when it comes to the car seat and crib, because your baby’s safety is worth more than the savings of buying a used item.

      Take advantage of tax deductions – you are allowed to deduct between 20 percent and 35 percent of your annual child care expenses, not counting what your state may allow you to deduct, according to WebMD. Beyond everything else, make and stick to a budget. If you spend only on a cash basis, you’ll know you have the money on hand when you need to buy something for your baby.

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