Our daughter is turning one next week and it has had me in a reflective mood. I’ve been thinking about how much has changed over the past year. We became parents and, every day since then, we’ve gotten to watch our little one grow. A lot has changed financially as well.
Last year, I wrote a blog post delving into the true cost of having a baby. IVF and fertility treatments set aside, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to deliver a baby. Then, you have to consider the costs of the first year. So, does my post from last year still hold true?
Labor & Delivery Cost
I updated the blog when we received the bill from labor and delivery. When all was said and done, my out-of-pocket cost wasn’t that much. My insurance covered most of the medications and procedures leading up to and during delivery. For many people, this is not the case and they wind up having a bill in their mailbox for $30K two months after giving birth.
Our Monthly Budget Changes
The biggest change for our family has been the increased monthly spending. Specifically, our food and home costs have increased. There is a monthly clothing budget that wasn’t there before because kids grow so fast. Other additions to the budget have included formula ($300/month), diapers ($70/month), wipes ($15/month), plus all the extra food that seems to be consumed in the house these days.
Not to mention, all three of us are home every day. So, the electric and gas bills are higher than they used to be. In truth, this has been the true cost of adding a child to our family. We’ve seen more monthly budget changes than anything else.
Thankfully, my husband and I are both working full-time and can meet the changes to our finances as they come. We’ve even had the cash to cover several emergencies more recently. Our dryer quit and we had to pay $390 for a new one to be installed. We had to pay landscapers to take care of a bush on our property ($250). No worries, our EF saved us! (Focusing on saving during pregnancy and since the birth of our daughter was definitely the right move for us.)
Being ‘Prepared’ For Children
My mom always told me that if I waited “until I was ready” to have children that I’d never have any. That’s the truth! If you want to have children, it is a good idea to make sure you have a relatively stable financial life. However, don’t think you have to have surpluses and everything perfectly in place before starting your family. Because, in all honesty, things will never be 100% perfect. You’ll have to adjust to your new baby’s needs and your own needs as well.
You can prepare and never actually be prepared for having kids.
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Amanda is an editor and writer. She has a passion for sharing information that helps people and communities to better themselves in some way. In addition to writing online, she also freelances for local newspapers in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.