Finances for First-Time Parents
What to Plan for Financially when You’re Expecting
Most of us know someone expecting baby number one. Or maybe it’s you! For a lot of new parents, finances are not the biggest priority. Planning ahead can make the first year easier so you don’t have to think about money. Instead, you can spend the time enjoying your new, expanded family. To avoid the stress of unexpected costs associated with your newborn and to create a secure financial future, there are some steps you can take to make sure you stay on track.
Understand the health costs of having your child
Check with your health insurance provider to estimate the costs of: prenatal care, labor and delivery, and other associated charges.
Plan for parental leave
Decide if you and your partner will take maternity leave, paternity leave, or both. Also, review your workplace and state policies on parental leave so you’ll know exactly how much time you’ll have off work.
Don’t postpone college planning — get started now
Even though college seems like years away, starting early means you are securing your child’s future now and avoiding a hefty bill later. Tuition in 18 to 20 years is expected to cost anywhere between $300,000 to $400,000.
Make a budget and try to stick to it
Research post-delivery expenses, like diapers, medical costs, strollers and other equipment, childcare, extra food, and household expenses. You can also compare the cost of essential items in different stores. You may be able to take advantage of new parent offers and seasonal sales. There are also lots of free items listed on Nextdoor.com or Facebook Marketplace, along with local Buy Nothing groups. Take advantage of budgeting tools that help keep you on track: youneedabudget.com, mint.com, or quicken.com.
Start an emergency fund.
Any parent will tell you that kids can be accident-prone, so it’s best to anticipate this and have some money saved for a rainy day. Aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses.