Baby registries tend to be full of the fun and useful essentials for welcoming a baby, but what about the other expenses that come with adding a child to your family? The things you can't really register for?
None of it is fun to buy. Actually, it’s downright annoying to budget for some of it. Trust me, I’d much rather spend money on a cute new swaddle or hip little baby shoes. But parenthood calls for making the hard, responsible choices. So leave the outfit choices to Grandma and allot your funds to what's truly important for your baby’s future:
Health Insurance Premiums
You’re no longer just an employee or employee plus one, now you’re employee plus family and that means a lot more money out of your paycheck. Check in with your HR to get an estimate on what this increase will be so you can plan accordingly.
Now that you have a dependent, it’s crucial that you prepare for the "what ifs" in life. Find an adequate policy that will provide for your child, if you are no longer able to. It’s a small cost (usually $20-50 per month) that will bring huge relief in preparing for the unknown.
Until the U.S. catches up to other industrialized nations, you’ll most likely be taking some unpaid time off. Get a good handle on your family’s budget so you know exactly what you need to get by while you’re home bonding with your new baby.
If you can squeeze it into your budget, do it! Your baby will be 18 before you know it and having a jumpstart on the cost of college will relieve Mom, Dad and student of undue stress.
Step by step, paycheck by paycheck, you can become better prepared for growing your family.
More Living Space
Think you need an extra bedroom or bathroom before welcoming a new baby? It’s obviously not essential, especially in those early days when room-sharing is recommended, but eventually you may want to give your child(ren) their own square footage.
Are these required to have a happy, healthy baby? No way! But is it fun to check out baby massage, mommy & me music classes, parent/child yoga, and little gymnastics during your baby’s first year? Absolutely! And does it all cost money? 100 percent!
The cost for memory keeping is minimal in comparison to other considerations, but it’s still something to consider. As a mom, I print more photos than ever and I always have my eye out for fun ways like Chatbooks and Shutterfly photo albums to remember these precious years. This all adds up.
Health and Wellness
Having kids has taken a toll on my body in more ways than one. These days, I take more supplements than ever and also have a few that I give my kids to keep their bodies growing strong.
You thought I meant cute little things for baby, didn’t you? No, l mean you. It takes time to return to your pre-baby size. And some moms never do. I’ve hit my “goal weight” before, but am still a different shape after giving birth. All that to say, you’re going to need some new clothes for the postpartum season. I’ve even needed new shoes because my feet have grown a full size since having kids.
Step by step, paycheck by paycheck, you can become better prepared for growing your family. By thinking through all the details, you’ll avoid surprises and eliminate stress—both great things for your mental health and overall wellness as a parent. It isn’t fun to plan for an expanding budget and growing expenses, but it’s much wiser to prioritize and broach them head on.