For first time parents, a little light reading. By the way, you'll never actually be prepared to be a parent and that's ok because it's all in the experience. I've been a parent for over 18 years and I continue to learn on a daily basis. Some of the financial advice makes sense but I've been raising 3 without a $10k savings, while it would have been nice there are ways to successfully get through parenting without a stockpile of money. Enjoy your individual experience! - Stephanie
"9 Expert Tips for Preparing for a Baby
Kimberly Palmer, author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’ s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back and the Alpha Consumer blog at USNews.com shares nine more tips for preparing for a baby.
Thinking about becoming a parent? Most of that decision has nothing to do with money, but getting financially prepared can make welcoming a newborn into your home a little less stressful. You’ll still have to learn how to cope with sleep deprivation and diapers, but can worry a little less about affording it all.
The Waiting Game – Wait until after the birth to purchase toys and gadgets (such as an Exersaucer or Jumperoo) that aren’t usually used until babies move past the newborn phase. You might find that your baby likes only certain kinds of toys, or doesn’t like to be constricted in certain contraptions. By waiting, you’ll be sure to only buy things that you actually use.
Friends and Family Plan – Borrow as much as possible from other parents, including used maternity clothes and baby gear. Your friends might be glad to put their items to good use, and you can pass on the favor when you’ re all done. (Resale stores rock!)
Just make sure the product hasn’t been recalled. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled a slew of products recently, from sleep positioners to cribs to infant slings. In fact, the commission recommends against using drop-side cribs altogether, so spring for new purchases whenever safety is a concern.
Community Trust - Sign up for your local community email group through freecycle.org or use craigslist.org to pick up used items from other parents in your area. Tips for finding discounts can also be found at babycheapskate.com. (ahem - Resale stores rock!!)
Work Affects – Familiarize yourself with your workplace’s maternity and paternity leave policies. Some people are shocked to discover than instead of the two-month paid leave they had planned, they’ ll be forced to take unpaid leave. Federal law doesn’t require employers to provide any paid leave at all.
Health Matters – Find out what it would cost to add an additional dependent to your health insurance. You might need to plan ahead to afford those extra payments.
The 10K Mark – Before the baby arrives, save at least $10,000 for baby-related expenses during the first year. It sounds like a lot, but can make it easier to absorb all those extra costs.
Practice Makes Perfect – Practice living on $1,000 less each month, which is the average cost of child care. Or, if either you or your spouse plans to stay home, practice living without that second income.
Think Big (or Not) – Anticipate any major purchases, such as a new home or new car, that you will need to make before welcoming home a new member of the family. But don’ t feel pressured to live in a bigger home; plenty of families turn small apartments into a cozy and welcoming family spaces.
Where There’s a Will – Update (or create) your will and life insurance benefits. It’s no fun to talk about, but important to guarantee the financial security of your family. Check out these other money moves to make when you have a baby.