How much does having a kid really cost? If you’re going by the latest USDA figures, the average two-parent middle-income family will spend a total of more than $233,000 raising a single child. That’s only through age 17 (so it doesn’t include any college tuition or undergrad housing expenses, let alone post-grad support), and adjusting for projected inflation tacks on another $50K. Waiting until your little bundle is here to worry about the budget just won’t cut it. But even though it may seem like saving for a new baby is an impossibility, you’ve totally got this — regardless of your current income. Before the big birth day arrives, check out these simple steps you can take to budget for a baby.
1. Dedicate savings for childcare. Whether your tot will toddle off to daycare some day or you’re planning to nab a nanny pronto, childcare isn’t cheap. Along with other educational expenses, the USDA estimates it accounts for about a sixth of the total parenting budget. Starting a dedicated savings account while you’re still pregnant (or even earlier) can give you a head start that will cover the first few months (or even years) of care and education expenses. If you’re totally lost when it comes to predicting childcare costs, visit a few local centers to talk about pricing options.
2. Grab good deals now. You’re shopping for mint chocolate chip ice cream and potato strings (because that’s apparently what baby wants you to eat), and you spy diapers on sale for half off. Oh, and they have wipes too! Now’s the time to buy. Waiting until baby is actually here could easily mean paying full price for essentials because you can’t wait for a sale. The only exception is for food, formula, or anything else with an expiration date.
3. Rearrange your disposable income priorities. No one is saying that you have to change yourself or what you do just because…
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