The down economy is causing some people to delay having kids because they are not financially stable. However, many people are still pushing through the down economy and continuing with their plan to have children. Even if you are financially stable, you may want to consider a few things concerning your budget before you make the decision to have a child.
How much will your child really cost you?
If you’re wondering how much your child will cost during the first 18 years of their life, you can use the “Cost of Raising a Child Calculator” provided by babycenter.com. It allows you to enter in personal information, making the calculation more accurate. For instance, if you live in a city or suburb in the South, you’re not a single parent, your annual household income is between $57,800 and $100,080, and your child is 0 to 2 years old – you can expect to pay a total cost of $212,610 from your child’s birth until he or she turns 18. That’s an average of $11,811 per year.
Are you prepared to either stay home or pay for childcare?
Some people are forced to change careers or even quit a job to stay home with a newborn baby. A child is a full-time job, so you need to plan accordingly. There are a couple of things to consider. First, you need to decide how much you like your job and if you are passionate about your work. Second, does your job pay enough to meet your childcare needs? If you can’t convince your employer to pay you more, you might ask for time off to care for your child. You should also research your company’s maternity leave guidelines and schedule. Some companies also offer paternity leave for the father!
Childcare is expensive! Daycare can cost hundreds of dollars a week depending on the child’s age and your location in the country. You may need to decide if one parent should stay home instead of going back to work, depending on the costs of childcare compared to your salaries. You may consider using a nanny or splitting the costs of a babysitter with other parents you know.
Disposable diapers can cost you an arm and a leg! And that’s just diapers – don’t forget about everything else – formula, stroller, food, clothing, gear, childcare, the nursery, and other expenses. If you are struggling financially, you can throw a “Diaper Shower” where your friends bring boxes of diapers instead of other gifts. It’s a creative way to spread the cost of diapers among your friends.
18 years later… college!
Now that you’ve put in your 18 years, you’re no longer responsible for your child’s financial needs, right? Well, not so fast. The typical 18 year old is far from financially independent and will still need your help. According to money.cnn.com, tuition at the average public university jumped 8.3% to $8,244 in 2011. That’s $32,976 for 4 years. Add inflation to that number and that’s what you need for your child graduate college without debt. College is one more thing to start saving for from the time your child is born. However, if all else fails, you can take out an installment loan to help them out with tuition payments.
We all know that babies are expensive, even if you plan for them. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you sit down and map out your financial plan before you have your baby. Planning financially for your child is a smart thing to do because those tiny humans have a huge impact on your life, both emotionally and financially. So, don’t worry if you’re procrastinating procreation. Just make sure you’re planning while you procrastinate.