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How much should I save before having a baby?

I want to have a kid in a few years, so I'm going to start saving now. I'd like to have enough saved to pay for the child's first year of life, so I'm wondering just how much that will cost. I'm not sure if I'll be able to work from home at that point or whether I'll have to find a good day care or babysitter, so I'm not factoring that in yet. But I figure there's the midwife, diaper service, basic furniture and accessories, clothes, toys, and probably a jillion other things I haven't even thought of yet. So, what would be a good ballpark figure to aim for?

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Asked by thehouseofcats at 5:17 PM on May. 7, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • $1,000,000,000--lol, just kidding.

    Make a list of the things you absolutely need, how much they will cost during that time, factor some for regular bills and such, then add about 30% more for incidentals. That number will be different for each family. Cost of living varies.

    Answer by keisha613 at 5:20 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • It totally depends on how much you typically spend and what your lifestyle is like. I've done it on very little, but I know others who spend a ton on their baby's. Do you plan to shop at 2nd hand store, or high end boutiques? Diaper service, do you really need it?

    Answer by missanc at 5:20 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • What I did the minute I found out I was pregnant was this ... we started living on one paycheck (my husband's, and it was the lesser of the two). I had planned to go back to work after my maternity leave but I honestly didn't know how I would feel so I wanted to see if we could live on one salary. We've been doing it ever since ... my oldest just turned 18 and goes off to college in the fall.

    As far as the "stuff" you need ... I'm a practical person by nature so I didn't buy into the idea that I needed to buy everything out there. I never did a nursery, rather waiting until my child was a bit older and then I did the room, which still suits his needs as an 18-year old. I did buy a crib, a car seat, used an old dresser as a changing table. Diapers and other misc. things didn't really impact us at all from a financial standpoint. Be smart and you'll be fine.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:27 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • Make sure you have medical insurance.

    I had a midwife, but ended up with an emergency delivery at a hospital. Bills are still coming in, but luckily insurance is picking up the majority...

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 5:48 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • The most expensive part is medical, hopefully it will be a smooth sailing pregnancy or you'll have to visit the doc a lot. There are too many unpredictable so it's hard to say. If you produce enough milk you can breastfeed that saves a lot of money. You can have a baby shower and get all the big items out of the way like car seat, crib, strollers etc....If you have to pay for day care it's around 1200 - 1500 a month at least in my area NJ.

    Answer by Amy2079 at 10:05 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • Amy2079 ... daycare is only 1200-1500/month by you? 18 years ago when I had my first, day care with a state-licensed individual around here was minimum $400 a week, plus the provider got 2 weeks paid vacation. It was even more at a daycare center.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 AM on May. 8, 2011

  • Thanks everyone! I'm researching different options for various things, but the biggest is child care. I'm not sure if I'll be able to work from home at that point, if the potential co-parent will be able to care for the child while I work, or what. In any case, I'm not going to go crazy with decorating and expensive junk (A wipe warmer? Really?), and I think my mom will probably want to spoil the kid rotten, so I'm mostly concerned about medical stuff and child care.

    Comment by thehouseofcats (original poster) at 8:08 PM on May. 8, 2011

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