Minnesota Valley Credit Union

Infant Expenses

I'm a Baby!

We should start by assuming you're not a baby.  You're most likely the parent, grandparent or godparent of a newborn.  If you are a baby we want to congratulate you on your advanced reading skills.

The birth of a child is quite possibly the most exciting time in a person's life.  Saving money for a newborn's future is one way to ensure that the child has some financial stability when he/ she gets older.  There are numerous options for saving money for the baby, however some options have marked benefits over the other.

Infant Expenses/ Planning Ahead

Ask any parent and they'll tell you that babies are expensive.  Below is a list of things for planning or expecting parents to consider.

Insurance

If you don't have insurance through work you'll want to take out private health insurance before you become pregnant.  Some insurance policies will require you to be a member for 12 months before you can claim for pregnancy-related costs.  Each policy is different, but when expecting, Insurance can be your best friend.  See your health care provider for more information.

 

While You're Pregnant

Write Down a Budget:  Putting your budget in writing helps give you a guidline for where you NEED to spend money.   It can also point out areas you spend way to much on.  After having a child you're faced with a drop in income (pending maternity leave) and an increase in expenses (daycare, insurance, medical bills, diapers etc).  This written budget helps to get you through this difficult financial time.  When determining your budget be sure to add maternity and baby-related expenses.  HERE is a template you can use.
 
Start Saving NOW:  Saving during your pregnancy will help with maternity leave and other baby-related costs that are sure to come.  A good goal would be 15% of your net income, be sure to identify areas in your written budget where you can cut back costs to make reach your goals.
 
Borrow Wisely:  Sure, you have a credit card, but having a balance during maternity leave is not fun.  Look for strategies for not using your card.  
 
Work Benefits:  Depending on your employment status there are a number of work related benefits that you may be entitled to, such as paid maternity leave or holidy or long service leave that you may be able to use.
 
Will:  It's not just a trending boy name.  Now that you're about to become a parent you will be responsible for a miniature version of yourself or your partner.  Planning ahead and completing a will helps make sure they'll be taken care of if something happens to you.
 
Post-Baby Budget:  Some of your costs (and income) may change once you become a parent.  Set a post baby budget and make sure you follow it.
 
Maternity Leave:  How long can you afford to take off work?  A good idea is to use your budget (see above) to determine you're monthly income and your post baby monthly expenses.  Add up the money you will have available at the start of your maternity leave (savings, employer and government benefits) and divide this amount by the difference.  This will give you the number of months you can afford to take off work.
 

When You're a Parent

Budget:  This word is getting repetative isn't it?  It's important to stick to your budget.  If you can't stick to it one month set a plan on how you will get back on track.  This is where having an emergency savings account is necessary.

Free Stuff:  Free stuff can be your best friend when working on a tight budget.  Instead of buying a new book, visit the local library.  (North Mankato &  Mankato)  Walking to the park for a picnic can provide hours of free entertainment for you & your child.  Also, don't be afraid of hand me downs or gently used items, it can be a good way to purchase fun new clothes at a fraction of the cost.  Check out ONCE UPON A CHILD or other local thrift shops.

There's a host of other financial tips and traps that you should consider, but the ones above will at least point you in the right direction. Getting the right financial system set up at the start means you have to spend much less time thinking about it down the track. To use a cliche early parenthood is one of the most wonderful times of your life - it really is - so you don't want to waste it on unnecessary stress. 

A couple items to consider are:

Savings:  Practice living on a reduced income BEFORE your child is here.  Find out approximately how much insurance will cost to carry on your new bundle of joy.

Scheduled Transfers:  Set up a "scheduled transfer" to your childs savings account.  Coordinate this transfer with your pay periods and use these funds to help pay for baby related expenses.

CLICK HERE to learn about MVFCU's High Yield Savings Accounts.

 

Budget

Setting up a budget is one of the most important things to do when preparing for a new member of your family.  

Tax Deductable Medical Expenses?

Turbo Tax covers different pregnancy expenses that may be tax deducatable.  CLICK HERE

Speaking of Tax Deductions!

Remember that the newest member of your family also gets you some money back from your Uncle Sam.  See your accountant for more details.

Baby Expenses

View babycenter.com's BABY COST CALCULATOR to determine the costs during the first year with your child.  CLICK HERE to visit the full baby center website.