- Date : 04/12/2020
- Read: 4 mins
Even if you realised that having a baby would mean added expenses, you might find yourself paying for things you didn’t see coming.
You may have read plenty of books and blogs on childcare and done your homework on all the additional expenses to expect and plan for as a new parent. But no matter how well prepared you think you are, you will most certainly be confronted with some unexpected expenses in the early weeks after your child's birth. Having money set aside to cover these surprise costs is essential.
Of course, everyone's experience might not be the same. But if you’re about to become a mom for the first time, there are some expenses that might catch you off-guard if you don’t plan for them. Let’s see what these are.
Babies may need to be checked by a doctor even if they seem healthy. Unscheduled doctor visits can be very demanding on a new parent’s wallet. Being prepared in advance for these costs can help prevent you from blowing your budget on unexpected medical bills.
Though breastfeeding is natural, the supplies that make it possible and convenient come at a cost. If you are breastfeeding, you are likely to go through multiple nursing pads a day to wipe up the leaking milk – the cost of which quickly adds up over a month. You might think that by breastfeeding you are saving money on baby formula, but nursing supplies such as pads, nursing bras, breast pumps, expensive bottles, tubes, etc. are expendables that should be factored in your budget. And if you need to consult a lactation expert, that’s an added expense.
It’s no surprise that babies outgrow clothes quickly. You probably budgeted for buying new clothes every few weeks. But what most new mothers tend to forget is the cost of transitional clothes for themselves. As you switch from your regular clothes to maternity wear and then to post-baby attire, you will need to set aside some financial resources for comfortable clothing that fit as you embrace your new role as a mom. For mothers who have to return to work, this can get particularly expensive as your pre-baby formal clothes may not fit right away.
Extra laundry detergent
You will be surprised how much more laundry detergent you will need once the baby arrives. With all the baby clothes, napkins, blankets, and bedsheets getting dirty every day, you will be shelling out on detergent each time you are at a grocery store. On top of that, newborns require a delicate detergent that is more expensive. Besides, all the spit-ups, surprise leaks, and poop means having to load the washing machine a lot more frequently, and multiple wash cycles would result in a higher electricity bill.
The cost of convenience
Being a new mom is exhausting. And when you are tired and sleep-deprived, the comfort and convenience factor usually takes priority over economy when it comes to your daily needs. So, instead of spending time looking for the best price on baby supplies; you might be tempted to spend more on the quickest and easiest option. One such example is ordering diapers online for express delivery when you are running low. Also, for households where both parents are working, you will find yourself ordering takeout more often, especially when cooking dinner at home seems too tiresome and time-consuming.
Childcare is not an unpredictable expense, but how much you actually end up paying may come as a shock. Day care, baby nurses, nannies, baby-sitters… the cost of childcare can be astronomical. Whether you have full-time or part-time help to look after your baby, these bills can be significant and consistent. Paying for childcare, especially in case of nuclear families where both parents are working, is often an unavoidable expense.
Loss of income
In dual income families, one parent would certainly consider stopping work to raise the child, given the high cost of childcare. But even in families where both parents plan to keep working full-time, income may decline. The parents may have to reduce their work hours or pass on opportunities for overtime. They may be left with no time for a side hustle. They may have to take unpaid days off if the baby is sick.
Start by planning your finances well in advance and leave some wiggle room in your budget for unforeseen expenses. By making provisions for these, you can ensure that your new baby will only increase joy and happiness in your life – and not your credit card bill.