Expecting a baby? Here are some common baby expenses to keep in mind – plus a free baby budget worksheet printable to help as you plan.
Hi friends! I have babies on my mind because my sister is due with her first in just a few weeks, so today we’re going to talk a little bit about budgeting for a baby!
Also, it’s been awhile since I’ve shared a printable on here so I whipped up a free baby budget worksheet printable to share with you guys (scroll to the end of this post to get it!)
Ok, so, budgeting for a baby. Is it really necessary? I say yes!
Whether you’re having your first baby or your fifth, the importance of thinking ahead and planning financially cannot be understated.
While I do not think that babies need to cost as much as some baby cost calculators or other online sources would indicate, I do know that there are multiple expenses involved with having a child and it is wise to take them into consideration.
A couple months ago I published an article titled Having a Baby on a Budget in which I shared 24 different expenses to keep in mind as new parents, along with ways to save in as many areas as possible.
Today’s post isn’t to rehash all of those expenses again but rather to speak a bit more to the budgeting side of things.
In this article we’ll:
- discuss the importance of budgeting / planning ahead
- review a few of the big line items / expenses
- learn how to use a baby budget worksheet
- look at non-baby related ways to cut back on your budget
- and finally take a quick look at a few additional resources for budgeting and saving money
Sound like a plan? Let’s dive in!
The Importance of Budgeting
Whether you’re a saver or a spender, a strict budgeter or more of a wing-it type, it’s always a good idea to have a plan when it comes to your finances. Even just taking the time to read through an article like the one I linked above will give you a better idea of the average cost of having a baby, the medical expenses to keep in mind, and the changes you’ll probably need to make in your new budget.
The point isn’t to set up a super strict budget where your monthly expenses are set in stone – it’s just to have a basic baby budget template of sorts that you can use in order to plan ahead and be a good steward of your personal finance goals.
Budget worksheets are a great tool to do this and I’ll be sharing my baby budget worksheet and talking through how to use it in just a bit.
Categories to Consider in Your Baby Budget
How much do babies cost? Well, that depends on quite a lot of factors, but there are some basic categories of expenses that you’ll want to plan on (and some that you may not have considered if you’re a first-time parent.)
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant you’ll have some expenses coming your way such as maternity clothes for you, though you may not need them until your second trimester. Find out how to save on maternity clothes here.
You’ll also likely have some supplements that you want to purchase right away. Your prenatal vitamins of course, plus anything else recommended by your OB or midwife like iron supplements and magnesium (I love these CALM gummies!)
Obviously medical expenses will need to be a category in your baby budget. This includes:
- Prenatal appointments for you (including labs and ultrasounds)
- Cost of delivery
- Baby’s first doctor appointments
Of course, if you have insurance it will likely cover some of these items, but it’s important to make sure that you know ahead of time what medical costs will be covered and what will need to be paid be out of pocket since every insurance company is different.
SO MUCH BABY GEAR.
Okay, so you actually don’t need as many baby items as you might think, but there are definitely still some essentials that you’ll want to be sure to budget for (or add to your baby registry!) I’m talking about things like a car seat (an absolute essential), crib or bassinet, swing, high chair, etc.
Of course the good news is that after your first child you can usually save and reuse all of the big baby gear items for subsequent babies which will save you money. I break down what I think is essential for baby here.
Of course, along with all of the baby gear items you’ll also be needing to purchase baby clothes for your new little family member. (This is the fun part!) If you’re on a tight budget be sure to check out consignment stores and thrift stores – you can often find used baby clothes in great condition and for a great price!
Of course, people often love to gift baby clothes as gifts so if you have a baby shower (or even if you don’t) you’ll probably receive some cute clothes and may not even need to buy as much as you think.
On-going expenses include things like more baby clothes (they’re always growing!), baby food, other baby products, and childcare costs if you’re planning to go back to work after maternity leave. You’ll also want to be sure to budget for any changes in your health insurance (you’ll want to add baby right away!)
You may also want to consider purchasing a life insurance policy if you don’t already have one.
How to Use a Baby Budget Worksheet
I’ve put together a simple baby budget worksheet PDF that you can print and fill out as you calculate your expected baby expenses. The first page is partially filled in with some of the basic baby expenses, with room to add more. The second page is the same baby budget template but blank for if you prefer to add everything yourself.
Using the worksheet is pretty straightforward. Just print it out, write in what you’re anticipating purchasing under each category, and then write in the amount or estimated amount of each item. You can then add up the line items and fill in the expected total for each category.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure of the exact dollar amount of everything! The point of working through a baby budget like this isn’t to have everything planned down to the last penny but just to help you have a good idea of what you’ll be spending so that there aren’t any huge surprises and you can still have enough money to meet your financial goals.
Want to use my free printable baby budget worksheet? Just enter your name and email below, watch for an email to confirm your subscription, and then your baby budget worksheet will come right to your inbox as a two page PDF.
Ways to Cut Back on General Expenses
Most people don’t suddenly inherit a windfall of cash when they find out they’re expecting (although wouldn’t that be nice?!) So, unless you’re expecting a big boost in your household income you’ll want to look for some ways to cut back in your budget to make room for your new addition and the actual costs involved.
Here are a few ideas for cutting back on other expenses:
- Shop around for lower rates on things like electricity, gas, internet, phone, etc.
- Eat out less (probably the best way for many people to quickly lower their expenses!)
- Spend less on groceries.
- Be okay with buying second hand.
- Stop going shopping just for fun.
Below are a few additional articles from this website to help you as you work to cut back on expenses and budget for your new baby!