According to CNN Money, it costs $233, 610 to raise a child from birth to 17, and this does not include the cost of college. Uh. What? If you’ve been reading C.R.A.F.T. for awhile, you know we have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. (Our kiddos are 23 months apart.) I don’t talk a lot about finances, but the name of the blog did start as Creating Really Awesome Free Things so you can imagine where I stand on the
frugality cheap scale, ha! I teamed up with Frost Bank to discuss 5 financial must do’s for new parents.
5 Financial Must Do’s for New Parents:
1. Understand your health insurance: It is super important to fully understand your health insurance plan especially when you’ve made the decision to bring a tiny human into the world. I gave birth in a birthing center, but any way you cut it you will likely have significant out of pocket costs related to giving birth. Call your insurance provider and ask about the out of pocket expense for prenatal care, hospital stay, tests and post-partum care.
Once your sweet baby is born, the little bundle is expected to go to 4-5 well-check doctor visits in his or hear first year of life. If you choose to vaccinate, depending on your health insurance plan, shots can also be expensive. Being self employed, our health insurance changes every year. At the beginning of 2017, I took Mila to her 9 month well check to discover that if she got shots at our pediatricians office the bill would be over $500. True story. Thankfully, I know we have terrible insurance and I always ask about cost before any medical visit. Our pediatrician directed us to Shots for Tots where each shot is $10. Bottom line? Understand deductibles and out of pocket expenses of your specific health insurance plan.
2. Child care: Depending on where you live full time child care can cost up to $1,200 a month. If one parent is lucky enough to stay home with the littles, there is still the cost of a babysitter for much needed night(s) out or for said parent to say go to a dentist appointment. Babysitters costs vary greatly from location to location, but expect to pay a minimum of $10 an hour for 1 child. (Here are my tips for finding and managing babysitters.)
3. Baby essentials: Babies don’t necessary need a lot of stuff, but things like diapers, formula, and clothes can add up quick. The average child will use more than 2,700 diapers in the first year alone which adds up to more than $550 a year. Other big purchases include a car seat, stroller, crib, and a highchair. Second hand stores or friends who are done having kiddos are a great way to save money on baby essentials. (Here’s a great tip for making a diy pumping bra from any sports bra you have on hand!) In my humble opinion, don’t go out and buy all of the things right away. Wait until you bring the little nugget home and decide what contraptions you need as you go (and as baby grows).
4. College: No one will deny that college is expensive, but if you start saving a small amount of money each month now, you and your bank accounts will thank you later. The financial planners at Frost bank can guide you in the right direction to start saving money now.
5. Planning ahead/ Life insurance: My best friend’s dad always says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So, the fact that you are reading this article tells me that you’re planning ahead and on top of your financial game! High five to that! Life insurance is not my favorite subject, but it must be talked about when discussing finances for new parents. Frost bank advisors can help you decide the best type of life insurance and the right amount of coverage for your family. Find out more information about life insurance at Frost Bank.
Nothing changes your life quite like having a baby. There are medical bills, figuring out how to pay for schools and college and a whole new set of insurance considerations that you never had to worry about before. The key is to remember that time is on your side. Getting a solid handle on things now will make life much easier (and affordable) later. I am really thankful to be working with Frost bank’s financial advisors to help our family make smart decisions with our money.
This post is sponsored by Frost Bank, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.