5 Unexpected Expenses of Having a Baby
If you’re expecting a baby, you have probably already started adjusting your budget for things like decorating the nursery and buying diapers, wipes, and supplies. But there are many expenses related to having a baby that takespeople by surprise. Let’s take a look at some of the unexpected expenses of having a baby.
It’s one of those things you don’t really think about until others are depending on you. But once you have a baby, you’ll want to seriously consider taking out life insurance. Even if you have basic life insurance coverage through an employee benefit plan, you’ll likely want to supplement it with something more robust. The cost of your premium will vary based on your lifestyle, overall health, and the plan details. Talk to your insurance agent or your employer’s benefits manager to learn more about life insurance.
Food Delivery and Take-out
You may think since you’ll be home with the baby anyway, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare home-cooked meals. But the hectic reality of the first few months with a new baby means you’ll probably end up ordering take-out meals a lot more often — or calling for pizza delivery at the very least. This will increase how much you’re spending on food every month. Once you get a feel for it, you’ll be able to budget more accurately.
Higher Utility Bills
Keeping your new baby safe and comfortable are your primary concerns. If that means running the heat or A/C more, so be it. But your utility bills will show it, along with using more water for frequent hand-washingand extra loads of laundry and dishes. Plus, you’ll be spending more time at home in general, which means using more electricity. If you’re not on them already, see if your utility providers offer “equalizer” plans, which bill you evenly for your average usage over the course of a year. These plans can make it easier to budget because you know what to expect.
A Larger Vehicle
Babies are tiny. Car seats and strollers are not. Trying to get the baby strapped into a car seat in a two-door compact or sports car is going to get tiresome quickly. And if you’re planning on expanding your family further over the next few years, it just makes sense to get a vehicle that can comfortably accommodate kids and everything they need. Of course, there’s no law that says you must get a new car when you have a baby, but many parents find themselves surprised by this unexpected expense.
You won’t have to worry about it for the first few months, but once babies become mobile, they can be (adorable) forces of destruction. Everything from cellphones to eyeglasses to remote controls is in jeopardy when tiny hands and mouths get a hold of them, not to mention things like artwork, knick-knacks or family photos with sentimental value. You’ll want to spend some time and money baby-proofing your living spaces, but even then, expect the expense of replacing valuable items.