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How much does it cost to have a baby…?

LaraThe Hubby and I were putting up Christmas decorations this year when I had a very surprising thought. I was thinking of how much fun Christmas was when I was a kid, and feeling like some of the magic was missing with just the two of us putting up our tree. And then it happened.

For the first time since we got married, I had the serious thought: “What if we’re ready to have a baby?”

Eeek!

It was only a matter of time…

Of course we’ve talked about having kids ever since we got together. We both know we wanted a family, but we were giving ourselves a few years to get our house and lives in order before we seriously thought about taking such a big next step. I’ve thought now and then, “I can’t wait till we have kids!” but I’ve never really seriously considered we might be ready for it yet.

Until this week.

We might just be ready now. I mean, not like anyone is ever really “ready” (as my mom reminds me often!). Both financially and mentally, I don’t think anyone ever is 100% prepared for everything that having kids means. But I feel like we’re stable enough right now that we could realistically do it. And I kinda want to!

Emotionally, we’re both at that point where the idea of being parents doesn’t seem like some fantastic thing that’s years ahead of us. I don’t feel like we’re not even “adults” yet, so a kid is a distant possibility…I feel like now is the time. We’re in our (very early) 30’s, we have our routines down nicely and work well together as a household, and when I’ve held all the babies my friends and family have had recently, I haven’t felt terrified that I’d drop them (which I did, once!)…I’ve felt like “Hmm, I could get used to this…”

Financially, we have most of the big stuff with our house taken care of. We have some savings built up. We’re doing good with our budget and recently started putting away for retirement, and we could afford the extra monthly expenses that come with having a kid. But, being a PF blogger, I of course have to run it through my money mind…

How much does it really cost to have a kid? The hospital bill, the doctor’s visits, all the baby doodads and gizmos I don’t even know we’ll need yet…Do we have enough to cover any foreseeable emergencies? (Can you ever foresee emergencies?) What about his/her college fund? Sure, we haven’t even started trying yet (and we just graduated college ourselves not that long ago), but how on earth will we build up a whole college fund???

Maybe it’s just the worrywart in me…

Way deep down, I think we can handle it, and The Hubby does, too. I know people raise kids with much tighter budgets, and that there’s a lot more to being a good mom than making sure all the numbers line up. But like I said, I’m a PF person, and I guess I feel like, with all the things to consider, the financial part is at least one thing I can kind of “control.”

But when it really comes down to it, I’m not sure if I care that we don’t have everything 100% figured out. I think it’s time.

Help me out, readers! Am I being overly cautious? How can you “know” you’re “ready”? (Can you?)

(Again, eeek!) :)

 

~Heart,

Em

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photo credit: Sergiu Bacioiu

Comments

  1. Last winter the eternal discussion “should we have a kid / hell now” turned into an “what if”. We’ve been together for 11 years,we’re doing oK financially and really thought it’s not a bad idea to consider a new member in our family. In 2 months our daughter will be born. It costs us quite a bit, but it’s a great thing for us.

    So, if you feel like you are ready (as ready as one can be for this change), I’d say go for it ;)

  2. Hi Em…yes, probably no one is entirely ready for a child but that is the way God designed families. The sacrifices you may have to make are far outweighed by the joy and fun they contribute to the family. We try to make it too much of a science sometimes. Its called faith…and you make it up as you go. If people could see all the challenges–it would probably terrify us! I didn’t have to pay for child care so that would have probably really concerned me. And I’ll tell you, we have more trials with the 21 and 24 year olds finding their way than all the little growing up years put together!
    Regarding college, we came upon a great plan where the state offers a plan where they “freeze” the tuition price and you contribute every month til 2 years are paid for. So we paid $26 per month for 13 years and when our oldest was about to graduate, he got a letter saying 2 years were paid for (not counting books). It was transferrable to a sibling who has used it and they have 10 years to use it up! Now lets talk about braces, cars, driving, first wrecks, girlfriends, grandbabies…….oh boy!

  3. I would say, you are probably ready. You can never be prepared enough for a baby. Well, being emotionally ready and mature, is important. If you and your husband are on the same page, you are probably ready. Having a baby just rocks your world in a whole scary, wonderful, exciting way. Your heart expands about 100x bigger. I’m not sure if there is a point where you’ve ticked every box and you are totally prepared. I am still sure that I’m messing it up in one way or another about 25% of the time.

    Practically speaking, Baby showers provided for both of my children, and with our second, my daughter– our church family and friends gave us gently used girl clothes and baby items a million times over. Enough stuff that I gave items away to my friends who were also expecting. There are also so many great deals on craigslist and consignment shops. I would definitely register/buy new a car seat, crib– the safety stuff… but clothes and things will probably all be gifted to you.

    You can do it. My husband and I have two happy healthy kids, a little nest egg, our debt is being payed down every month and we have no financial problems. We live a humble life, but it’s worth it. If we figured out a way, you can too. Have no fear. :) Just prepare your heart for the joy that awaits it!

  4. I didn’t know. I just got pregnant by a happy accident and you just make it work. If you want kids, there is no perfect time. It just happens.

    As for how much it costs to have one, it depends on your values.

    I don’t buy anything from China, I avoid plastic, I buy organic everything, and I try to do everything eco-friendly / green. This easily triples or quadruples the cost.

    As a result, I’ve started doing a baby cost tracking page and the number is pretty high compared to what parents might spend.

    See: Baby Cost Tracking Page (Canada)

    Also, as I live in Canada, healthcare is pretty much free.

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