Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now, you’ve probably already taken care of the room the little tyke is going to sleep in and what clothes he or she is going to wear; you may even have decided which school your child will be attending.
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However, many of you may not have thought about how you’re going to provide for your baby financially over the course of their life and yours: Will you be able to afford college? Or, in some places, can you even afford kindergarten?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raising a child in this day and age can cost up to $165,000 (2015 dollars), and that’s a price tag that will only rise further if you include private education and tutoring as well as fancy colleges. From diapers all the way to high school graduation, each child will cost as much as an average house in an average state. And, much like a house, you’re going to have to do some serious financial planning to ensure that your wallet doesn’t run dry just when you have a big expense on the way. Let’s have a look at some tips for things you can do to get that kind of money together.
1. Health Insurance
You and your partner as well as the baby and other children are going to need some form of coverage: If something happens and you’re not properly covered it could turn out that saving up for college is the least of your worries. HMOs as well as the Affordable Care Act are your saviors in case you can’t afford an 80-20 plan, and serve as a viable alternative for families that are strapped for cash. In some, cases, however, slightly more well-off families can benefit by signing up for an HMO as some PPOs’ coverage is spotty as best at a greater cost. You’re best off sitting down and comparing your current plan and whatever else is on offer and deciding if you can’t shave off a few pennies that way.
2. Worst Case Scenario
Though we often don’t like to think, let alone talk, about it, bad things happen to good people every day. It pays to have good disability as well as life insurance for you and your spouse should the unimaginable happen. Getting a plan that works for your financial situation and sticking to it is the best way to ensure a solid future for your children even if you can no longer provide for them. In both this case as the one above, you need to bit the bullet of planning for unpleasant eventualities. It’s not a nice thing to have to do, but when something bad happens you’re alleviating the damage and hurt it is causing.
3. Don’t Overbuy On The Baby Stuff
On a more cheery note, let’s also talk about something else that drains money from the old bank account: buying too much stuff. Many people will buy all kinds of stuff for the baby in their excitement without thinking about whether or not it is even necessary. Even if it is necessary, many people will often only buy things new, which taken altogether makes for high expenses. Rather than trying to live above your station, why don’t you try asking friends or family or around your neighborhood if people have things like cribs and such lying around? These objects serve only a single, short-term purpose and rarely hold sentimental value so there’s a good possibility you can get them on the cheap from people whose children are a few years older than yours. And let’s be honest, what’s more important: that junior has the very best in clothes or that he can go to a good college?