For those who are expecting, it can be a time of excitement. A new addition to the family can bring so much joy to everyone involved. A new life, innocent, precious, and ready to take on the world. Some parents plan for a child, while others find their newborn to be a surprise. One thing that’s for certain when you’re trying to have a baby on a budget is that it will change your finances forever.

My husband and I just got married a week ago, and we were having a conversation the other day about when we think we’d be ready for a child. Initially, we said when he paid off his car, then we’d have some extra money coming in to take care of a new life. When we realized how soon that could be, we pushed the date back for a couple of years. There’s a few things we want to do before we have a baby.

  • Travel: When you travel with kids, it takes a bit more preparation than just two adults who can pack and go off on a spontaneous trip. It’s a bit more complicated when it comes to kids. Finding kid friendly attractions, bigger accommodations, more packing, keeping kids entertained, this list goes on. We want to have the freedom to go a few places before bringing in a new life.
  • Move: We’re currently living in a 1,400 square foot townhouse that has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. This may sound like we’re ready to have a kid, but we’re not. One of the bedrooms is currently the guest room, and the other is my husband’s “man cave”. Of course, we’d be willing to sacrifice a room, but then there’s the bathrooms. Our master bedroom has a full bedroom, while our second bathroom has a shower, and the downstairs bathroom is really a powder room. We’d like to have an extra bath tub available. Our backyard is decent size for us, but mostly concrete outside of our small garden. No real “yard” available. We’d like a more family designed home first.
  • Income: We’re really living off one income, which is usually eaten up by current bills including rent, groceries, cars, and entertainment. We’re getting by, not necessarily living comfortably as we once were when we were living off two incomes. We’d like to be comfortable and not have to struggle to feed and clothe a child.

So what are some of the financial things you have to prepare for when having a child?

  • Baby furniture: You’d need a crib, a car seat, and a stroller at very least. You can also get a high chair, a jumper, maybe a rocking chair too.
  • Baby clothes: Even though they may come into the world naked, babies don’t stay that way. They need clothes, including onesies, booties, beanies, and other things that end in -ies.
  • Insurance: In reality, babies get sick, and sometimes need to go to the doctor. You want to be sure your baby can get proper health care, and if necessary, medication.
  • Child care: Unless there’s an arrangement between you and your partner where someone can stay home with the baby, you’re going to need to pay for child care for your new addition.
  • Diapers: The obvious thing you’ll need when you have a baby is diapers. They’re not cheap, and definitely not something you can avoid buying for the first couple of years.

There’s a laundry list of things a new child needs, and it’s something I want to be prepared for when the time comes to have a baby on a budget. What are some things you did to prepare for a new addition to the family?