While there are many events that can take place in a lifespan that can provide a shock to a person's finances, some say that having a baby and adding a new member (or two) to a household is one of the most significant.
Having a child, whether expected or unexpected, can shock a household's financial stability to its core. However, luckily for soon-to-be parents, they can have up to nine month to prepare for a child's arrival.
According to Reuters, the expenses that go into raising a child amounts to between an estimated $11,650 and $13,530 per year, for a middle-income, married family. During the next 18 years, as a child grows and matures, this can cost a family roughly $250,000 during the course of reaching adulthood. However, there are a few measures that can be taken to make a baby budget to help ease this financial shock.
Once a pregnancy is discovered, it's advised by Reuters to start planning out some short- and long-term goals. For the short-term, this should include family goals, pre- and post-natal expenses and revisions to a budget that currently only accounts for two people. Meanwhile, some long-term goals, including setting aside funds for education or buying a house, should also be discussed.
Meanwhile, the news source says if the household currently brings in two paychecks, they should try to live off of just one income. This will allow them to save some money to familiarize themselves with living off of a tighter budget.
Additionally, a child can not only provide joy and happiness to parents, but also some tax advantages. Once a child is born, Reuters advises getting him or her a Social Security card right away so it can be passed on to financial planners or tax preparers. This way a family can start to qualify for the child tax credit.
If expecting parents have considerable future plans for their child to attend college, there are a number of different college savings devices that can be taken advantage of early in their child's life to ensure plenty of savings are accrued for college, says Reuters. Capitalizing on these programs can keep parents from jeopardizing any money they may have started saving to pay for retirement or other future financial plans.