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Expect financial changes when expecting

Welcoming a new baby into a family is a joyful and exciting time. It also comes with its fair share of challenges which sometimes include less sleep, sibling adjustments and unexpected expenses.

If you are expecting to add to your family in 2018, prepare to add new expense categories to your budget as well. Prenatal screenings and birthing can be costly, so be aware that your medical expenses may temporarily increase. If you have insurance, take a close look at your co-pays and deductible. Do you have enough set aside to cover those items? If not, the sooner you can start saving, the better.

Preparing your home for a baby will likely include the purchase of additional furniture and other large items, such as a car seat or baby swing. If you are having a baby shower, consider listing these items on your registry. Many of the more expensive pieces could be found used (but still in good condition) since babies outgrow things quickly. Look around on local Facebook sites or check out yard sales for bargains, but be aware of expiration dates or recalls on pre-owned goods.

Once baby arrives, there are multitudes of other supplies that new parents will need. Bottles, diapers, wipes, clothing, bedding, burp cloths, formula – the list could go on forever. Start making a list by asking friends and family what their necessities were. Research prices online and begin creating a miscellaneous fund for those smaller items. This is often where new parents have difficulties budgeting because it is hard to determine what (and how much) you will truly need of each thing. Create your best estimate and save from there.

Finally, if parents will be returning to work, child care could be a weighty expenditure; however, it is often a fixed amount that makes it easy to incorporate into a spending plan. Examine all of your options. Do you have friends or family that could offer assistance? Does one child care facility offer more than another for your money?

Every household will have different financial needs as their family grows. Planning ahead is the key to success when you are anticipating a new arrival.

Ashley Bales

Ashley Bales

Ashley Bales is a Family Financial Education Specialist headquartered in Madison County. Her office is located at 137 W. Main St., Fredericktown. Contact Ashley at 573-783-3303 with questions or comments. MU is an equal opportunity/ADA institution. University of Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability in employment or in any program or activity.

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