Budgeting for Baby

What you need to include in a budget for a newborn baby joining your family.

What to Plan for When You’re Expecting? 

Bringing a baby into the world is one of life’s greatest and most rewarding experiences. Even so, everyone knows that having children is not a free ride. Raising a baby through young adulthood costs money—a lot of it. That’s why it is so important to plan your baby budget as soon as possible. This will be crucial to help reduce financial stress during a time that should be filled with excitement and anticipation. 

How much does it cost to have a baby? 

The truth is, there is no set cost of raising a baby. Every child has their own needs, and every parent has their own way of budgeting and prioritizing non-essential costs that will invariably crop up throughout their early years. 

However, you can work on getting an idea of what costs to expect when your baby arrives, so you can start saving and thinking of ways to cut costs when possible. Let’s look at ways you can reduce the financial stress of your new arrival with smart budgeting strategies. 

How Much to Budget for a Baby 

Each phase of your child’s life will require several types of expenses. Some will stay the same, but others will pop up throughout the years, such as costs for athletics, summer camp, school trips, band instruments, and college tuition. According to a study by NerdWallet.com, the expenses for the first year alone can top $21,000. But do not let that number stress you out! There are many ways you can minimize costs with a little bit of smart planning. 

Quick Tips for Baby Budgeting 

  • Monthly budgeting. It’s time to start breaking down your household budget every month. Some experts recommend the 50/30/20 rule, which says you should use 50% of your money toward household expenses, 30% for things you want, and 20% for savings. 
  • Small Adjustments. Sometimes, life requires small sacrifices. For example, if you apply the 50/30/20 rule to your budget, you may need to adjust it to a 60/20/20 rule by putting more into monthly expenses and spending less on “wants,” such as dining out. 
  • Buy second-hand. Every parent will tell you how quickly children grow up. So why spend $200 on a high-end stroller when you might be able to get a perfectly good used one from a family member or friend? The same principle applies to clothes. Is there really a reason to purchase brand new outfits for a 6-month-old who will outgrow the outfits before they even wear it twice? Save the brand-new outfits for holidays and photo-worthy occasions. One item you want to purchase new is a car seat. 
  • Claim tax benefits. When your child is born, they become your dependent in the government’s eyes until they reach 18. Be sure to claim your child on your taxes each year to reduce what you owe. You may also qualify for certain government programs that help with costs of living for qualifying families. 

Hospital and Doctor Costs + HealthCare 

According to some experts, the cost of pregnancy, childbirth, and after care can cost over $18,000 out of pocket. There are medical costs involved any time you have a baby, like prenatal visits, time spent in the hospital for the birth and additional checkups once the baby is born. These are just part of the process of making sure your child stays healthy. 

This is why it is so important to understand your health insurance plan and how well it reduces the monetary impact for you. Be sure to choose the best health insurance plan you can afford. It might cost you a little more out of pocket each month, but the savings for doctor visits, prescriptions, and unexpected emergencies could far outweigh the price difference of the plans. 

If you purchase healthcare from the government-run healthcare exchange, don’t just choose the cheapest plan. Explore your options and compare what kinds of child healthcare costs each one covers. 


The cost of setting up a baby nursery can depend on many things: your vision, your budget, and how handy you are with a paintbrush. These expenses are the ones you have the most control over. For example, you can find great secondhand furniture for your nursery without buying new. If you are handy around the house, there is no need to hire painters. The crib is the one item most parents purchase new, to ensure its safety features are up-to-date and that there have been no recalls on the item due to injury to babies. 


Every parent will tell you that the cost of childcare can be high, and the data collected by the US government backs it up. That’s why it pays off to shop around and check out all your options. We all want the best care for our children, but high cost doesn’t always equal quality care. A lot of parents are lucky enough to have family and friends who want to help in this area. Parents can also look into tax benefits that are designed to help reduce the burden of childcare costs. 

Food Costs 

Like many baby expenses, the cost of food can depend on a few things, such as whether you breastfeed or purchase baby formula for your infant. Some parents make their baby food by simply steaming vegetables until they turn to mush, which can be cheaper than buying prepared baby food. This is also a good time to look at your household’s non-baby food costs and find ways to spend less on the food you purchase at the store and restaurants. 

Apply for a LendNation Loan Online 

We help all kinds of people find short-term quick cash solutions when problems arise. If you find yourself needing cash for unexpected costs and suddenly am unable to get a jump on essential baby supplies for starting the nursery, apply now to learn your short-term loan options with LendNation!