Can you afford a baby budget.

Is Your Budget Ready For Kids?

You might be ready for kids, but is your budget? Kids can cause a real strain on a family budget in ways that you might not understand. Take a look at some of the ways that children can wreck a budget and then decide if your personal budget can handle the strain.

[Fact] Kids Will Strain Your Budget

Kids can cause more of a strain on a budget than many people realize. Despite this fact, many people let their biological clocks make the decision on whether or not it is time to have kids. The result can often be a lot of financial strain and stress.

If you are deciding on whether or not to have kids, take a look at some of the ways that they can severely impact your wallet. We are not saying that you need to make your kid decision purely on financial facts, but, you should probably take it into consideration in order to avoid stress in the future.

Daycare – $11,180 Per Year

This is probably the single largest expense that you will encounter as a parent. If both parents work, daycare is a necessity.

According to, the average cost of daycare is currently 215 dollars a week and based on my experience, that cost is mostly correct, for toddlers at least. It might actually be a bit higher than that if you have an infant. You can expect infant care to be about 50 dollars a week more due to the lower caregiver to child ration. Each caregiver is allowed fewer children, so the cost is higher.

At 215 dollars a week, you will be paying 11,180  a year in childcare and can only write off a small portion of this amount on your taxes.

In addition to the financial cost of daycare, you will also encounter other costs. The act of dropping your child off at daycare is straining, especially if you have a child that does not take well to being separated for you.

Daycare is also time consuming. You will have to leave early to drop your child off and then pick them up before going home. It can add an extra hour in driving and waiting to your day, depending on where your daycare is.

Health Care – $8736  Per Year

You and your spouse might currently have health insurance that is mostly paid for by your employer. You are each covered under your own policy and it is probably not costing you much at the moment. That is about to change.

Now, you will need to move to the family plan and you will be using your insurance benefits often.

According to, the average individual health coverage premium is 440 dollars per month and an average family plan is 1168 dollars a month. That is an increase of 728 dollars a month or 8736 dollars a year.

In addition to the premium cost, is the cost of actually using the plan. As a healthy single person, you probably see the doctor maybe twice a year at the most for a well visit or an occasional mild illness. That baby is going to require frequent doctor visits and to make matters worse, you4 maximum out of pocket is going to double with a family plan.

Food – $1700

In the beginning, breast feeding is an inexpensive way to feed your child. It is something that is healthier for both the baby and the mother. If mom is working out of the home however, the task of pumping and storing breast milk becomes tedious and switching to formula becomes the solution, albeit a costly one.

According to thesimpledollar,com, the cost of formula is over 1700 dollars a year for a newborn. That is almost 150 dollars a month.

Tough it through that first year and you will be good to go, right? Not so fast. After breaking baby of the bottle, you get to switch to solid food and all of those little per-processed jars of food. At 50 cents a pop for a 4 ounce jar, the expenses add up quickly.

Once through the first few years, the food expenses just keep on coming. Kids never stop eating and snacking. Take what you and your significant other spend on food now and double it.

Diapers – $900

You knew that I would get to diapers eventually, and for good reason. They are a major part of your annual expense for the first few years of life.

When it comes to diapers, you can not get out cheap. Don’t even think of buying that store brand because it will cost you more in frustration and ruined outfits. The name brands absorb more fluid and contain it better. Pay for quality and come out ahead.

But just how much are you looking at paying. According to the National Diaper Bank, that figure is about nine hundred dollars a year. This is at a rate of 6 to 10 diapers used a day which, from my experience is accurate.

Damaged Property – $500

One thing that you can count on as your child grows up is that they will break things.

Have a child and you will soon find out that they will not be contained. Once they get mobile, they will be constantly exploring and pushing their boundaries, it is just human nature.

All this exploration comes at a cost, in the form of damaged property. They might knock something off of a shelf costing you a few dollars or they might flush a toy down the toilet, flooding your home and costing you thousands. If there are shenanigans to be done, they are all about it.

If you escape the year with under five hundred bucks in damaged goods, consider yourself fortunate.

Baby Gear & More – $1000

Besides the expenses for simply keeping baby healthy, you have a lot of miscellaneous expense.

Do not underestimate the cost of clothing, toys, birthday parties, pictures and all of the baby gear that you need to protect them and transport them. A basic car seat can be 200 bucks or more.

Hopefully, you will get much of the first year baby gear from a baby shower. If not, expect to spend well over 1000 dollars.

Wrapping Up

So, let’s do the math.

  1. Daycare – $11,180
  2. Insurance – $8,736
  3. Food – $1,700
  4. Diapers – $900
  5. Damaged Property – $500
  6. Baby Gear – $1000

That is $24,016 in expense in a single year. Do you have this much extra cash at this second? If not, you could be looking at some struggles if you decide to start a family now.

I am not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t start a family now, just that it might be tough and you may need to find a way to get a hold of some extra money. Luckily, there are ways to do just that. Here are some things tat can help you make up some of this money.

  • Start a budget and stick to it.
  • Cut out unnecessary expenses.
  • Start meal planning.
  • Look for cheaper housing.
  • Trade in vehicles for more affordable choices.
  • Pick up a part time job.
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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.