Parents in Canada intending to start a family may wonder how they will manage to finance family life after the arrival of newborn. The carefully crafted budget they are currently living with will necessarily be out of date with the arrival of the baby. Diapers, daycare and those cute little shoes and many other necessary items will add-up to the growing expenses.
Can couple afford them? Here’s how much baby will cost in his first few years of life.
Baby arrival means increased expenses on new stuffs
Arrival of a loved one leads to increased expenses which are necessary and cannot be avoided. But yet, they can be minimized. Here’s what you need to put aside now if you want to minimize the expenses once baby arrives.
It costs more than $70 per month for disposable diapers. The child wears diapers until the age of three. The cost will gradually decrease when he/she grows up and stops wearing the diaper.
To save: Buy unbranded diapers for use during the day and better quality diapers in the night.
Additional costs are zero for the first six months for breastfeeding women. Special milk costs about $100 a month. After six months, your baby will start eating solid foods.
To save: Make your own vegetable and fruit purees to feed your baby.
Babies need a lot of things, or at least parents find life easier when they have a variety of items to help them care for their child. First, you need to invest in a good quality, compact and lightweight stroller to make travel easier. A baby carrier, car seat, exercise equipment and toys will be added to the list. It costs $2,000 or more to purchase these items in baby’s first three years.
To save: You can buy them in used toy stores. Buy a car seat that turns into a booster seat. Plan in advance what you need and ask for these items as gifts.
Health Care Cost
Even with health insurance coverage, you inevitably have to pay for things like a baby thermometer and a humidifier. Water for colic, acetaminophen for babies and teething gel probably won’t blow a budget, but you need at least $20 a month for extra small purchases.
To Save: Buy unbranded items. Take enough medicines with you when you travel to avoid paying too much when you go abroad.
Babies grow up fast and their clothes get too tight before you know it. You will easily spend hundreds of dollars in baby’s first year on overall clothings/ski suits.
To save: Even if baby is not yet born, it is recommended to find a parent who has an older child of the same sex, and ask them to put on some clothes. Provided these children remain proportionally similar in size for some time, this relationship will save hundreds of dollars a year. Grandparents and friends who like to buy clothes can also be asked to buy them in a larger size. In this way, maximum use can be made of it.
If both parents are at work, child care becomes one of the biggest expenses. Full-time babysitting can cost up to $1,500 per month, depending on where you live. After-school child care costs at least $500 per month, not including summer camps.
To save: Part-time and co-op child care is less expensive and may be a good choice in combination with part-time work or work with family caregivers. Quality child care is worth every dollar.
Other Indirect Expenses
Life changes when you become a parent. You must realize that maximum time must now be devoted to children. A parent may no longer be able to spend overtime in the office, household chores, and renovations can become more difficult, sometimes requiring the hiring of others to do them.
In addition, children require space and it is possible that you will have to move into a larger space. Going to a movie or going out to dinner requires a babysitter, which adds to the cost of the outing.
How to Save
With children, no need to go out so much and, therefore, the entertainment portion of the budget will shrink. The rental of a film, a bottle of wine is sometimes enough for the weekend. It saves hundreds of dollars in restaurants, movie tickets, taxis, and parking fees.
It is certainly more expensive to take children to the zoo or fairs, but many things you do with children are free. Playing in the park, going to the local pool and just playing in the yard or living room allows you to spend quality hours that have real value and are low cost.