There’s nothing quite as exciting as bringing new life into this world. However the joy of parenthood can bring with it a few unexpected costs.
Here are some of the things to factor into your budget if you’re a soon-to-be mum and dad:
1. Nappies (many, many nappies)
You might have thought the purchase of your child’s pram and bassinet were going to be your biggest expenses. But over the course of your baby’s first few years, the cost of nappies could just trump that. In fact according to thebalance.com a single child will go through over 2,700 nappies on a yearly basis, which is estimated to add up to $550USD (around $726AUD) out of your pocket a year. Perhaps something to put on your baby shower wish list?
2. Utility bills
With another person added to your household (albeit a little person) you’re likely to see the costs of your electricity, gas and water bills rise. Especially seeing as you’ll be spending more time at home looking after your new bundle of joy. One couple told the Business Insider, that since their son arrived they now pay double on their electricity bill and 30% more for their water. To ensure you don’t see your utility bills soar too high, now could be a good time to check you’re on the most competitive plan/s and if you’re not, consider making the switch.
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3. The cost of convenience
Before your new baby arrives you might have envisioned whipping up homemade meals in the kitchen and creating baby foods from scratch. However, with constant nappy changes (see point 1) and cries to sooth, the reality may be you just won’t have time. And that’s where the cost of convenience can hit in the form of takeaway meals and pre-packaged foods. As any mum and dad will tell you who has been there, that is totally ok. Just make sure you factor these costs into your budget, so it doesn’t come as an unexpected hit to your cash flow.
4. Living larger
There’s a reason that families opt for houses over apartments, and SUVs over hatchbacks – a growing family needs more room for all the extra gear like toys, cots and prams that comes with a child. Of course, upgrading to a larger home and car is going to have a price tag. While you don’t need to immediately go and buy that 7 seater or shop for that house which is out of your budget. It’s something worth considering. The first step may be a slightly larger car and a move to a place with an extra bedroom. That way living larger won’t put too much pressure on your budget.
Let’s not forget this prickly cost. If you plan to go back to work, then the cost of child care may take a decent chunk out of your monthly cash flow. The good news is, if you meet the eligibility criteria you may be able to receive a subsidy on your child care fees from the Australian Government. To give you an idea of how much you might get back, you can use the Government’s Family Child Care Subsidy Estimator.
So those are some of the expenses to be aware of before you have your baby. Congrats on your new bundle of joy!
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