Money Should Not Be the Reason to Avoid a Baby

woman with wallet
For many parents, having a new baby is a scary prospect, indeed. There are sleepless nights, tons of responsibility, and for many, the possibility of going deep into a financial hole.

Yes, babies are expensive, toddlers are even more so, and then preschoolers take it all. And let's just forget about school-age children and teenagers. Denial is the only way to get ready for that mess.

Still, there is no reason to skip a baby for financial reasons. If we did, no one would ever procreate! The Stir talked to financial expert and BabyCenter.com contributor Jean Chatzky who offered the following piece of advice: “As long as you are not sinking into a financial hole, you can go ahead and have a baby." Here are her 7 Tips for Saving Money Once Baby Arrives:

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  1. Embrace hand-me-downs: “The first thing you have to understand is that new is not best," says Chatzky. Between friends who have had children and Craigslist, many items for baby can be purchased used. The fact is, babies only "use" anything for a very short period of time, so even "used" items are often in great shape.
  2. Every child needs to know the rule of 10 percent: If you can save 10 percent no matter what, then you will be in good shape for any hardships that may come.
  3. Needs and wants are two different things: Chatzky says there is one important question to ask oneself any time you want to buy something: "What happens if I don’t have this?” If the answer is nothing, then you probably don't need it.
  4. Times when we feel flush and times we don’t: We all experience times where we feel we have plenty of excess cash and times where we feel like we have none. When you feel "flush," save it. That will make the "lean" times easier to take.
  5. Saving money is great for your marriage and accumulating debt is bad: Credit card debt is particularly bad for your love life. “The more frequently couples fight about money, the more likely they are to divorce," Chatzky says. So get rid of debt if at all possible.
  6. Look at your benefits: It may make sense for each parent to use their work benefits and have only one add the children. It all depends. Different jobs have different benefits, so use them to your advantage and see what you can get.
  7. Get responsible about making a will: It's a huge financial mistake not to have a will. Name a person, not a couple, as guardians for your children, Chatzky says, because the couple can get divorced and it will get ugly. Life insurance on both parents is a must.

These are just a few tips, but they will make the financial burden easier to shoulder.

What did you do to make kids affordable?

 

Image via iStock.com/MagMos

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