14 Smart Financial Moves Couples Made Before Having a New Baby

Wendy Robinson | Sep 27, 2016 Money

happy couple

Babies are so cute. So cute and so expensive -- between diapers, bottles, clothes, and nursery furniture, the costs add up quickly. And what's worse, they seem to come out of no where once baby actually arrives. For many families, making sure they are in good financial shape before the baby arrives is a top priority. I mean, babies have A LOT of needs and there is really no way around it.

According to Fox News, the USDA projected that in 2015 a middle class married couple spends between about $12,400 and $14,000 annually -- including everything from baby gear costs to monthly diaper expenses.

More from CafeMom: The Cost of Raising a Child: One Mom Shares the Real Story

While the truth is many families will receive outside support to alleviate those costs via baby showers or potential family members pitching in to watch your LO, it still helps to be financially prepared for the worst.

More from CafeMom: Hiring a Nanny May Be More Expensive Than You Thought

And who better to hear from than moms and dads who have been there? Whether it was seeking professional advice or kicking some expensive bad habits, women we spoke with had some smart ideas for getting financially ready to grow their families.

Read on for their totally doable ideas about how to make sure money worries don't take the joy out of welcoming a new baby.

 Image via iStock.com/ Izabela Habur


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  • Kick the Habit

    1

    "About six months before we started trying to have a baby, I finally quit smoking. I knew I needed to so I could have a healthy pregnancy, but it was also smart financially. Smoking is expensive! I used the money I wasn't spending on smokes to put in baby savings account instead." -- G.L.

  • Driven to Save

    2

    "When I found out I was pregnant, we decided we want to reduce our debt as much as possible so I could switch to working part-time. As part of that, we turned in our leased car (which was a waste of money anyways) and bought a late model used car that we were able to pay off before my maternity leave was over. We plan to drive this car as long as we can so we can stay car payment free." -- P.R.

  • Good Advice

    3

    "We talked to a financial adviser to help us figure out if I could afford to be a stay-at-home mom before we started trying to get pregnant. It was helpful because he helped us see that it wasn't just my salary I'd be giving up, but also my retirement contributions and prospects for career and salary advancement. It helped us get a really clear picture and was totally worth the $150 to see him." -- G.D.

  • Priced Out Daycare

    4

    "The smartest thing we did before getting pregnant was to price check our childcare options. I had NO IDEA how expensive it was to get infant childcare in our area -- over $16,000 a year for a licensed center. Realizing that daycare would cost about the same as our mortgage was a much-needed wake-up call before we added to our family." -- C.A.

    More from The Stir: 6 Reasons Day Care Is Great for Your Kid

  • Used Is Great

    5

    "One of the smart things I did before I had my first kid was to join my neighborhood buy/sell/trade page on Facebook. There is SO much baby gear that is still in great shape that people are looking to get rid of. I basically bought everything except a car seat and crib used, including cloth diapers. I've saved a ton." -- R.W.

  • Life on One Paycheck

    6

    "When we got married, we decided to live on one paycheck so that when it came time to have kids, we could have one of us stay at home. Since we always lived below our means, it wasn't a tough adjustment to have my husband start staying home once our first kiddo was born." -- H.E.

  • Hoarder

    7

    "Like a lot of places, my work doesn't offer paid maternity leave. This is ridiculous, but whatever -- it is reality. So, before kids, I did two things: I bought a short-term disability insurance policy before I was pregnant so I could use that to help cover expenses and I tried to hoard as many sick and vacation days as I could. I went to work with a lot of headaches and minor colds, but it was worth it when I could use those saved days after the baby came." -- K.S.

  • Savings

    8

    "It was important to us that we have a solid emergency fund before we had kids. I didn't ditch the pills until we had six months of expenses in the bank. Not the sexiest advice, but it was important to us." -- D.D.

  • Diaper Stockpile

    9

    "When my first child got potty-trained, I was in my first trimester for kid #2. I decided to just keep buying diapers so when baby #2 came, I had a diaper stockpile and we had one less expense to worry about." -- L.F.

    More from The Stir: Save Money on Diapers With These 10 Tips

  • Part-Time Job

    10

    "We wanted to pay off my student loans before we had kids, so I got an extra part-time job to bring in extra money. I ended up working at a store that sells baby and kid gear. I earned extra money and also had an employee discount for buying nursery gear. Win-win!" -- A.S.

  • Advice From Friends

    11

    "We were the last in our group of friends to decide to have kids, so I think we really benefited from being able to ask them how much kids really cost. I also got a lot of hand-me-downs and saved money by not buying stuff that I didn't really need. We also formed a babysitting co-op so we all trade childcare for date nights. That is awesome!" -- M.D.

  • Retirement Plans

    12

    "Our rule was no babies until we both had Roth IRAs in our name. It is hard to save now but I know we'll be glad we did it when we are ready to retire." -- B.E.

  • Credit Cards

    13

    "The biggest thing for us was getting out of credit card debt before we had a kid. We worked really hard for a year to get debt free and then I got pregnant. I ended up having a tough pregnancy and had to go on bed rest at 24 weeks. I was so relieved that we were out of debt since I ended up not having my full salary for almost five months." -- A.M.

  • Control the Spender

    14

    "My husband is a total spender and I am the saver. We never had a budget that worked, and we fought about money kind of a lot. He was ready to have kids before I was and I totally used that to my advantage. This sounds horrible, so don't use my name, but I told him I wouldn't get off the Pill until he showed me he could stick to a budget for six months. Totally worked and we are both super in love with our twins." -- K.W.

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