Whether it’s your very first bundle of joy or you are adding to a growing family, expecting a baby comes with excitement and anticipation — and a lot of extra expenses. With careful financial planning, you can support your new baby at every step, from pregnancy through birth through school and even through college. 

Here are some steps you can take to start saving for a baby. 

Assess your financial situation.
Examine your monthly budget, including income, expenses, savings and debt. This will help you understand how much you can save every month — and where you might be able to cut costs to save a little more. 

Create a baby budget.
Spend time researching the costs associated with a baby. How much can you expect to pay for medical care? How much should you anticipate spending on diapers per month? What does childcare cost in your area? This information will help inform what you’ll need each month for baby-related expenses alone. 

Start a baby fund.
Consider a dedicated savings account for baby-related expenses to ensure you have the funds you need on hand when the baby is born. Consider setting up automatic transfers from your checking account, and be sure to choose an account with a high interest rate to maximize your savings. 

Reduce debt.
If possible, do your best to reduce high-interest debt before the baby arrives, which will help lower your financial burden. This will help ensure less stress in your everyday life, while also freeing up more money for baby-related expenses and ensure you have greater financial stability. 

Review your insurance coverage.
In the United States, all, or a portion, of medical treatments are often covered by insurance companies, provided you have a plan with coverage. Consider signing up for an insurance plan if you don’t have one, and make sure you understand what prenatal and maternity services are covered. 

Find a pediatrician.
Additionally, research and consider insurance coverage for your child. Based on your plan, you can find a pediatrician to care for your child when they arrive and into their childhood. Make sure you understand what pediatric services are covered by your insurance plan. 

Research assistance programs.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of government assistance programs, employer benefits and community resources that can help alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with welcoming a new baby. From programs that help with food expenses, to programs that ensure your family can find medical treatment, to community childcare assistance, to employer-sponsored childcare benefits, research the variety of options available to help make things easier on new parents. 

Plan for childcare costs.
One of the largest expenses associated with having a family is the cost of childcare, and you will have to plan accordingly. Research the options in your area and estimate your monthly costs so you can start budgeting early for this significant expense. (Don’t forget to tap family and friends when possible!)

Prepare for unforeseen expenses.
While planning for increased expenses in your monthly budget, you should also consider building an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses that could arise during pregnancy, after the baby arrives, or well into their childhood. Aim to have at least three to six months of living expenses set aside.

Adjust your budget accordingly.
Budgeting with a family takes extra diligence and evaluation, as costs are always shifting based on your child’s growth and development and unexpected circumstances like illness or extra childcare. Stay close to your budget to make changes as needed. 

Above all else, when it comes to saving for a baby, it’s important to stay one step ahead. That way you can enjoy the joys — and challenges — of parenthood and savor all of the memorable moments with your baby. 

DISCLAIMER – This content is for informational purposes only. Pangea and its affiliates do not provide financial, legal, investment or tax advice.