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Posted by Janine (MONEY FORUMS: 5, Answers: 0)
Asked on September 15, 2015 9:28 am
I would never defer having kids to pay off loans or to invest for retirement, but I would try to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle if at all possible (after all, you should have about 9 months to do that). Daycare costs $1200/month, and incidentals ran us about $100-$200/month for the first few years. Before you have your kid, you need to have a strategy to pay off debt, invest, and keep your kid safe, warm and well fed.
I just had my first child in May and was blown away at how quickly my little savings was spent! There was $2500 for her birth (my insurance's out of pocket expenses before 100% insurance hit), $2500 for my daughter's medical care after she needed the NICU, and then another $3000 when I was unable to work after the birth for three months. I ended up having to use credit cards to pay for my daughter's birth and am now slowly paying them off. You can also set up payment plans for your care with the hospital, which also works. Before birth, save up the little things like diapers and formula (if you plan on formula feeding over breast feeding) as those add up quickly as well. If you are unable to save, you are not alone. So many parents neglect saving up in advance. While you can make payment arrangements with the hospital and shop used for baby gear, do your best to take the next 9 months (or the time leading up to your pregnancy) to stock away the cost of your insurance's out of pocket expenses and then another $1000 for emergencies. You'll be grateful if you did!
It would be wise. It's much harder to generate savings after you have another mouth to feed (or two or three)...