The Cost of Starting a Family

Your family can grow on a foundation of strong finances.

Support for your family comes in many forms

Consider all of the financial factors:

Budgeting and money management become more challenging when life becomes all about your family's needs.

A new baby has arrived, and your household is more active than ever. Family and friends join you in the celebration, and everyone buzzes excitedly.

There’s nothing like a baby to reinforce the fact that even happy events can derail a budget. Consider that a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study indicated that middle-class families will spend between $270,000 and $393,000 per child between birth and age 18. And that doesn’t include the cost of college.

Needless to say, budgeting becomes extremely important right now.

Consider Costs and Used Baby Items

Gearing up for a new baby can cost a small fortune—even if you're clear about your priorities. Average middle-class families will spend about $12,000 on baby expenses within the first year, which climbs each year according to a report from the USDA in 2010. You need some equipment, but you do not need everything you'll find featured in parenting magazines, baby boutiques and department stores.

  • Let friends and relatives indulge a bit, but otherwise try to stick to essentials
  • Accept hand-me-down items gratefully
  • Make sure those older items meet current safety standards

And remember to talk to someone at Coastal Credit Union about your new family member. As soon as you have a Social Security number for the child, set up a Savings Account in the child's name and let family members know about it so they can contribute.

Establishing an emergency fund using a Savings Account or Money Market Account is helpful for addressing unexpected costs that will arise.

Now that your priorities and responsibilities have expanded to include children, preparing for the future can include many details and strategies at this point.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

For instance, if you’re eager to change jobs or careers to better provide for your family, one of your major considerations might be what type of health benefits your employer offers and the accompanying costs.

Purchasing a life insurance policy* may become a priority for the first time. These policies provide a variety of coverage in the event of a tragedy so that your family doesn’t suffer financially. Mortgage payments and educational costs are covered, and you can choose a policy that earns dividends through investments.

Saving for a college education can begin now, too. It might be difficult to imagine now, but there will be a day when your baby is off at college. Considering the cost of higher education, it’s prudent to begin saving for college as early as possible.

*Not federally insured, not obligations of the credit union, nor guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entity, involve investment risks and may lose value, including the possible loss of principle.  

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