Planning for a child? Don’t forget these financial aspects!

Published: February 7, 2022 at 6:00 am

Last Updated on February 7, 2022 at 9:09 am

In this article, author and content writer Smriti Tuteja discusses some financial aspects that couples should keep in mind while planning a family.

About the author: Smriti is an author, artist, freelance content writer and avid reader. She quit her six-year-long IT career to embrace her love for writing. Her article – How much money can I make as a content writer – went viral. She writes content across genres and takes pride in her ability to research and carve magic with words. Over her six years of content writing experience, she has developed a knack for technical and digital marketing content.

She also passionately writes about parenting and is currently working on her book. When not writing or reading, she can be seen running behind her two kids or learning Deutsch. Reader’s may recall Smritis is the lead author of this popular book published via freefincal: How to profit from content writing.

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When planning kids, most of us are worried about the expenses involved. There has been an increase in the number of families that recognize themselves as DINK (double income no kids), SINK (Single income no kids), DISK (double income single kid), etc. While there is a common belief that kids are a gift of God, the expenses associated with having kids are real. Many of us limit the number of kids we have only because we wish to ensure we give them a comfortable upbringing. Some of us avoid the prospect of having kids altogether because we wouldn’t like more financial responsibilities.

None of these approaches is wrong and whichever lifestyle works for you is the best. However, it doesn’t hurt to know the expenses that you’d incur if you plan to have children. This article is about the financial aspects associated with children. If you are contemplating having children and are trying to figure out the costs involved, here are some expenses that you should be prepared for:

The cost of delivery: While this is an obvious expense, delivery costs can be quite high depending on the hospital you choose and the mode of delivery. However, the good thing is that this is a one-time expense, and many health insurance policies cover it. Hospitals usually charge more for c-section births as compared to vaginal birth. If you wish, you can keep this cost low by opting for a government hospital.

NICU hospitalization: If your child is born prematurely, has faced fetal distress during delivery or there have been some other birth complications, they may need to be hospitalized in the NICU. This hospitalization is covered to some extent in insurance plans.

Cost of nursing/feeding the newborn: Initial difficulties in breastfeeding may require pumping milk and feeding in some cases and this involves the cost of pump and storage materials. If, because of any reason, the parents choose not to breastfeed or need to top up with formula milk, there is an added cost involved. This includes the cost of formula, bottles, cleaning supplies, etc. These costs will vary according to brand, quantity, and personal preferences, but are significant.

Vaccination: The WHO has prescribed a list of vaccinations that helps to save the child from potential health hazards. The immunization schedule is handed over to the parents by most hospitals. Apart from the mandatory vaccines, there are also some optional ones such as those for flu or pneumonia.

Doctor visits and medicines: Apart from vaccinations, you will also need to visit the doctor for regular assessments till your child turns 1-year-old. The doctor may prescribe supplements or medication based on your child’s needs.

Diapers: Your child will need diapers and those will be a regular expense. If you choose to opt for cloth diapering systems instead of disposable diapers, you will have to spend less frequently, but there will be additional costs of washing. These include water and electricity bills, and the cost of detergent.

Cost of clothes, baby gear, and toys: Apart from clothes, you will spend on your child’s travel needs that include strollers, baby carriers, or carrycots. Additionally, the child will need to be engaged with toys or other baby items. There are also other accessories such as diaper pails, baby monitors, cribs, etc. These costs vary based on personal preferences and the expenditure will be based on how much and from where you buy.

Income loss if a working parent chooses to stay at home: It is a beautiful decision to stay at home to tend to your child. However, many of us forget to account for the financial implication of this decision. If a working parent chooses to take a break, it will affect the family income. It may also affect the family’s health insurance coverage. If you choose this option, you will have to budget accordingly and adjust your lifestyle based on the revised family income.

Cost of hired childcare: If you choose nanny services or enroll your child in daycare, there are monthly fees/salaries that you will have to pay.

Education costs: Daycare facilities or nannies are just the beginning, child education expenses that follow require adequate planning and saving. These costs include school and tuition fees, cost of extracurricular activities, uniform and study material costs, college expenses, hostel fees, cost of transportation to school/college, etc.

These costs vary based on your location, preferences, choice of lifestyle, etc. Research a bit and get a rough idea of how much you will have to shell out. This research will help you stay prepared for the big and small expenses and save accordingly. Parenting is a very rewarding joyful experience. Eliminating or managing the monetary stress in the equation will help you focus more on the children. It may seem cheap to think about the costs of feeding and dressing your children, but these little expenses add up. In the absence of proper planning, you will spend a lot and hurt the future savings that you can use for your child’s education or other needs.

It is thus important that you stay prepared and enjoy your time with your children!

Additional resource:

Next steps:

Once you are ready with the above, here are some additional considerations that can wait until the child arrives but nonetheless are important.

All the Best!

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Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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