Why Didn't I Learn This in School: The Financed Family
Starting a family is like getting ready for the most awesome, most expensive -- and not to mention the longest -- celebration of your life.
But don't panic! We've got you covered. When you're expecting, here's what to expect.
The cost of raising a child is not cheap -- Not taking college expenses or inflation into account, the biggest costs are housing, childcare and education, and food. Children up to age 2 cost approximately $13,000 a year, or about $1,100 a month.
EXPLORE MORE: Why Didn't I Learn This in School: DIY Savings Hacks
First step: Cut down on credit card debt. Consider transferring any high-balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate.
Next, grab a crayon -- or your smartphone -- and create a budget.
Figure out how much you're already spending in any given month, then see where you can scale back to squeeze in those baby expenses.
Remember, you don't just want to break even -- you'll want to save some green, too. Put away the safe minimum for your own retirement before you start saving for college tuition. You'll want to ensure your kids aren't juggling your finances down the line.
Check out these smart tips that teach your kids to save:
Having six to nine months of living expenses set aside is smart parenting.
Keep in mind that most maternity leave goes unpaid, so try to make up for those funds beforehand, as well. Also, make sure getting your own healthcare is on the top on your priority list. If you have it, consider upgrading your plan -- it could save you a ton of money in the end.
The base cost of having a little tot adds up, so a great way to be prepared is to make sure you have your insurance deductible already in your savings. Creating a will and getting some life insurance is crucial, and there are a ton of online resources to get you started.
And then, there's childcare. Full-time care can get costly, so get budget-friendly by trading child-care with a friend, a listing family or alternating work schedules with your partner.