Can you truly afford a baby?

Susan Fernandez February 02 2022

So you're pregnant and expecting a new baby. This is an exciting time for you and your partner! You may be wondering now whether or not it's financially possible to have a baby now, given your current salary and expenses. The article below will help answer those questions for you.

Don`t panic

It sounds scary, but don't be too worried. It is possible to have a baby and make it work financially, you just need a good plan of action that will cover all costs. There are also ways to save money on some products that you will need for the new arrival – read further down the article to find out how.

So, what are the expenses?

When you think about bringing home a new baby, you may imagine having to pay thousands of dollars for the baby itself, but there are many other expenses associated with your baby.

There is also one certainty in life - taxes will go up! Are you aware that you'll have to start paying more taxes after your child's birth? Income tax for parents goes up. Your taxable income is now higher since you're able to claim your child as a dependent. The federal government expects all families to contribute their fair share by paying slightly higher income taxes because they can now claim their child as a dependent.

Child care expenses are another expense that families face every day. While deductible is provided through an employer, the vast majority of working moms opt out of this benefit and purchase outside daycare for their children.

These are only some expenses that many parents don't expect to face, but there are more! For example, you no longer get to claim that nice new car you just purchased as a tax deduction. Your little bundle of joy is occupying the rear seat, ergo it's now out of reach and out of mind when calculating your deductions.

On top of all these costs, there is the more obvious physical toll pregnant mothers experience: stretch marks, weight gain, and an expanded waistline! Clothing starts getting tight and some maternity clothes are even necessary after only a few months. Every penny counts at this point in time, but fear not - this article has tips on how you can save money while still enjoying pregnancy!

What would be the expenses on food?

There are many expenses associated with the food you eat. If your child is going to be a future NFL player, then you may want to consider some pricey options for him/her. Is it really necessary to spend that much extra on organic baby food or diapers? No, but if it makes you feel better, then go ahead and splurge on those products.

What's important is finding a balance between what you can afford for your new child and what s/he actually needs. Try keeping track of where you're spending most of your money during pregnancy and cut out as many non-necessities as possible from your budget. You'd be surprised how much money you could save by doing this!

Saving money on groceries doesn`t mean you should be rude to the cashier. Remember that every time somebody asks about your baby, smile proudly and remind yourself that these people are happy for you - even if there is a hint of envy in their eyes. If you live in a multiple-family dwelling, then it's reasonable to expect that some of your neighbors don't have the same good news as you do. So what? Smile broadly and know deep inside how lucky you really are!

What would be the expenses on clothes and equipment?

If you have a baby shower coming up, then it's time to start thinking about what type of clothes your child will need. A lot of new parents ask themselves "Do I really need all those clothes?" The answer is both yes and no.

Yes, because there are many times during infancy when your newborn or infant can't wear regular clothing - for example, going swimming or taking a bath.

No, because infants grow so quickly they outgrow their wardrobe in a blink of an eye! Instead, buy a few key items that work well with many types of outfits. You'll save money from not having to purchase hundreds of outfits that your little one will only wear once or twice!

It's natural for expectant parents to look into the costs of having a baby, but don't forget that new parents can receive some financial help from both the federal and provincial governments. While there isn't enough money to make you rich and your child doesn't need every designer brand under the sun (unless you choose to go that route), it will be money well spent if you plan accordingly.

Also, there would be much more expenses on furniture and equipment. For example, a changing table is very helpful for diapering, but it can also double as a convenient place to lay your baby down while you perform other necessary tasks around the house. Even things like a diaper pail and wipes warmer can be found inexpensively at second-hand stores!

If breastfeeding isn't for you, then you could realize some pretty amazing savings by purchasing formula! You should also consider cloth diapers - they are easier to use if one parent works or goes back to school, plus they are much cheaper than buying disposable nappies over time.

Check with your family doctor before purchasing any equipment or supplies for your new baby. Also, check with the hospital where you'll be giving birth - many of them have discounts for expecting parents! You don't want to end up spending more money than you need to because you forgot to ask about something simple. Take advantage of every opportunity available in order to save money!

There would also be expenses on the baby's health. For example, you need to buy a special chair for feeding and playing with your little one. You'll want to choose something that is not only aesthetically pleasing but comfortable and practical as well. If you're having any problems finding the right chair for you, then maybe it would be better to take advice from somebody who has already been there before - such as parents or family friends!

You'd better to prepare some accessories for this process such as changing tables, toys and so on. Also don't forget about diapers, wipes, and creams.

Be ready to stay at home

Once your baby arrived, you or your partner has to take parental leave from work. This means no fancy lunches, going out for coffee or going shopping to pass the time.

Moms on maternity leave are often left alone with a newborn baby, so it's important to have all the supplies you need on hand. Parent-friendly workplaces are ideal for new parents who want to come back to their jobs eventually - they are familiar with the struggles of expecting and/or parenting mothers/fathers. They may even be able to help you find your way around child care if needed! Just remember that not every company offers this type of policy, so don't expect too much too soon.

If step-by-step planning sounds like one more thing on your stressful list, then maybe try asking friends or family members for some advice before making any final decisions - after all, there's nothing wrong with borrowing equipment from those who love you!

All of these things can be difficult and expensive, but as long as you plan ahead, your baby's first year (and beyond) will be more than manageable. You'll also want to keep saving money aside for when they're older and need all kinds of new things - trust us, the bills never stop coming!

Think about the child tax credit

This is a pretty huge thing to consider, especially if you plan on having more than one child. The federal government allows parents with young children (and those who are planning on getting pregnant) to collect as much as $2,000 per kid under the age of six! That's a lot of money that could be spent on your little one - and yourself, for that matter!

Aside from that, there is also an HST/GST tax credit which can be up to a couple of hundred dollars off per year if combined with the CTB. For example:

If both parents work full-time at minimum wage ($11.25/hour), they would have approximately $3,400 deducted from their annual taxable income. This means an extra $856 in your pocket after taxes ! Impressive, right? With these two benefits combined, you could be looking at up to $2,500 per year - just for being a parent! Not too shabby!

Look through the numbers

So, to prepare for a baby not only emotionally, but also financially, you can sit down and run all the new numbers for your family. Look at your monthly budget and see where you can cut back in order to make room for an addition to the household.

It's not always easy, but try to look through all of your options; you'll be able to adjust things later if needed, but it's important to get yourself prepared before the baby comes along. That way, when he/she arrives, life will seem a lot more stable (and less stressful!). It might take some time for everyone involved to adjust - including mommy! - but it will all be worth it in the end.

So don't wait too long with getting the ball rolling on this! Also, remember that there are people out there who love giving advice about parenting! If you need any, don't hesitate to ask them!

Where can you cut the costs?

Though, there are some things where you can save money. First of all, you can join a parents' community in your area where you will have the opportunity to save on trips. For example, if there are other expecting moms around you with kids around the same age-old group, then you can go on group trips together.

Also, you may want to consider hiring a doula rather than an expensive doctor. Lastly, even if money is tight right now; try not to stress about it too much! A lot of the things that you need for your baby are actually very useful later down the line, like bouncers or play mats. Your little one will be able to use them in their toddler years, and possibly beyond!

If you want to make a baby room, you can decorate it yourself! Just listen to some soothing songs and put on your favorite scent! Chances are that these things will help, even if it's just a little bit. You can paint the walls or doodle on them! If you're really talented, then maybe even make some wall art with a few functional pieces of furniture!

When it will come to kindergarten, it's best to stay calm and wait a bit. Kids grow up at their own pace, so don't push them! Just do the right thing - love them unconditionally and be there for them physically whenever they need you.

Finally, it is not mandatory to buy 'all-the-best' things for your baby. Sometimes furniture with a reasonable price is much more useful for your child! You can get many things at garage sales or second-hand stores, and they will even cost you less than half of the normal prices.

Final words

If all else fails and you truly can't afford to have a baby this year, it's okay. Having kids isn't all about the money; it's about spending time with your child and teaching him/her new things. So if you find yourself unable to afford things like education or music lessons without taking your kids away from those activities, then don't worry - as long as they're happy and healthy!