Financial Planning for First Baby - Book/blog Recs?

Updated on May 05, 2014
E.M. asks from Brooklyn, NY
4 answers

My husband and I are going to start trying for our first pregnancy this fall. I know there are a million great books and resources about pregnancy and parenting, but are there any great financial planning resources? I know that babies are "expensive", and I can guess at some of the obvious costs (furniture, diapers, hospital, baby gear, etc), but I feel like there are probably things I'm not thinking of since I've never done this before. Also, immediate expenses vs. long-term. Any good recommendations for books, blogs, etc, or tips from your own experiences?

Thank you!!

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answers from Wichita on

I do not have any good books or blogs to recommend, but I do have a few suggestions from my own personal experience.

First of all I would strongly recommend that you check into a short term disability plan AND a hospital indemnity plan. Take those out BEFORE you get pregnant (they won't pay out after you are already pg). When you have a baby, you are technically classified as disabled for 6 weeks postpartum (8 weeks if you have a c- section). The short term disability plan will write you a check for a portion of your income during that time (60% in my case). The hospital indemnity plan will pay you money for the days that you are in the hospital (there is a cap on the number of days). In my case, I was paid $2000 from hospital indemnity just for being in the hospital for 3 days with baby number 3. My short term disability check was almost double that. I am very fortunate that the American Fidelity representative explained these options to me before we started having kids, because it has saved us a ton of money, especially at a time when things are expensive! I understand that these things cost monthly premiums, but when I calculated my monthly premium and compared it to the benefits, the benefits far exceeded the premiums. Side note here, you do not have to keep this forever...if you plan on having only one child, for example, you can cancel the policy after you are finished having kids or you can change the policy to one that kicks in coverage after 30 days of disability.

Next piece of advice would be to call your insurance company. See exactly what it will cost you to have a baby. Deductible? Coinsurance? What is the MAX that you will end up paying out of pocket? Remember that the baby will have his or her own deductible, as well, and do you have a family plan to cover the baby? Do you need to purchase a separate insurance plan for the baby? My brother and his wife had thankfully locked in the baby's insurance prior to having their child, because they ended up having their baby very unexpectedly at 33 weeks, and my nephew spent some time in the NICU. If they had not locked in the insurance ahead to time, they would not have been able to afford insurance to cover all of his medical costs.

Do some checking with your potential OB. Are you going through a family doc or a OB doc? I was surprised to find that my OB doc saves all of the prenatal appointments and submits it one time to the insurance company on the LAST doctor visit prior to having the baby. This makes a big difference with insurance deductibles. If you are due to have a baby in January and your last doctor visit is in December, then all of the prenatal appointments would go in the current year and the deductible might start over for you with the hospital visit in January. OR this could work in your favor if your doctor visits are billed the new plan year. Just be aware....

Along that note, after you find out your out of pocket expenses from the ins company, you may want to take advantage of a medical flex plan through your work (or your husband's). This is pretax dollars, so you could end up saving yourself lots of money (usually 20 to 30% depending upon your tax bracket). That is SAVING you 20 to 30 dollars for every 100 that you spend in medical bills that would have gone to taxes!!! Most employers put a cap on how much money you can set aside for medical flex, and be warned that if you don't use up that money then you will LOSE it at the end of the plan year. Your HR department can really help explain a lot of these benefits to you.

When you find out that you are expecting, you need to line out daycare right away. Infant spots tend to fill up really quickly, because if a daycare provider has an infant, then that cuts down on the number of other spots available (meaning an infant may take the place of two other children according to state guidelines since infants require more care). In our state, for daycare purposes, an infant falls under their classification of an infant until 18 months...not 12 months. Daycare can be very expensive, so you might check on the prices in your area so that you can start to plan for daycare.

We stocked up on diapers with each pregnancy. If this is your first baby, then you will probably get a ton of newborn and size 1 diapers, so you might stock up on size 2 and 3 diapers (unless you plan on using cloth diapers...can't help you there). I am an Amazon Mom (free) and I use Subscribe and Save through Amazon, and it saves me 20% off of every diaper order.

Hope this all helps!

ETA: Also, your baby's doctor will be separate from your doctor (unless you are using a family doc). You will get separate bills from the hospital, your doctor, the baby's doctor, anesthesia, lab, etc. some bills may come in months later.... It is why it is nice to know ahead of time what insurance covers. Also check with insurance on well checks and immunizations for the baby. For our children, they have had well checks at 3 days old, 2 weeks old, 1 mo, 2 mo, 4 mo, 6 mo, 9 mo, 12 mo, 15 mo, 18 mo, 2 years, and each year thereafter....those are WELL checks...not counting if you need to take them in when they are sick. Find a doctor you love, because you will spend a lot of time there in the first two years! :).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


What are you planning on doing? Staying home after the baby is born?

Then you need to start living off your husband's salary NOW. Use yours to pay off all debt and live of his ONLY.

I started buying diapers the minute I found out I was pregnant. Every time they were on sale and I had a coupon? I bought as many as I could. I am not kidding when I say we did NOT have to purchase ANY diapers the first year of his life...I bought all sizes...I didn't open a box unless I knew for a fact I was going to use it.

Then I would go to the library and borrow books from Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman....and learn about savings, etc.

Then I would check with your health they cover maternity? If so - what's the deductible so you can start saving for it now...

Then set up a U-promise account - it takes a portion of the money you already spend and saves it for college for your child.

You do NOT need NEW furniture. So you can go garage sale shopping for it or even look on Craigslist and ebay. I would get a new mattress...but that's me.

Clothes? again...doesn't need to be brand unisex clothes once you find out your pregnant...what you will also find out? You won't go through 1/2 of what you use the KISS method - Keep It Simple Silly - and don't go overboard.

There's a TON more...but I'm not writing a book! LOL!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You already got good feedback. I agree with the other posters.

My addition to the other posts is to start the college fund now. College is crazy expensive and if you start your child's fund now, there will be much less pressure on you and your child when it's time to enroll in college.

Unlike some, we feel that it's our job as a parent to get our daughter out of college debt free. Her job is to focus and get good grades. She does appreciate the sacrifices we made for years in order to provide a good quality education for her. She is an official sophomore in college as of today!!

It's also very important to be funding your retirement as well.

Practice delayed gratification. You don't need everything right now and everything brand new.

Best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I enjoyed reading the other answers. I am a mommy of two and a professional financial planner.

If you are both working, and either of you wishes to stay home than I fully agree with start living off of one salary now and bank the other. If you fully live off of one salary than you are going in the right direction. If not, than you need to rethink your child care plan.

If you are working, than start looking into child care options now. In some places, you get your child on a waiting list before he/she is even conceived.

While Amber's information was good, disability insurance is state by state and not all states will cover anything for maternity (Florida does not.) Educate yourself to what is available. Also figure out your HR situation in advance (leave, pay, etc.)

Start saving for the child's future NOW but do not put it into a college fund. College pre-paid or 529 plans are wonderful savings vehicles when done right but have significant penalties if college is not in your child's future. I always tell clients with just one child to not put all your future child's savings into one basket (college). Your child may grow up and not want to go to college, not be able to go to college (disabled, etc), or want to join the military, etc. Also, as much as we don't want to think about it - not every pregnancy results in a baby and not every baby makes it to adulthood. I tell my clients to not open college savings accounts until they have more than one child.

Buy life insurance for you and for your husband. Now! It is cheaper for you to do before pregnancy!!! Write a will before baby is born - make sure to state guardians for your child.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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