Have you always thought about having a baby? If you're like most women, you may have dreamed about getting married and having kids; maybe you and your partner would buy a house in the country with a white picket fence. While this is a nice dream to have, children cost money. When you go to the hospital to have your baby, hospital administrators won't say, "Congratulations! It's a girl. It's a boy. Aren't you overjoyed? Here's $500,000, holler!" While it's a nice fantasy, it's not many couples' reality.
Keep in mind that there's a good chance you may not be able to have children and will seek medical treatment like IVF (in vitro fertilization). But this comes with a hefty price tag. Furthermore, you may need to have a surrogate carry your child. However, you'll have to cover costs, such as medical, insurance and more. On the high end, surrogacy may cost $100,000 or more. On the low end, it may cost $10,000-$20,000.
If you are or have considered having children, start saving now because you'll need to cover costs, such as:
• Baby food
There are many financial factors to consider with regards to having children. Read on to discover 10 ways you can save to have a baby without going broke.
10 Ways You Can Save to Have a Baby Without Going Broke
Open a baby savings account: If you want to have kids, open a savings account specifically for children. Set an amount to be direct depositing into the account each month.
Save a portion of your 401(k) for having kids: Most employers' still offer 401(k) plans. If you're not contributing the maximum amount, which may be matched by your employer, consider revising the percentage that you are contributing.
Open a CD (certificates of deposit) account: You may consider opening a non-breakable CD. This way you won't be tempted to withdraw the funds early because you may be hit with a penalty fee.
Save all of the money you receive: Deposit money that you receive, such as tax refund, birthday, holiday, inheritance and other funds, into your baby savings account.
Create a budget: If you don't use a budget, how do you know how much you spend each month and bring home as a monthly income? Review your income and expenses. If you're not bringing in as much income as you thought, consider getting a second job or freelancing on the side.
Cut expenses: Review your monthly expenses and cut back. Get rid of items that you may not need such as cable, land line, meals and entertainment, subscriptions you don't read and other expenses. You may as well get used to this because once you have a baby; you may not feel like going out or will want to save for your child's college fund.
Start a crowdfund: While this seems out-of-the-box, your child may be a genius who can solve the world's greatest problems like deadly diseases, climate and more. Depending on the crowdfund you use, you may have to give donors perks, like a promise to name your baby after the highest donor.
Buy a piggy bank and deposit your change: Loose change adds up! Instead of having it weighs down your purse or man-bag, buy a piggy bank and empty your change at the end of each week.
Hold a fundraiser: Again, this may seem out-of-the-box, but you may consider holding a fundraiser. If your family expects you to give them grandchildren or is adamant that the family name live on, they may as well help you pay to have a baby.
Sell your stuff: Hold a garage sale or sell your stuff online. Remember the rule, when it doubt, toss it out. If it's been one year or more since you've worn clothing, sell them. If you haven't used the home gym in a while, sell it. You'll need to make room anyway for when your baby arrives!
The earlier you start thinking about having a baby the better. This way you can create a savings plan that will work for you, your partner and baby or for you and your baby (you may choose to be a single mom). While you don't need to have One Million Dollars (it would be nice), you want to have at least $10,000 or more saved. Think of it like an emergency fund. If something happens and you lose your job, you want to have at least two-years-worth of pay. It's the same with having a baby. The more you have saved, the more you'll have peace of mind that you can pay the bills and give your child everything he or she needs. Plus, you can later prepare your child for their financial future.
Diversify Your Investments “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” can be applied to investing. Spread your money to minimize your risks if a company doesn’t perform as well as expected. This way, you’re also exposed to different assets and will get more gains for your future. Watch.
Make Small Changes To See Big Results One of the biggest money hurdles is getting in control of your money. Instead of making drastic changes -- and falling off the wagon -- track your spending and incorporate new habits slowly. Do you go to the movies once a week? Try going every two weeks. Grab a coffee at Starbucks each morning? Brew your own twice a week. The small savings will add up. Watch.
Know How Much To Save And How Much To Invest If you’re ready to get your feet wet into the stock market, start slow and keep building. You want to be able to put your money into an account and not have to withdraw it. Forget rock-bottom savings account rates for all your money -- put 20 percent into a savings account and the other 80 percent into the stock market. As you get closer to retirement age -- and less willing to take risks with your retirement money -- the percentages will become 50/50. Watch.
Take Advantage Of Compounding Interest Too often, women forget about the power of compounding interest. The earlier you start saving, the less you’ll have to save in your 40s and 50s for retirement. It’s not magic, just math. Watch.
Negotiate A Higher Salary It’s critical to negotiate your salary -- no one else is going to do it for you. Research what people in similar industries and job roles are making, and present it to your supervisor. If your company can’t provide you with more money, you can still negotiate: can they provide you with more vacation days or allow you to work from home once a week? These extra perks might offset a lower paycheck. Watch.
Forget About Cashing In Your 401k If you think of the money sitting in your 401k as an emergency fund or savings account, think again. Withdrawing money early will result in paying taxes just like you would your normal paycheck. Additionally, you will pay both a 10-percent federal tax penalty and a state tax penalty. Watch.
Save Money On Your Online Shopping Make saving money when shopping online a breeze with Bodge’s favorite app, Invisible Hands. This handy program does the price-checking research for you, and will alert you when a different site has a better price -- or let you know that you’ve found the best deal. Watch.
Avoid Financial Rip-Offs When choosing what to invest your money in, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that you’re investing and saving for the long term, not to get rich overnight. Watch.
Decide Whether To Rent Or Buy Buying a home is not only an investment, but a permanent tie to a location. More importantly, it can limit job opportunities by making you location dependent. If you’re uncertain about whether you’ll be in the same city in 5-8 years, it’s best to rent. Watch.
Cut Back On What You Want, Not What You Need Identifying what you need versus what you want is an easy way to cut back on spending. You need food -- but ordering out instead of eating the leftovers in your fridge is a want. By being honest with yourself about what you actually need to spend money on, you can start to save. Watch.
Don’t Pay Down Debt With More Debt If you’re trying to pay down debt, avoid taking on more debt -- forget taking out a loan or getting a new credit card to pay another off. Instead, keep paying off debt as your priority, and with each paycheck, add a few extra dollars to your payments. There are no shortcuts, but making on-time payments above the minimum will help you pay your balances as soon as possible. Watch.
Save At The Grocery Store When you’re shopping for groceries, look at the unit price, not just the price per item. While that box of cereal might be $1 cheaper than the other brand, it might also contain less. Use this strategy for boxed items, meats and cheeses -- you’ll save more than by just looking at size differences or brand. Watch.
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