Pregnancy or Paying Down Debt: What should be your first choice?
Your heart is saying “it’s time to play with “chubby cheeks”. But, your mind is thinking about the high cost of raising a child. This dilemma is quite a common thing among many couples. Some couple delays the baby plan due to debt struggle or financial hardship.
Whether to pay off debts or plan for a baby
A survey conducted by the BabyCenter.com revealed that 68% of parents had credit card debts when they planned for a baby. Nearly 51% of them said that it would be great if they became debt-free before planning for a baby. They mentioned the huge cost of parenthood is the reason of their regret.
U.S Department of Agriculture stated that a newborn baby costs $15,000 each year, including clothing, housing, and childcare etc. Moreover, the total income of a household gets reduced due to maternity leaves, part-time work, or postpartum work routine. Thus, many new parents lack financial stability just after having a baby.
It’s true that a baby is costly, whereas credit card debt is undoubtedly stressful. So, until you’re confident about affording the cost of raising a baby, it’ll be better to postpone the pregnancy.
Sometimes, you have to set priorities in your life. Many couples are planning for a baby even in a financial hardship. All of them have reason behind the decision.
How did Pauline set priority and become a debt-free mother?
In a discussion, my friend Pauline said that at the age of 35, she had to plan for a baby with a doctor’s supervision due to some health issues. Pauline and her husband had $80,000 debt and the financial situation wasn’t favorable. But, they prioritized parenthood thinking about the huge cost related to a complex pregnancy.
Pauline accepted that after the birth of the baby boy, they lived a much lower standard of living. They started living a frugal life and made thoughtful expenses as much as possible. Finally, within 2-3 years, they successfully paid off the debt. Now they’re planning for a new home and enjoying a debt-free parenthood they always dreamed.
If you think this is the right time of having a baby, then manage your money carefully. Embrace the frugal life to ditch financial bad habits. Thus, your credit card bills remain under your control and you’ll be able to save money.
Pauline admitted that you have to sacrifice some of your favorite holds to get something enticing. Here you just need to live a budgeted life. Your determination and effort can make it happen.
How can you manage your money with a baby?
If you wait for the perfect time to have a baby, it’ll never come. Everyone wants to ditch their debt before having a baby, but sometimes, you need to trust yourself unless it’ll be too late for having a baby. So, you have to learn how to manage the cost of raising a child without facing financial problems. Below are some tips you may follow.
- Understand the cost of parenthood
Having a bundle of joy is one of the precious gifts. But, you should be aware the cost that comes along with a baby. If you don’t care about it, then you may not be able to enjoy the parenthood that you’ve always wanted. Research well regarding the cost of delivery, vaccination, medication beforehand to know how much money you have to save.
- Do the math carefully
If your current financial situation permits to pay some extra on the debt, then start paying it right away. You should start saving a certain amount of money keeping the parenthood in mind. Hopefully, you’ll not face difficulties managing the both (baby and debt).
But, if you’re unable to pay the minimum payments on your debt and continuing to add more debts, then you’re not financially ready to have a baby. Because you’re already spending more than you earn. So, the pregnancy cost can create financial havoc. So, it’s advisable to determine your financial situation first before planning a baby.
- Determine your living cost
If both of you’re working, then you should reconsider the total income that will be reduced when your spouse income will stop due to maternity leave or no work- no pay schedule. You should calculate all your expenses, considering one income.
- Update your budget
You should formulate a new budget, keeping all the necessary costs in mind such as prenatal care, child care, formula milk, diapers, medicine, baby essentials, and so on. Thus, it’s advisable to cut down extra expenses when you have to make payments on your credit card debts. Don’t copy other who makes room for the newborn, purchases high-end stroller, or other upgradations before the birth of the child. They may have no financial obligations or they really can afford the costs.
- Establish a baby fund
You have to deal with a number of expenses in a pregnancy like hospital bills, and a long time medication costs. So, starting a baby fund is recommended to overcome those expenses. Set aside money each month for the post and prenatal costs.
|Special tops for nursing|
|Bottle and brushes|
|Routine doctor checkup|
- Think about 529 college savings plan
Time flies. You’ll realize how fast your baby grows up. Education cost is also rising fast. So, you should consider some savings plans that are available. Thus, you may give student loan debt a miss. The 529 college saving plan is operated by the state Government that allows parents to save money for child’s higher education.
Staying confident over financial security is important before planning for a baby. Thus, you don’t need to lament over your financial disaster. After all, every parents want to give a safe financial environment to their child.
Author’s Bio: This article is contributed by Amy Nickson. Amy Nickson is a web enthusiast. She is associated with ovlg.com where she shares her expertise through her crisp and well researched articles based on money management, money saving ideas, budgeting, debt and so on.