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Creating a Baby Fund? (How to Save for Your New Baby)

In the spirit of September being known as “the biggest birth month” Elle Martinez of Couple Money gives her advice and shares her experience on saving for a new arrival (and deduction).

Becoming parents for the first time last year has been the biggest change in our lives. As other parents will tell you, it’s a joy and a responsibility to raise a little one. One of the first decisions we made when confirming the big news was starting a baby fund for our little one and our family.

Even before our little girl arrived, we had a baby fund ready.

Why Start a Baby Fund?

Some may wonder if we had any savings before we became parents; we did. Up until that point we were comfortable with the few months of expenses being covered by our emergency fund. When we found out we were expecting, though, we felt the need to increase the safety net.

For one thing, I’m self-employed which means any time I take off for maternity leave would basically mean no income from my business. Though we expected some monthly expenses to decrease (less eating out for example), we also assumed that we would need a buffer to help us as we get adjusted to being parents.

How Much Do You Need In Your Baby Fund

The next step to creating a baby fund is to figure out how much you want to save up. Of course, your needs depend on your specific family’s circumstances. However, here are some baby related expenses to consider when calculating the amount that is right for you:

We also checked with Human Resources with my husband’s  company to know what would be covered and what wouldn’t be. The total costs (for the prenatal visits and delivery at the hospital) came out to about $2,500.

Disposable diapers can be expensive in the long run. One tip I’d offer if you decide to go disposable is to use subscription services like Amazon Mom to have your diapers sent over to you and you can save around 30%. Our diaper costs have been around $20/month (not counting wipes – which can be found at stores like Costco for a great deal).

I’d also like to mention that if you’re doing a baby registry, please include gift cards on them. It can help you reduce the money you spend and help save up for certain baby expenses and give you some flexibility on how to spend it.

How to Save for the Baby

For the two of  us, automated  transfers and savings were the main strategy. Whenever we got a windfall such as a tax refund or bonus from work, having an automated deposit or transfer has helped us stay on course. We also looked at ways to cut back on expenses on our monthly budget and transferred the money into savings.

Thoughts on Building a Baby Fund

Whether or not you start a baby fund as something separate from your other savings is up to you. The thing to focus on is having a safety net to help you make the transition into parenthood. If you’re looking for more information about baby expenses, please visit Couple Money where we and other parents have been sharing their own stories, tips, and advice on what works, what doesn’t, and what’s not worth stressing over.