Five Surprising Pregnancy Expenses
If you think that the financial crunch for new parents doesn’t begin until after the baby is born, think again. Many expectant parents are surprised by the expenses related to pregnancy even beyond the medical costs and costs of pulling a nursery together. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself digging deep into your pockets to cover one of these five surprising pregnancy expenses.
- Loss of employment. Even the healthiest women can wind up on bed rest at some point during their pregnancy, and if you were planning on working right up to the point of labor then this can have a huge effect on your budget especially if you were counting on that income. Most parents brace themselves for one parent to consider staying home after the baby is born, but when that time comes sooner than expected it can be a huge financial issue.
- Maternity clothes. You may tell yourself that you’ll get away with sweats and huge t-shirts for your pregnancy, or that you’ll buy a few things and that’s it, but then your sister announces she’s getting married and you’re the matron of honor or you just can’t stand wearing the same clothes over and over again. Whatever the cause, you can expect to pay more for maternity clothes than you initially budget for. Just be sure to try to get them on sale.
- Last chance for fun. It’s a realization that most expectant parents have at some point during the pregnancy: This is your last chance to be together alone for quite some time. Even if you hadn’t planned on (or budgeted for) a quick vacation or getaway, don’t be surprised if you get the sudden urge to pack your bags and have one last trip before the baby comes. Most new parents will agree that this is one pregnancy expense that is definitely worth it.
- Relentless cravings. Not all pregnant women get cravings, but some women get them so relentlessly that they must indulge in whatever they crave every day. This may not seem like much of a financial drain, but if you crave a $5 blended coffee drink (decaffeinated, of course) twice a day for seven or eight months that’s more than $2000. Really. You’ll either need to budget for this expense or find something a little less expensive as a craving substitute.
- Fun extras. Even the most frugal expectant parents can get taken aback by all the really fun things available during this time. Expectant moms can get casts of their bellies. Parents can pay out of pocket for a high resolution ultrasound and send copies of the session to family members. Pregnancy portraits are popular as are spa times for expectant parents. You’ll probably talk yourself into one or two fun extras during the pregnancy, but if you indulge in every little thing available then you’re heading for financial trouble.
Pregnancy is an ideal time to save up some money because once the baby arrives it becomes much harder to balance a budget. Try to avoid frivolous spending, but if circumstances beyond your control force you to spend more money than you anticipated then just try to get back on track as quickly as possible. Having a new baby can be stressful enough; don’t add to the stress by piling up debt.
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