Money·3 min read

How I Budgeted for a New Baby

October 24, 2019

The Story

New family members come with new experiences (cough, sleep deprivation, cough). And a LOT of new expenses.

Sounds great. How much will it cost me?

For Andria Aylyarov, pregnancy meant spending more than usual on food (hi, cravings), maternity clothes, and copays for doc visits. Then an unexpected C-section bumped her costs up even higher. All in, the birth and four-night hospital stay set her back almost $2,000 after insurance.

I expected a lot worse.

That was just the beginning. Andria also spent $150 on a crib, $600 for a stroller, and $200 on a carseat. Oh, and she paid a lactation consultant $400 to give her some breastfeeding tips.

Wah. What else?

The USDA says kids add about $13,000 to your budget a year. No big deal. Childcare is one of the biggest expenses...and runs Andria about $600 per week. Some other ongoing costs: diapers, wipes, and baby food. Andria spends about $250 a week on those.

So how’s she pay for this stuff?

Andria’s gotten a few paycheck upgrades...but hasn’t upgraded her lifestyle. Because priorities. She knows what’s important to her – and where she’s willing to cut back.Once she got pregnant, Andria canceled her gym membership and downloaded free workout apps. Instead of hitting up more expensive grocery stores, she looks for discounts at Costco and Aldi. She also uses Rakuten to get cash back on online purchases. And after the baby arrived, Andria sold her maternity clothes on a consignment site to earn some extra money.Two big places she never cuts back: investing for retirement and paying down the $140K she and her husband have in student debt

Impressive. What about maternity leave?

Luckily, Andria’s company gave her three months, fully paid. But that doesn’t always happen. The US of A is the only developed country where parents aren’t promised paid leave. So...that’s fun. Look up your company’s policy to see what’s offered.You may also be able to get short-term disability insurance on your own to cover part of your income while you’re not working. But you usually have to sign up before your bun is in the oven.


Starting a family isn’t as easy as it looks on Instagram. But learning how other parents budgeted for baby can help you adjust your own family’s finances. So you can have one big, happy bank account.

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