Prepare for the August baby boom


Austin (KXAN) – Remember that polar vortex? A lot of people were cooped up indoors with their significant others during it. You do the math.

A lot of those folks might not exactly be prepared for the new addition to their homes. A survey from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that a middle-income family will spend more than $300,000 on a child birth to age 17.

Shane Sullivan from Valhaven Wealth explains how to start planning a budget to include that new bundle of joy.

Some things to consider from Sullivan’s website:

1. Make a baby budget: Run the numbers to see how much you’ll spend on everything from food and formula to diapers. A good place to start is by using the USDA’s Cost of Raising a child calculator, which calculates the annual cost per child based on age. But also consider this- while your costs rise, your expenses may drop as well. If you’re staying home- you will save money on commuting and work clothes.

2. Decide Child Care: Child care costs are skyrocketing – up nearly 3% from a year ago. You’ll need to make a tough decision- does it make more sense financially for both parents to have jobs or for someone to stay home with the baby. If you are going from a two-income household to a one-income household, start acting like the changes are effective today, which could mean big cuts to your expenses.

3. Build a Cash Cushion: Sullivan recommends his clients have an emergency fund of three to six months, but it’s even more important for parents, given how unpredictable life with kids can get. Start during pregnancy by saving as much as you can, and cutting debt while you have more certainty in your financial life. You can try methods as simple as putting loose change in a jar, and then transferring the money into an interest-bearing savings account. As long as you vow not to dip into it.

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