Real Life On A Budget

3 Pregnancy Expenses I Didn’t Expect

I knew having a kid wouldn’t be cheap. But now that I’m pregnant, I realize that there are a few expenses I wasn’t prepared for. Here are my top three.

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  • Christine Smith

    Every vlog from now until your daughter is born should include a bump shot!! πŸ™‚

  • Noel Q

    Find consignment shops or sales in your area to help furnish your nursery. Other parents have been in your boat, bought all these pieces of furniture only to turn around in 18-24 months and find that the needs in the child’s room has changed. If the furniture is nice but wrong color, but some paint/stain and make it your own. On the back side of this argument, you can sell the furniture once your child has grown into different needs.

  • Ashley

    I lucked out my husband has state insurance so it was $250.00 to have the baby and all mine nad her (once she got here) doctor visits were/are covered. I also lucked out in working for my parents that i can bring her to work with me everyday but tuesdays (husband is off every other tuesday, so i pay for only about 2 1/2 days a month in childcare) I went slightly crazy with my nursery but i used a lot of handme downs from my cousin who had her last kid about 2 years before i had mine.

  • CVE

    The glider/rocker is the one thing I didn’t buy with my first child that I’m definitely going to get next time around. The changing tables seem like the biggest waste of space/money, but I’m sure others would strongly disagree.

    • Blessed Heart

      I agree with you, personally you can change a diaper anywhere! haha i never had a changing table πŸ™‚ I usually sat on the floor or the bed and put a blanket down and took care of it πŸ™‚

  • Dolly

    Rachel, First of all Midwives are usually cheaper than OB’s and just as safe with a normal pregnancy. Secondly many OB’s will give a prepaid discount. Another thing is that you can shop medical care as well as you do other items..You just have to factor in how you feel about the different care takers…because BOY does your comfort with your Dr. or Midwife factor into the satisfaction of the birth! I’ve had four children and love, love, loved my homebirths with my Midwife FAR more than my two hospital OB births…Just saying πŸ™‚

  • Brittany Ericson

    Lol! Love you πŸ™‚ I had my twins in the hospital, but did all my checkups with a midwife. Number three was born at home and the $2k bill was much nicer than the $10k one! Of course that only works if you’re low risk, having a baby at home is less stressful for you and hubby must be okay with it. Definitely cuts down on medical! We had our girls 10 days before my husband graduated, moved into our in-laws basement and my husband worked all sorts of random jobs. We had zero spending money. I am not a shopper and scorned the women who became all silly over baby clothes… And then I had twin girls!!! Saying NO to adorable outfits was literally painful!!! I still have never decorated a room(baby step 3 finishing up), but pinterest is SO tempting. And gliders… Oh man! Next baby is getting a glider! I’m done with nursing on the floor or in bed! Also, I’m a stay-at-home mom, but babysitters are still needed for date nights and they are PRICEY! I can’t imagine what you’re going through!? Thanks for the honesty. Keep it up!

  • MuddPie

    I am not too worried about the hospital bill, i have a primary and secondary insurance that i believe will cover the majority. But what added up for us was the “extra medical expenses” i did not anticipate. In order to keep me functional, i’ve had to do a lot of Chiropractic and Massage. Primary covers it, secondary does not. Then we hit the new year and we are paying cash because its cheaper then billing insurance and paying the deductible. nAlso, the extra expense of maternity things. No major stores around here carry my size, very few thrift and consignment stores had anything for me to use, so i had to order brand new online. Not to mention the cost of compression items for all the swelling, and support belt for my back. Also, I’m large chested so i have to be fitted for a proper fitting nursing bra, rather then just pick one up at a chain store. More $$$ πŸ™

  • Mbfosteryc

    Buy a dresser with lots of drawers in stead of a changing table! The foam changing pads are inexpensive and on the glorious day when baby love is potty trained, you still have a usable piece of furniture!!!

  • Sarah McKay

    Rachel Cruz, the best-ever travel crib that we have used is the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib. It’s light, easy set up (like popping out a top hat!) and take down, easy to wash the frame fabric and I made 4 pretty sheets to slip over the pad (like a giant pillow case). We have even used it as an every-day crib in our house. It’s also hard for our toddlers to climb out of. When they got tall enough to climb out, it was low to the floor so that they didn’t tumble far. Check it out!nnIf you go with a traditional crib, we have really liked having a crib that converts to a toddler bed. It’s low to the floor when they fall out and they’re already familiar with it when the one wall is removed for the toddler bed.

    • Jodi Dolo

      I borrowed that travel crib from a neighboru2014loved it! Much lighter and takes up less room compared to a Pack N Play.

  • KNPeak

    We just had our first baby (a girl!) at the end of August. I hear you w/the medical bills. Also, for some, child care is a real expense that can’t be avoided. We were lucky enough I can be a SAHM which saves money for child care as well as formula because we’re able to EBF. And as for the nursery, we don’t have anything in our daughter’s nursery that costs over $85. The most expensive thing in there is the crib mattress which was $85 on sale at BRU. Our crib was from IKEA for $65 and works great! Glider we bought off of a mom on a FB group of area moms that do virtual garage sales, and the glider and ottoman combined was $25. Changing table was from a friend that had 2 kids and was done, so, that was a freebie! We reuse the hangers that come with all the baby clothes, so we don’t have any money spent on hangers, no fancy matching dressers. Just a cheap $20 plastic shelf from walmart we use to store boxes of diapers, wipes, all her baby socks and hair bands, and little random things. Then we have a toy chest that we got for $5 at a local BRU that is going out of business and everything was clearance! Bookshelf was another freebie my college roommate gave me when we moved out and she didn’t want to keep it. Works great for her baby books and some of her musical toys. Husband got a cute rug for her room from IKEA for $20. Lastly, the cool-mist humidifier. We did buy that new but with a 20% off coupon from buy buy baby. That came to under $40 after the coupon was applied. So, there you have it. Can be cheaply done if you aren’t that into keeping up with appearances. Baby has everything she needs, and even a few extra things to make the room look cute like the rug, and cute humidifier. It is possible. My favorite thing in that room is the glider. We use it all the time!!!

  • Monica

    One other expensive thing is a car seat & stroller! I made sure to get gender neutral items with my first daughter, which paid off because my second was a boy. There is no need to buy a cute girly one.

  • lzw

    HSA. πŸ™‚ That’ how I paid for my babies to be born!

  • Karen Baines Hobson

    Pregnancy can be expensive and decorating the nursery can be expensive, but that is the place that you can absolutely control. You need a crib, a chest of drawers and quite possibly an inexpensive twin bed that you can lay the baby on to change her diaper, dress her, etc. and then when she outgrows the crib, BOOM, you have the bed already. You can find inexpensive twin beds at estate sales, yard sales, word of mouth, etc. Also, on daycare, my recommendation is finding an older lady who babysits in her home. Yes, they are rare anymore, but you can still probably find one if you put the word out that you’re looking. They are usually MUCH less expensive than daycare…like $50-$75 a week as opposed to $250 plus a week. And, there are less children which means more one-on-one with each one and less sniffles, colds, etc. to pick up. Just my two-cents worth.

  • Rosanna

    Not to be rude, but I number 3 is kind of non issue. When we had our kids, we didn’t have the money to have a nice nursery. (9, 7, and 4 years) I had no option but to accept hand me down furniture. I did paint and I did make curtains and all that but that’s about it. The kids are fine for it. I actually took the time to decorate all their rooms after the were out of cribs. It lasts much longer….:)

  • Rebekah

    Here’s a great alternative for childcare. While in college I exchanged nannying services for room and board, saved me and the parents a ton of money. (Definitely helped me in graduating debt free!!) It was a great experience and I will always treasure the couple as mentors and love the little girl beyond words!! Of course don’t rush into an arrangement like this without a lot of research and prayer. And I’m sure this type of arrangement can be done many different ways, I’ve had several friends nanny as well. Just don’t trade the precious time with your young one. You and Winston are her biggest role models and will have one of if not the largest impacts on her life. Excited for you all on this journey!

  • Robin

    Keep in mind with childcare expenses that although it seems expensive, infants ( at least in my state) require a 3 to 1 ratio, so just to pay the people watching your child, you are paying at least 1/3 of their salary. And that’s before the center pays for rent, utilities and supplies. In my area, childcare workers are some of the lowest paid people around, yet we entrust them with our priceless children! It doesn’t make a lot of sense. I work for a church-owned daycare, and believe me, it is not easy to come out in the black for daycare centers. Our center doesn’t accept children under 18 months for that reason. But if you can find a daycare center in a church, (I may be biased) but I really believe that’s the best way to go if you are using paid childcare. My issue with in-home daycare is that many times there just isn’t the same accountability as you will find in a daycare center. And it’s great to have the back-up of other teachers and helpers when you have discipline issues, an inconsolable child or just need a break. And in a church-based daycare like ours, we hire Christians and we teach the kids about Jesus and Christian values.nnAs for nursery furniture, it is cute, but some pieces could be on your wish list for baby showers, and some of it you may just have to exercise your ability to say, “No.” You can get used, just be careful not to get things that may no longer be considered safe. Never, ever buy a used care seat, it’s worth the safety of your baby to get a new one. If you are in a car accident, you will be glad that your baby is safe in a new, up-to-date care seat that you KNOW has never been in an accident before!

  • Larissa

    We bought a dresser and a changing pad. Changing tables take up room, expensive and are so temporary. We bought a used crib for $20 that was still in great condition (currently being used for #2), we also bought a nice wooden cradle for $20 that sits in our room for the first few months. My mother-in-law purchased my glider as the babies gift. My mother, grandmother and a few others went together for my stroller (and now double stroller). nWe have been lucky with childcare. I have always been able to work around my husbands work schedule so one or the other have always kept the kids.nPSnA few “surprises” after baby is born. That first few weeks you won’t get much done other then taking care of yourself and baby. Plan on eating out (or take out) or having freezer meals ready. If you plan on nursing, call your insurance company, they now provide pumps for working moms. You will still need storage bags which are kind of pricey. I like Lanisal bags myself. If you do formula, well that’s like feeding a grown man! And diapers, diapers, diapers! Whether you do cloth or disposable, the expense is there. Plan on a pack a week for the first several months.nGood luck with the pregnancy and birth! It is an amazing experience. Going back to work will be hard at first, but you will learn to enjoy the adult time. πŸ™‚

  • Katlin Stewardson

    No matter what kind of birth you want to give your child, please get a doula! Mine was $1,000 (They can definitely be cheaper and just as great!), but I would have easily paid $2,000. She was my rock during the birth of my son.

    • Larissa

      Agree with doula! Had one for baby #2 and it was the best thing I did!

    • Jamie

      Totally not necessary and more than a few are not properly educated. Where was your husband?

  • Gina

    Must BUY!!!! Baby Bargains. nnThat book saves us so much money with each baby and it helps us buy with confidence. Every year they release a new one – you need need the current edition for valid info. They compare prices and quality of each baby necessity and non-necessity. So, you can make an informed choice about everything from nursing pads to cribs and car seats to bottles and all of the things you never knew existed! This book is written by experienced moms. It’s totally worth the $15

  • Jen

    We ran out of time to set up the nursery and baby slept with us for the first 6 months. Never really needed a changing table–we used a changing mat and the floor or the couch or the bed. I think a dresser with a pad sounds great. The nursery ended up being a crib, rocking chair (family heirloom) and hand-me-down dresser. I think if you can do a nice nursery that’s great, but it doesn’t get used that long, so if you don’t have funds it’s fine to keep it very simple.

  • Gina

    BABY BARGAINS – Secrets to saving 20%-50% on baby…nn is the current edition. The 2015 edition will be released in April.

  • Thatgirl

    co sleep- eliminate the crib aka baby jail. It’s unsafe compared to co sleeping and nursing when baby is in your bed is a breeze. Getting up every time you need to nurse will wake you up so much it’s crazy. Momma bears don’t put their babies in separate caves across the hall do they? Of course not! You can easily monitor your baby if she’s next to you. It’s nearly impossible to roll on a baby unless drugs are involved or you are obese. Her digestion, feeding cues and breathing is more regulated with your touch and smell next to her too. It’s a beautiful thing…just as God intended!

    • golfingprincess

      Co sleep if you must, but it’s not as safe. Read a few SIDS recommendations. Unless you’re going to sleep without any pillows, blankets, etc. To each their own, just don’t spread safety misinformation.

      • Jodi Dolo

        I agree! That’s irresponsible to say it’s nearly impossible unless drugs or obesity are in the equation. And momma bears don’t have any furniture, clothes, a car, etc. so do we want to really go there that they don’t do something, why should we? End the mommy wars. Co-sleeping isn’t the only way! Different strokes for different folks!

      • Thatgirl

        I have three friends who lost babies because of crib or cradle use. La Leche recommends cosleeping. My babies are cuddled next to me between my arm that’s out and my side. No risk. Just get informed and figure out what works for your circumstances.n

        • golfingprincess

          Well, March of Dimes, AAP, and every major study done on SIDS disagrees with your anecdotal safety evidence. So, sleep with your kids if you wish, but I’m not the one that needs to get informed.

    • Jodi Dolo

      She should co-sleep if they decide it’s the best decision for their family not to save money. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to use a crib.

  • Angela Bailey Coffman

    Yes….and then when they get older: Music lessons, ballet lessons, sports fees (not even for club ball.) We have 6 kids—It’s crazy expensive even doing it as cheaply as possible. But I want them to have experiences and skills and memories.

  • Jodi Dolo

    Setup a baby registry and you may be surprised. Most of the big ticket items were purchased for us off our registry and we also looked at consignment baby sales so that we had money to splurge on a high-end car seat (never buy used).nnOne thing a lot of women don’t think about and plan for is maternity leave. Find out right away how much paid leave, if any, you’re entitled to. As soon as we found out we were expecting, we figured out how many weeks I was getting paid, how much time I knew I wanted to take, and how much of that would be unpaid. We then sat down and figured out how much we needed to put aside to make up for the unpaid weeks. We did put everything extra in savings in addition to that lost income we were anticipating. nnAs tempting as it was to use that money to pay off debt, we’re so glad we listened to your Dad’s advice to pause where we were in the baby steps. My son was born a month early and spent 10-days in NICU. The crazy amount of specialists that saw him without us knowing and sending us bills! Even though we had great insurance, we didn’t know how much we had to pay out of pocket and were able to pay off the bills we did receive with no problem. The peace of knowing the money was thereu2014priceless! I even called and talked to your Dad on his radio show because I didn’t know when it was safe to hit unpause since we didn’t know how many bills were left from his hospital stay!nnGood luck, Rachel!

  • ExpectTheUnexpected

    And speaking of medical expenses Rachel, we were doing the baby steps when we got pregnant & thought we had it all figured out because we had budgeted for those but then the unexpected happened. Not even 2 wks after baby was born he had to be rushed to ER for MRSA & had to stay in hospital for 3 days. Totally wiped out our emergency fund

  • Blessed Heart

    But, when you have one baby, then you have a second and or third baby… you can use the same crib and clothes etc etc as before so that cost goes down πŸ™‚

  • Kate

    Thank you! I get so annoyed when i hear “babies are only as expensive as you make them” – yea maybe if you are a stay at home mom! Daycare is erasing our entire snowball! We are going from making progress to being back to square one with nothing left over! its a HUGE monthly bill that just doesn’t go away! Everything else is cheap compared to daycare!

  • Teri

    Safely used furniture is not only better for the budget but also healthier since it won’t have all those “new stuff” fumes.

  • Cody_With_SMI

    Congratulations,nRachel! Having a baby is always annexciting time, whether itu2019s your first child or your sixth! And youu2019re absolutely right. Those medicalncosts can catch you off guard. Butnthereu2019s a way to bend the cost curve down and avoid deductibles. Members ofnSamaritan Ministries International, an organization that takes a Biblicalnapproach to health care needs, routinely have maternity needs shared in fullnamong members and are often able to receive steep discounts from providers. If you are interested, you can check outnElaineu2019s story about how Samaritan shared her maternity needs at Again, congratulations, and I hope you have anhappy and healthy pregnancy.

  • lily_do26

    The hardest financial part for me is child care. It takes a whopping $1600+ a month out of our budget for someone to come to our house to watch our 2 toddlers. Of course there are less expensive options but if I’m able to financial have my kids at their own home and not have to be woken up at 5:30am to be brought to daycare every morning, (and not to mention keeping them away from a ton of germs, lice, other kid’s bad behavior), it’s a financial sacrifice I’m willing to make. Paying off debt is just going to be a little slower of a process.

  • I find it really shocking how many women decide everything must be new for their baby. My mother and women of her generation (born in the 50s) didn’t have everything new, even with industrialisation, people just couldn’t afford it without going into debt. Now women think nothing of buying a new pram, or having two just because they ‘want’ it. We have set up our entire nursery including enough cloth nappies for full time use for . Only the car is new for safety, everything else is secondhand. Make do and mend, reduce, reuse and recycle. So much cheaper and healthier, as well as better for the environment.

  • MWedgewood

    My husband and I have planned to have a baby for a while now, which helps for sure, but even if you’re not sure when it will happen, it can be good to be prepared for at least Expense #1. Below has been our plan for a while now (just trying to get to the pregnant part!), so I thought I’d share what has taken some financial stress out of these inevitable expenses in our plan.nnExpense 1: I have a HDHP partnered with an HSA account. This means tax savings and nothing directly out of pocket because I put the max into it each year and (unlike an FSA) it rolls over over every year. I have enough to cover my deductible plus out of pocket expenses, prescriptions, etc. Fortunately, my employer adds $1500 a year, so to get the max, I don’t have to put all of it in myself.nnExpense 2: there is another similar thing you can for child care to reduce taxable income and save for this huge expense. Luckily for me, my husband has decided he wants to be a work at home dad, at least for the first couple years until the kid can start preschool. We may or may not have this expense, we’ll see, haha!nnExpense 3: nurseries do not have to break the bank!! Second hand is amazing. If the item has good bones, it can be restained or repainted (non-toxic options of course) or reupholstered for a total cost still less than that of new. Plus, you’re helping to reduce-reuse-recycle at the same time while making it your own. Search Craigslist or local papers to help out a fellow parent, or shop second hand stores to help out small business owners. Either way, you can feel better about where your money is going!

  • SoFlaFan

    I was 100% committed to both breastfeeding and co sleeping when my daughter was born … but neither one worked out! I was sorely disappointed! Breastfeeding ended when I got an infection and had to go on antibiotics. Cosleeping was a problem because none of us slept well with baby in the bed. She was still waking up 3x/night after six months, but as soon as we put her in a crib, she went to 1x/night in a week. BOTTOM LINE: your baby is an individual and you will have to figure out what works for you and her. My daughter grew up healthy, happy, sweet, caring young lady who stayed close to my husband and I even through the teen years. ALSO RESIST buying baby clothes, they outgrow each size so fast! Only 5-7 daytime outfits/oneseys plus a nicer one for church. And forget shoes until baby starts to walk-just a waste of cash (esp in a warm climate like Fla.). People will give you so much stuff, use your money for diapers, or just save it for later. Babies don’t care about all this stuff, but older kids have demands and preferences – ooo, then it gets fun!!

  • Jo

    Why don’t you join Christian Healthcare Ministries? Your Dad endorses them, and it would save you a TON in maternity costs?????!!!!! We just joined!

  • Saved as a favorite, I really like your website!