Babies are wonderful and expensive. A baby fund is a savings strategy that can handle all the various costs of diapers, toys, clothing and more so that your finances stay free of credit card debt.
Creating a Baby Fund to Avoid Credit Card Debt
Parents have a lot of preparation do to before a baby arrives in the home: decorating the nursery, assembling all the baby equipment, and of course, making room in the budget for the newest addition.
A baby fund is just a savings account specifically earmarked for baby related expenses. Starting to save in the months prior to your baby’s arrival is a great way to avoid any consumer debt. It takes just two steps to make funds available for baby.
Saving Before Baby Arrives
Saving money before a baby arrives is the first step to starting a baby fund. As the due date gets closer and more expenses come up, the baby fund should have enough to cover the costs while still allowing your budget to reduce credit card debt.
Here are some ways you can start to add money to the baby fund:
- Tax refund
- Birthday or holiday money
- Increase income or wages
- Money received at the baby shower
Every dollar counts when building a savings fund. Dump whatever free cash you have into it, and things will add up quickly.
For example, if you receive $100 for your birthday, $1,000 as a tax refund, and another $200 from the baby shower, you already have $1,300 without touching the budget or ending up with credit card debt.
This may sound like a lot, but you will probably face a decent medical bill from delivery. Even the best health insurance often has the insurer pay out 10% of the costs which can be around $1,000 if the total was $10,000.
Budgeting for a Baby Fund
Budgeting for baby-related expenses is essential to avoid debt or be able to continue to eliminate debt you already carry. Your initial savings into the baby fund is a great way to get things started. However, you also need sustainable deposits. Babies continue to grow, eat and learn. So the clothes, baby equipment, toys and more will always be needed.
Costs will vary from family to family; breastfeeding vs formula, disposable vs cloth diapers, etc. A good guess at early costs without daycare can range between $50-200/month.
To find your monthly baby fund money, take a look at your current budget. Are there any areas that can be trimmed to use towards baby savings? Any kind of entertainment, music subscriptions or dining out money is a great place to start.
Consider scaling back groceries if you see yourself using coupons or are able to buy less expensive products. Maybe you can shop around for a new car insurance policy.
By starting to save early, your baby fund will be ready and be waiting when those big expenses come up. Your budget will then be able to sustain any ongoing baby needs. Even if you are in debt management, you can keep your repayment efforts on track because of the baby fund.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.