Making the decision to have a baby is huge. Huge! So much goes into figuring out whether or not you're ready. Are you ready for the massive change to your lifestyle? Are you ready for sleepless nights and stressful days? Have you considered how having a baby will impact your professional career, or your relationship with your partner? There are so many factors to consider. But once you take the plunge, it all sort of works out ... eventually. For better or worse, you're a parent now, and you're all in.
But one thing that a lot of parents are necessarily prepared for is just how expensive having a child can be. Not just over the course of 18 years - the first year alone is pricey! Once they realize how much of a financial investment and/or burden a baby is, people seriously reconsider adding onto their family again. In fact, according to a new survey, over half of parents rethink their family plans because of the cost of having children.
The survey was conducted by student lending website LendEDU. They calculated that babies cost an whopping $13,186 in the first year ALONE. The company surveyed 1,000 parents with at least one child between the ages of 1 and 3. That first year price tag made up 11-20% of the household income for 30% of survey respondents.
That's a big chunk of change for a lot of people!
25% of households reported that the cost of raising an infant in the first year made up 21-30% of their household income. It's a lot of money, and even if prospective parents manage to save up before welcoming their first child, it's not easy to save over $13,000.
So how does the cost of raising a baby in the first year impact family planning? Unsurprisingly, it made a lot of survey respondents think twice about having another child soon after welcoming their first. In fact, 53% of the couples surveyed said that the cost deterred them from having another child to some degree.
For 26%, it changed their plans for more kids completely, and they decided not to have more kids. 27% of respondents delayed having a second child because of the cost of raising a baby.
It's a huge undertaking, even without considering the financial impact. But knowing what you're getting into and preparing as much as possible can help take the sting out it, and perhaps help you plan your family in a way you can all live (comfortably) with.