Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Tuesday, 09.23.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4
 5  6  7  8  9  10  11
 12  13  14  15  16  17  18
 19  20  21  22  23  24  25
 26  27  28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Aug 31,2007
Don't let having a baby blow your budget
by Jason Alderman

Raising a family is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences in life, but also one of the most expensive. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, a typical middle-income family will spend nearly $200,000 raising a child to age 18 - not including college costs or lost wages for a stay-at-home parent.

First-time parents are often amazed at how many "things" a baby needs. Top essentials include a car seat (required by law), crib and bedding, stroller, diapers, baby formula and food, medical and grooming supplies, clothing, and basic home baby-proofing (like installing electrical outlet covers). Add in a few nice-to-have items like a baby bathtub, rocking chair and baby pictures and suddenly we're talking thousands of dollars.

Hand-me-downs and resale shops can help keep costs down, but only up to a point. That's why it's vital to develop a budget and start saving right away.

Practical Money Skills for Life, a free personal financial management site sponsored by Visa USA, contains an extensive how-to guide called "Here Comes Baby" (www.practicalmoneyskills.com/baby). It features an interactive baby budgeting calculator, budgeting tips, childcare and education planning pointers, tax information and much more.

Here are some of the other expenses you'll likely encounter and ways to prepare:

Medical costs. Having a baby is expensive: Mothers need prenatal exams; normal delivery costs are already high, but complications such as premature birth can dramatically increase the bill; babies need well-baby checkups and immunizations; and - ask any parent - you'll visit the pediatrician many times those first few years.

Long before your baby is due, review your health insurance to fully understand your financial responsibilities. Consider deductibles and copayments for likely expenses like doctor's visits, hospitalization, medicines and vaccines, etc.

Even if your plan pays 80 percent, a 20 percent copayment for a $10,000 delivery would cost $2,000, on top of any deductibles. Want a private room in the hospital after delivery? That will probably cost more too. Find out if your obstetrician, pediatrician and hospital are "in-network" and explore how much your insurance premium will increase for family coverage.

Parental leave. Don't forget to set aside money to cover costs during maternity or paternity leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Ask your human resources department for more information or go to the Department of Labor's website (www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla).

Tax savings. Ask if your employer offers health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs). They let you pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical and child care expenses on a pre-tax basis - that is, before federal, state and Social Security taxes have been deducted. This lowers your taxable income, and therefore, your taxes.

Alternatively, you can take the dependent care tax credit when you file federal income taxes. Your preferred method depends on your income, number of eligible dependents and other factors; however, FSAs usually provide the greater tax advantage for most people, especially as income increases. And remember, you're typically allowed to change your benefit coverage at work outside of the open enrollment period after having a baby.

Practical Money Skills for Life contains a guide to how FSAs work at (www.practicalmoneyskills.com/benefits). As always, consult a financial professional regarding your personal situation.

Don't let any of these expenses keep you from experiencing the joys of parenthood - just make sure you plan ahead so you're prepared.
1590 times read

Related news
Money and You: Simple steps to financial confidence by Carrie_Schwab_Pomerantz posted on Aug 03,2007

Money and You: The health insurance dilemma - choices for retirees under 65 by Carrie_Schwab_Pomerantz posted on Jan 11,2008

Oregon’s WFC tax credit may ease burden of childcare cost by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Mar 09,2007

Spend your tax refund wisely by Jason Alderman posted on Apr 13,2007

DeFazio on Bush's health care plan by Peter DeFazio posted on Feb 09,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 14 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?