No one would argue that having a baby is cheap. From the diapers to childcare, the price of raising an infant in the first year is costly, let alone the years ahead filled with activities, clothes, and college. The question is, how much does it really cost? A new study found that parents expectations don’t nearly add up to the financial reality they are facing in the first year of parenthood.
According to a survey of over 1,400 parents and parents-to-be from NerdWallet, a little more than half of those surveyed believe that the first year of having a baby will cost $5,000 or less. However, the real cost is more than four times that, with a cost of up to $21,248 based on a household income of $40,000. It doesn’t take a math whiz to realize just how much of a financial investment that represents. When determining the total cost, NerdWallet factored in housing, food, transportation, childcare, out of pocket health care expenses, health insurance, and all the baby items from clothes to diapers.
Of those surveyed, 61 percent believe that family and friends will pitch in more than 20 percent of the expenses in the first year. Among those who are already parents, fifty-seven percent regret not planning more financially for their child, while 33 percent wish they had started a college savings plan earlier.
Do these stats fit your own financial reality as a parent? Share your thoughts on the survey results in the comments.