The babies are coming

Did you know that there are seasonal patterns for births in the United States? I just learned that births tend to peak in August and September.

Any life change can be hard on a family budget, even if it is a happy event like the birth of a child.'s survey found that it costs an average of $7,542 for baby's first year, not including medical costs. Of course, the costs of raising a child can vary greatly based on the choices you make so this is not a case where one budget fits all.

Following are Sweet Pea Baby Planners’ top five tips for smart spending:

  1. Know Thyself – Understanding your lifestyle and who you are (or will be) as a parent is key to making smart investment decisions.
  2. Can It Wait? – There are many items parents buy thinking “I’ll probably need this,” or “The Andersons have this, I must need it too.” Don’t give in. If you are still tempted, make yourself choose between two things, which will force you to determine which is most important.
  3. Choose Wisely – Be sure to consult the American Academy of Pediatrics for the latest guidelines.
  4. Save Receipts – Sometimes the things you think you’ll need quickly become things you don’t need. Save those receipts and return the items!
  5. Safety! Safety! Safety! – Recalls, warning labels, lead paint. Sign-up for free email alerts from the US Consumer Safety Commission at
For more, read the article from Parent's Magazine titled 32 Ways to Save Money When You Have A Baby.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.