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. Babycenter.com'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 cpsc.gov
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.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.