Someone once said to me, “Having a baby costs only as much as you can afford.” While we admire the sentiment—that it is possible to live with less in order to have a family—the ambiguity provides little information. You may be no stranger to bargain shopping and stretching your dollar, but starting a family is expensive on any budget. If you are concerned about your finances, it is important to understand how family changes will affect your lifestyle. Answer the following questions* (answers at the bottom) before taking the parenthood plunge. They will shed some light on the true cost of having a baby.
1. Without insurance, the average cost of prenatal care in the U.S. is:
2. One year’s supply of disposable diapers (2,500!) costs:
3. If you are uninsured, the cost of giving birth can be as high as:
4. The average price for full-time infant care in the U.S. can range from ______ per year.
5. You can expect to spend ___ percent of your annual income on child care, education, and food.
6. The cost of raising a child:
a. Increases as you earn more money
b. Decreases as you earn more money
c. Remains the same regardless of income
7. On average, your baby’s first month of medical care will cost ____ without insurance coverage.
8. Children cost less as they age.
9. The greatest expenditure for new parents is:
a. Child care
c. Medical care
d. Food, toys and entertainment
10. All baby costs are non-negotiable.
*Answer Key: 1)c, 2) c, 3) d, 4) d, 5) c, 6) a, 7) b, 8) b 9) b, 10) b