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Most Parents Don't Save Enough Money for Baby's First Year, Study Reveals

To say a baby costs a lot is an understatement.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Updated
March 1, 2019
illustration of parents putting money into a large piggy bank

Babies are expensive. Like, really expensive. Even when parents plan and prep for the arrival of a newborn, most of the time, it isn’t enough, according to a recent survey.

LendEDU surveyed 1,000 parents to get a better look into the financial commitment of raising a baby for today’s generation. And even though moms and dads start saving up well in advance, the amount still surpasses their expectations. Survey participants expected the first year to cost them $9,371, and on average saved $9,330. But most parents actually end up spending $13,186 during the first year of baby’s life.

You’re probably wondering where more than $10,000 is going. LendEDU breaks it down for us.

  • 30 percent goes to toys, diapers, etc.
  • 28 percent goes to food
  • 17 percent goes to healthcare
  • 12 percent goes to miscellaneous things
  • 13 percent goes to childcare

In not-so-shocking results, a lot of parents say the cost of baby impacted their decision on having more kids. A combined 53 percent of parents admit the first-year expenses have stalled or prevented them from having more children. Specifically, 27 percent need to wait a few years and 26 percent don’t plan on having more children.

The results aren’t too surprising considering nearly a quarter of those surveyed had to take on debt in order to keep up with the financial responsibility of raising baby.

Check out the full survey results here. And, if you‘ve worked yourself into full-blown panic mode, read expert advice that can help on how to prepare your finances for baby and simple ways to save.

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