Women Reveal Their Biggest Financial Mistake as First-Time Moms

Here’s what not to do as a first-time mom.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
May 2019
baby dressed in pretty bonnet, with gold bow and cute socks
Photo: Brittany Leigh Neal

You have nine months to prep for baby’s arrival. That’s about 270 days worth of dreaming up a Pinterest-perfect nursery and obsessing over an extensive wardrobe for your baby-to-be. Pro Tip: Put down the onesie. And that adorable plush. And the twelfth lovey you’re about to buy.

MassMutal asked women about their biggest financial mistake as a first-time mom, and the consensus was clear: Overspending. In retrospect, 40 percent of mothers say they spent way too much on non-necessities, like clothing, toys and gadgets. Other reasons for regret were continuing to spend on other non-necessities the same way they did pre-kids, such as on restaurants and new clothes (16 percent); not saving more for a college fund (15 percent); and paying for a full-time nanny or sending their child to daycare (4 percent).

In addition to financial regrets, the moms also revealed what costs surprised them the most once they became parents. For many (26 percent), the cost of disposable baby items was hard to wrap their heads around. Other expenses that took them by surprise were the cost of childcare (16 percent) and medical costs (16 percent).

If you and your partner are planning for baby’s arrival, it’s time to have “The Talk.” Though it’s not as fun as mapping out baby’s room, discussing a financial plan and baby budget is an essential part of preparing for baby. Once you know how much you need to set aside, you can start saving up for your kid one step at a time.

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