Can You Afford to Have a Baby?

By Joe Gullo , CNN

Published 08/18 2014 09:52AM

Updated 08/18 2014 09:59AM

If having a baby is on the brain, a look of your finances may be too and financial planners say to take having a baby seriously.

The bottom line, consider the costs, but experts say don't let that scare you off.

Money Magazine did an article about how to tell if you can afford to have a baby and here's the reality. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average cost for a middle income couple to raise a child for 18 years time is about a quarter of a million dollars. That doesn't include the cost of a college education.

Here are some steps you can take, according to financial advisers:
  • Determine any changes to your career. Will you stay home, take unpaid leave?
  • Track your income and figure out where you are spending.
  • See where there's room to make changes, like getting rid of cable TV, finding cheaper rent, etc.
  • Add up baby costs -- like hospital, car seat, food, diapers, maternity clothes, just to name a few.
  • Add up the costs of life and disability insurance for your child.
The biggest thing experts say, is once you get pregnant, start living on that budget, so you build up a savings cushion. And a general rule is -- make sure you have enough cash on hand for about six months of living expenses.

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