From diapers to dollars: Calculating the cost of having a baby

When couples learn that they are expecting, their first thoughts run from delight to worry. But what will a baby cost?

Raising a child to the age of 18 has skyrocketed in cost by about 40 per cent in the last decade to nearly $305,000, reports People Patterns Consulting.

“Financial worries may overwhelm you before your baby’s arrival,” said Dennis Tew, father of three and chief financial officer of Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. “Developing a budget will help you take control.”

Consider these tips to ensure that your bundle of joy doesn’t cost a bundle:

• Needs vs. wants. Before furnishing the baby’s room, does the baby really need a fancy change table or designer bedding? Sign-up for online deals and coupons on baby clothes. Check with friends and family about borrowing gently-used items.

• Delay an upgrade. New parents often feel the need to buy a new house. Your current home is likely just fine for the first few years. Wait until the time – and budget – is right before you move.

• Seek professional advice. Get help from your financial advisor and put together a budget that will cover the basics, emergencies and the occasional splurge. Consider life insurance so that your child is financially protected in the event of unforeseen tragedy.

• Save for school. Consider investing in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). With the rising cost of post-secondary education, it’s never too early to start planning for your child’s future.

More tips on financial planning can be found at

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