First-time parents face a mountain of expenses, from top-of-the-line nursery furniture to dozens of teensy polka-dotted socks.
But filling a nursery isn't the only thing making demands on a new parent's wallet. Unscheduled doctor's visits, utility bill spikes, and the ever-increasing cost of childcare can hit new parents' bank accounts with a variety of unexpected costs.
While everyone's experience is different, a little foresight can be great for the budget. So we reached out and asked real parents, including our Business Insider colleagues: What costs did you not see coming before your baby was born?
Here's what they said:
The cost of convenience
Andrew Key, who runs the website Living Rich Cheaply, didn't expect that he would lose his inclination to comparison shop after his son's birth last July.
"I like to consider myself a savvy shopper, and I always try to find the best price. But when you're sleep deprived and have a crying baby at home, you just buy whatever it is you need at the most convenient place," he explains. "Most times, the closest place doesn't have the lowest price, but it's not worth it to comparison shop when you're short on time."
A few bottles aren't so expensive — but what about when you have to buy every kind?
"No one really talks about it, but sometimes babies refuse to drink from the bottle," explains Key. "When my wife returned to work, my son would not drink from the bottle, which was pretty stressful, as he was extra fussy. We bought a bunch of different bottles until we found one that he was willing to drink from."
They say a baby should always wear one more layer than you do, but keeping the house warmer will cost you.
"The one cost that I didn't even think of was the increase in utilities," says Grayson Bell of Eyes on the Dollar, who had a 15-month-old at the time he spoke with Business Insider. "My wife and I are very hot-natured and love our home cold all year round. Since our son was born after Christmas, our home was cold, but that quickly had to change. We now pay double for our electricity bill and 30% more for our water."
The same holds true for babies born in the summer as well.
"We had a bag of tricks to get through NYC's muggy summers in our top-floor apartment with nonexistent roof insulation — by turning off the AC units, turning on fans, and sleeping on top of the covers — but this wasn't an option for us with our newborn, who was born right as summer started," said Dave Mosher, science correspondent for Business Insider. "A sleepy baby (and her sleepy parents) kept us anchored at home and using the A/C all of the time."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider