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5 economic tips for a growing family

A growing family means growing expenses. Researchs shows it costs around $275,000 to raise a child in 2012 numbers, not counting college education.

When parents bring a baby into the world, their love grows — exponentially. Unfortunately, so do the bills. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the average parent will spend $217,000 to raise a child born in 2012, which doesn’t include the cost of college. But don’t despair. Here are some ideas to help plan ahead:

1. Create a savings account for medical expenses

Medical-related costs are one of the fastest-rising expenses for children — and just about anyone. Even with insurance, a hospital visit or other medical issues can hit a family’s bottom line. You might want to start setting aside some money each month in a special savings account to help defray those costs.

2. Look at your expenses

With a child, you’ll have a gamut of expenses. So, at some point, sit down and go over all your regular expenses as well as new ones acquired in parenthood such as increased grocery, clothing, child care and even car expenses. Then, work out a budget to better cover the costs.

3. Diapers are going to cost you

There’s no way around it: You’re going to see a chunk of your budget heading for the diaper pile. If you plan to have a child in the near future, start stashing away a little each month now in preparation for the future cost.

4. Don’t overspend on baby items

As a new parent or a “returning” one, you want to buy the best — and “everything” — for your child. Slow down before making those purchases. Ask yourself if you’re buying that for your child because he or she really needs it or you just think they do. Also, shop around for deals.

5. Keep up your own insurance

While you might think you can save a bit by reducing or cutting your own insurance (health and life), don’t do it. At least sit down with a financial planner before making that decision. Those benefits can really help stave off other costs that could really hit your pocketbook.

Along with these ideas, visit for ideas on saving money on those “needed” and “wanted” baby items.

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