The median age of a first-time mother in the United States is 26 years (which is significantly higher than in the 1970s when it was 21.4 years old).
However, an analysis by the Pew Research Center shows that more and more women are waiting to have children in their late 30s or early 40s.
Cultural clues – for example, Meghan Markle was 37 when she had her first child – and a focus on careers have led many women to wait to start families.
An interesting result of this trend is that parents think earlier about the age difference between siblings. For some, age is an important factor in how quickly they try another child. However and increasingly The cost of a second baby is part of that equation one cannot ignore that. Having another child is a big decision that you need to make regarding your body, your home, and your finances.
How much does it cost to raise a child?
If you add up the average cost of housing, food, transportation, healthcare, clothing, and education, the USDA predicts that raising a child will cost $ 233,610. Your second child will cost around 80 percent of that amount. These numbers are, of course, estimates that depend on where you live and how you spend. Regardless, childcare costs are a large part of these estimates … and the costs will not be meager.
On average, it costs about $ 12,000 a year to ship your infant or toddler to a daycare center in the United States. For preschoolers and older children, these costs decrease by about two to three thousand dollars a year. A home daycare (instead of a center) usually costs less for both younger and older children due to the lack of business effort.
The cost of hiring a private caregiver such as a nanny or an au pair may vary depending on your situation. In general, the cost of this service falls in line with the high price of home and daycare.
There just aren’t two options – numbers like this are intimidating for parents with young children.
Have 1 child against 2: Crack your numbers
When weighing the financial pros and cons of continuing to work, or making a commitment to staying home with two (or more) parents, the idea of organizing your time and money can feel overwhelming. Use a budgeting sheet or this calculator to keep track of inevitable expenses such as mortgage / rent, commuting expenses, emergency funds, and insurance premiums.
If your job offers you or your family advantages – such as Healthcare, eyesight, or dentistry, you want to know what the cost of having your family included in your spouse’s plans, or how much you’re paying to enroll your growing family for private or state health insurance.
Doing this will save you from too many surprises (there will always be some surprises, so don’t neglect that emergency fund) and get your family in the right mood to expand your brood and make the final decision on who Return to work or not.
Save money on all of this baby equipment
With a little luck, some of the upfront costs for your second child have already been covered, e.g. B. a changing table or toy. Remember that the age difference between children can give rise to creative financial navigation.
For example, if you bought a transition bed for baby number one, it may still be used when baby number two arrives. When your stroller, car seat, and base are still in use, you’ll consider additional transportation needs.
To avoid buying a supply of seats in the early years, consider the type of car seat available at a consignment store, Craigslist, or for free through a friend or family member.
And with two babies you should stock up on benches where you can find them cheaply! For example, if you have a grandparent helping with daycare pickup and drop-offs, you might want to provide them with their own base for car or booster seats. Buying used equipment that is gentler can be an absolute necessity. If that’s what you’re looking for, someone on your network is likely to want to outsource it!
Time and money: there is an app for this (or 2)
Logistically, having a second child is reason enough to revise your financial picture. With a better awareness of the costs associated with raising children, you will be better equipped to tackle a restructured budget. You Need a Budget is a great system that allows you and your partner to keep track of what is being spent where.
And … short messages: Your children will most likely have different schedules. Apps like Cozi can balance family plans. Give yourself (and your spouse) time to learn these programs and the whole family will be better equipped for success.
You got that mom!
With a little preparation, your growing family is a reason to celebrate. Remember, the majority of the people in the world (and throughout history) made it work. As your heart grows with love for your second baby, so does your ability to manage your home.
– From Kat Hnatyshyn
First published in 2014. Updated in 2021.