First-baby expenses at a glance
First-time parents making a shopping list for their baby's needs should expect to spend about $7,040 getting ready and then raising the child through that initial year, according to Alan Fields, co-author of the Baby Bargains shopping guide.
Fields and his wife and co-author, Denise, surveyed more than 1,000 parents to get a feel for the retail prices people paid for baby staples such as cribs, diapers and baby food. They've seen that average total expense climb 22 percent from about $5,750 in 1994, when they started the survey. Here is how the typical expenses stack up this year, not counting medical bills, child care or saving for college. This total also assumes the mother breast-feeds for the first six months.
Crib, mattress, dresser, rocker: $1,500
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Baby clothes: $600
Disposable diapers: $860
Maternity/nursing clothes: $1,130
Nursery items, highchair, toys: $475
Baby food/formula: $950
Stroller, car seats, carrier: $600
Read before dipping into your 401(k)
During a tight economy, some individuals may look to their 401(k) plans as a resource. But borrowing from a 401(k) has a decided downside. Before dipping into your retirement plan, check out some of these websites:
Credit Union National Association: Offers borrowing basics, with a calculator to show how borrowing can affect a 401(k) balance. hffo.cuna.org/12433/article/135/html
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority: Details 401(k) borrowing rules and weighs positives and negatives. apps.finra.org/Investor_Information/Smart/401k/801100.asp
Smart Money: Discusses pitfalls of tapping a 401(k) and the circumstances when it may be necessary. www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/retirement/tapping-your-401k-before-you-retire-7924
-- McClatchy Newspapers