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Expectant parents should be thinking about some very basic questions as they figure out the costs of bringing a new life into the world. WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images

Bracing for baby

Tess Vigeland Mar 2, 2012
Expectant parents should be thinking about some very basic questions as they figure out the costs of bringing a new life into the world. WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images

While planning the right time to start or expand your family isn’t always possible, if having kids (or more of them) is in your future, it’s a good idea to think ahead of time. Raising children is one of the biggest expenses you’ll take on in your life. To get some idea of the costs associated with bringing new life into the world, we talk withCarmen Wong Ulrich, the co-founder and President of ALTA Wealth Management, a frequent expert guest on ABC’s “The View,” a mother, and the author of “The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life, and Your Money.”

Where do you start when planning for kids? Ulrich says the logical place to begin is by thinking about what it costs to be pregnant. “How much time will you take off?” she asks. “How will that time be paid for? And what capacity will you return in when it’s time to come back to work?”

Ulrich also reminds us that where we live is our number one expense. “Can you stay? If you need to move, how much more could you get for your money? Could you even reduce the cost of living by making a move?”

There’s also transportation, childcare, the challenge of living on one paycheck, and the cost of food. Babies eat differently than six year olds, she says, so that’s a new expense to consider. And if you have a growing teenage boy in the house… look out. “They can eat you out of house and home,” she laughs. Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Want to know exactly how much it costs to raise a kid? Click here to use the USDA’s “Cost of Raising a Child Calculator.”

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