Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr I’m sure many of you have heard of the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. If not, you may be more familiar with the recent comedic movie with the same title. In both the book and the movie, the purpose is to help you get a better understanding of what you will physically and emotionally experience as you’re getting ready to have a baby. They do not, however, guide you through the financial portion of what to expect. As an expectant mom, I’m all about learning about what’s coming down the line for us as we prepare to meet our little bundle of joy. From those of you who are not planning on having kids any time soon to those of you who are already parents, I hope you benefit from my financial spin on “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. First of all, start saving NOW. There are a lot of unexpected costs that go along with having a baby and being pregnant. The cost of traveling to and from appointments, purchasing maternity clothes, and all of those snacks that you just can’t seem to resist in the store…they all add up. Don’t forget about extra medical testing that may not be covered by your insurance, all of the baby items you will need, and creating a space in your home for your new little person. Oh and while you’re at it, start setting money aside for baby’s education if you can. It’s never too early! Second of all, go easy on the “stuff”. Although there is a LOT of stuff that you will need for your baby, there are many items you can do without. When I went to our local baby store to create our baby registry I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things this tiny little person “needs”. Although the kind lady at the desk gave me a checklist of “must-have” items, I found that I already had things at home that I could use in place of many items on the list. For instance, they tell you that you NEED to have a complete first aid kit just or babies. Well, when I looked at the kit in the store, the only thing in the kit that I didn’t already have at home was a baby thermometer. I saved myself at least $20 on this one item alone by leaving the entire kit off my list and simply purchasing the thermometer on it’s own. Last but not least, don’t be afraid of secondhand items!! Yes, certain things should be brand new such as your baby’s mattress and carseat (I found out that carseats actually have an expiration date!!) But things like clothing, furniture, and some toys and baby gear are all expensive and can be safely used secondhand. And when it comes to clothing, weather you dress your kid in name brands or generic brands, they will puke all over everything anways. Take my advice and save the name brand stuff (especially clothing) for when they actually care, you know, in about 15 years. Just make sure you clean and sanitize everything that was used and you’ll be just fine. When you’re having a baby people WANT to give you stuff. Take it graciously and enjoy it while it lasts!