Having a baby is expensive. For many prospective parents, those costs could start before conception, especially if health issues — such as medication being used to treat symptoms related to a disability — make it more difficult to get pregnant.
But infertility affects many parent hopefuls, regardless of their physical ability status. In fact, one in six couples worldwide struggles with infertility. Fortunately, “the success and availability of in vitro fertilization (IVF) have given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978, 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF,” according to statistics cited by Qunomedical. However, IVF treatments are often not covered by insurance, so it makes sense to start saving if you think you might need medical help to conceive.
Start Saving Early
The average cost of an IVF treatment cycle is $12,400 according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and a study by Prosper found 84 percent of women who responded to a recent survey sponsored by the online lending company tried at least two treatment cycles. Add that to the fact married parents of a child born in 2015 could expect to spend $233,610 — $284,570 with projected inflation costs — for food, shelter and other necessities to get a kid to age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it’s no shock that most financial planners advise saving as much as possible to put toward IVF treatment rather than racking up credit card debt or other high-interest loans.
So, if you want to start saving, set a schedule for yourself to figure out how much you need to put aside each month to cover anticipated IVF costs. Then, study your budget and cut optional expenses. You can start by replacing cable with a less-expensive streaming service subscription and opting for a pay-as-you-go cell phone service provider, for example. If your budget needs a bigger adjustment to make your parenthood dream a reality, seek ways to reduce fixed expenses such as housing costs.
Consider Making Modifications
You may be able to do that by refinancing your mortgage or calling your lender and asking for a lower interest rate on your existing loan if your credit record and payment history are good, according to an article from CNN Money. Or, you may find it makes more sense — and savings — to move to a new home. Regardless of what you decide to do, you should also take the opportunity to look at your living space with your future family in mind.
For example, if you have a disability that causes mobility issues, consider the additional challenges that carrying a kid around might create. If you need to build a ramp to make at least one entrance to your home step free, replace worn flooring in kitchens and bathrooms with slip-resistant alternatives, or install grab bars to make bathing babies and toddlers easier, try building those costs into your baby-planning budget.
And, these modifications will help make your home safer for you and your future family even after your little one can walk and run. For instance, grandparents might appreciate nonslip floors and bathroom grab bars when they visit. And these modifications may also have the advantage of increasing resale value since many Americans are interested in investing in homes where they can age in place.
The important thing is to understand that many people struggling with infertility, as well as those dealing with a disability, have overcome obstacles to parenthood. And, with some baby-minded budgeting and safety-minded modifications to your home, you can, too.