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Work and Money


No matter what stage you are in your pregnancy, it's never too early to get started on your baby budget. In fact, many moms review their finances before they try to conceive. It's no wonder why; the government estimated the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 reaches almost $200,000. What's more, those first few years will take an exceptional toll as you invest in diapers, breast pumps, bottles, a crib, a car seat and the dozens of other items your baby needs.

With that in mind, you probably have a lot of questions about raising a baby on a budget. Two quick answers: Yes, expensive car seats are worth the investment, and yes, Craigslist and eBay are good for used items. On that note, if you don't want to hang on to old toys and clothes as your baby gets older, head to a baby gear recycling website. You can trade your kids' old stuff for other items, credit or cash, depending on the website.

For other ways to maintain a baby budget, monitor your grocery and holiday spending, and consider creating a childcare co-opGoing back to work after having a baby helps boost your finances and prepare for your baby's future, but it'll require an emotional adjustment. You'll need to juggle more obligations, particularly for things like daycare and breast pumping at work. That said, millions of mothers across the country manage to return to their jobs without hassle.

Having a baby doesn't have to be a financial burden. With the right tips and advice, you can maintain your budget and return to work with ease.