Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Money Makeover: “Can we afford to have a baby?"

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

Redbook Magazine Logo

Breanne and Larry Stone think they're ready for a child, but they're not sure they can provide for one. Money expert Carmen Wong Ulrich and relationship pro Tina B. Tessina get these newlyweds on the road to successful — and solvent — parenthood.

Like many young couples, Breanne and Larry Stone can't wait to build a dream nursery filled with cute little onesies and a sparkling new crib. But as much as they're looking forward to cuddling a newborn, this Terre Haute, IN, couple wants to make sure their bank accounts can stand up to the $15,000 a year on average that it costs to raise a child, according to a government study. "Last summer, I got a case of baby fever when a girl I work with got pregnant," says Breanne, 25, a payroll clerk who earns $26,000 a year. "But since we have outstanding student loans, credit card debt, and house and car payments, I really would like to get our finances on track before we start trying for a baby."

"Breanne jokes that we can't afford kids because we can't even afford ourselves," says Larry, 26, an assistant department manager at a hardware store who earns $35,000 a year. Two years ago, the newlyweds bought a 90-year-old house that quickly turned into a money pit. "I'm sure we've spent at least $5,000 on home repairs," says Breanne. The house still needs a new roof and windows, and it's not the only source of the couple's debt. "Every time we get a card or a loan paid off, we say, 'We're not doing so bad,' and end up buying something, like a computer or a new car," says Breanne.

Another factor at hand: Larry would like to get a college degree and boost his earning power, but because of scheduling constraints with his current job and their cash flow, Larry's not sure the timing is right for this dream — let alone their shared goal of building a family.

"There's never really a perfect time when a couple feels 100 percent financially ready to have a baby," says Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of Generation Debt — and there's no magic number on your bank balance that means you're ready. "But you should feel in control of your money, be clear on your financial goals, and have certain systems in place — like a monthly budget that you stick to — to make sure you remain on track financially," says Ulrich. Just as important as financial stability, however, is a couple's emotional readiness to parent, says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., REDBOOK Love Network expert and author of the upcoming Money, Sex, and Kids. "I think it's smart that Breanne and Larry want to think it through," she says. "They just need to have a clear plan."

Breanne and Larry's balance sheet:
Annual gross income: $61,000
Monthly take-home: $3,120
Monthly expenses:
Mortgage: $590
Car payments: $655
Satellite TV/cable: $60
Phone/Internet: $145
Utilities: $180
Water: $40
Groceries: $240
Gas or fun money: $400
Debt payments: $565
Savings: $180
Total expenses: $3,055

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy