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Expecting parents anxious to welcome their little one may not fully realize what a bundle of money their bundle of joy is going to cost them.

According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family earning less than $60,640 can expect to pay a total of $173,490 on a child from birth through 18 years; and for incomes up to $105,000, that amount climbs to $241,000.

With that in mind, it’s never too early to start planning and budgeting for baby — and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) is helping Sailors and Marines to do just that by offering an informative workshop called Budget for Baby.

“The class provides information about the financial impact of adding to your family,” explained Maureen Farrell, director of the NMCRS office at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. “We talk to parents, new and experienced, about the financial things to consider during the baby’s first year and beyond; and participants also share their own experience and tips with the group.”

Attendees learn strategies for making good financial decisions, information about benefits, pay entitlements and the tax implications of parenthood, as well as where to find local community resources and programs that provide assistance for families with children. They may also schedule an appointment for free personalized family financial counseling to help adjust to the increased costs of adding another family member.

Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Chelsea Brown, with Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic is expecting her first child in August and recently attended the class with her husband, Curtis.

“We found it beneficial because we learned ways to manage our money by making the most of our budget and received tips for cutting back on some of our expenses,” she said. “The class gave us an idea of what to expect and I now feel more at ease and less stressed out.”

Farrell said that in the 13 years she’s been instructing the two-hour class, she has seen more than 1,200 participants come through.

“NMCRS gives so much to help Sailors and Marines,” Brown said. “I’m so grateful for it all.”

. Next Budget for Baby Class

March 26, Building #401, 10 a.m. to noon, 301-342-7439

. Special Gift

Every participant receives a junior sea bag filled with baby items and a crocheted blanket handmade by a Society volunteer.

. Eligibility

Active-duty or retired Sailors and Marines; their eligible family members; reservists on extended active duty of 30 days or more.

. For More Information

Visit www.nmcrs.org/b4b