Financial experts advise us over and over – “It’s not wise to go into debt to finance IVF because the success rates are not incredibly high and you must really think through your situation.”
Don’t these financial experts realize that having a baby is the only thing we think about – and for many of us we have been thinking about every possible solution to finance IVF aside from robbing a bank or turning tricks to have a baby. Clearly these financial experts aren’t parents – do I hear an amen?
Granted I know it’s costly (How much does IVF cost). I am not advocating running out and taking a cash advance on a credit card – that is indeed probably one of the worst decisions to make. Interest rates alone on cash advances are upwards of 20% even for those with great credit. The minimum payment on a cash advance of about 16k with 22% interest rate would be almost 500.00 per month – that’s a whole lot of Pampers besides taking you 25+ years to pay that credit card off and paying over 25k in interest.
First thing’s first – create a budget. I know, I know, the “B” word is not a nice word, but a budget is essential if you are looking for ways to find money to finance IVF. What that means is taking a good look at your income vs. your expenses. Make a list – and check it twice: Everything you have to pay to live. This includes things like your rent or mortgage(s), all of your utilities, food, gas, insurance, and any other bills you pay, credit cards, or car payments. Next take a look at what we deem as luxury spending – entertainment, vacations, restaurants, wine tastings, personal travel, or any other “extras” (personally I loathe the term unnecessary spending so the term “extra works” for me). Anything that you can live without – throw in the bank and begin to save. And remember you can do anything short time to attain your goal of having a baby.
You might want to go to make an appointment with your bank or credit unions financial advisor to talk about savings options (As in automatic deposits into a specific savings account with an agreement not to touch that account until the savings goal is met)
You can always ask your family or friends. Granted your family and friends want to see you happy – that’s their first wish for you. They too want to be grandparents, your siblings want to be aunts and uncles. But make sure they can afford it – we all know it’s tough to say no to someone we love, but you don’t want your friends and family to suffer because of choices we make. So as I always say “borrow and ask responsibly”
Other options – (and some of these are groan worthy but hang in there with me)
- If you rent, suck it up and move to a less expensive neighborhood and put the extra money that you would be paying for rent in savings. You could possible save about $2500.00 per year.
- The dreaded second job – if you and your partner each take on a second job you won’t see a lot of each other but the goal is to have a baby and be a parent. Between you and your partner you could possibly generate 30-40k between the two of you.
- Become a coupon shopper – I didn’t realize how much money I saved clipping coupons. It’s a pain but it works.
- Borrow (wisely) from your 401k
- Check out your Health Flexible Spending Account – 2013 the maximum amount is $2500.00 for a calendar year.
- Check out income need based IVF Scholarships. They are out there, you just have to go hunting for them. The Cade Foundation , Sharing Hope Financial Assistance Program, Maverick’s Miracle Babies Foundation, Inc. , as well as INCIID IVF Scholarship program, just to name a few.
- Look at IVF abroad – IVF in the USA is extraordinarily expensive. A typical IVF cycle runs between 15-20k in the USA. If you choose to travel abroad for IVF you can save several thousands of dollars and in many cases enjoy a vacation to boot. Countries like The Czech Republic, Spain, The Ukraine, India, The UK, and Australia all have great programs and are worth researching.
- Sell your house – I know this sounds like a drastic idea however, the market is improving at least in the USA – and sell your house, move into something less expensive, use what you might gain (if you have equity) to pay for your IVF. Before you do anything like this talk to your CPA or financial planner.
- Check out shared risk programs with your clinic.
- Take out a medical loan – check with your bank or other medical finance companies and research carefully their programs.
- Get creative like the couple from www.babyorbust.com they were one of the first couples who successfully raised money through their IVF fundraiser blog to help finance their IVF.
- Stop going out for coffee. Caffeine is something that your doctor is going to want you to give up anyhow through IVF so that 3.50 Vente from Starbucks you order daily is almost 25.00 bucks a day x 52 weeks, that’s about 1300.00 a year.
- If your gym membership is expensive think about different ways to get that work out session in without spending tons a month at a gym.
- If you like to tan at the tanning booth – Just say no. It’s bad for you anyway and it could save you 1000.00 per year.
- If you smoke – stop. Need I say why or more?
- Shopping – do you really need that new pair of shoes, a new handbag, or you guys – do you needed the lastest stereo system, Iphone, or game system?
- What about wine clubs – cut that out for a year and you could save yourself a grand. Go to Trader Joe’s and buy three buck Chuck for a while, it’s not going to kill you – I promise.
- Did you get a tax refund – if so, don’t spend it on a new toy, gadget, or timeshare, toss it into the baby making fund.
- Speaking of toys – what about boats, second cars, motorcycles or trading cards (Hey I know some baseball cards that are worth a pretty penny)? do you have a timeshare or vacation home? Snowmobiles, motorhomes, or anything else that’s fun, that you don’t have to have.
- Lots of people overlook timeshares. You can rent yours out, or sell it, and pocket what you’d earn in savings.
There are many ways to save money for IVF you just have to be creative. The other piece is to really think how badly you want to become a parent. Hard work and determination are key to saving money and financing IVF