Parenting is one of the greatest joys in life, but for many people, becoming a parent must take an alternative route. Surrogacy is a wonderful solution for couples who look forward to parenting but can’t physically give birth to a child. Many couples want to take advantage of a surrogacy program, but they are hesitant because of the cost. Luckily, you can budget for surrogacy. Here’s how.

1. The First Step

The first step in budgeting for a surrogate is to figure out the total cost of the program. According to U.S. News and World Reports, the cost of surrogacy can vary and is dependent on a few factors. For example, according to the report, if you need the assistance of an egg donor, medical circumstances, your surrogates’ expenses, and whether you are expecting twins will all affect the cost of the surrogacy. It is essential that you plan for the known and the unknown factors of surrogacy to get your budget ready.

It may take you a little while to be able to fit surrogacy into your budget, but with a focused plan, you can do it. Knowing the minimum cost of the program and understanding what the additional costs can be will prepare you to cover all the costs of surrogacy. It’s essential that you are prepared to cover all costs of the surrogacy to ensure you can enjoy the process.

2. Pay Yourself First

Opening a separate bank account to save money for a surrogacy program is one of the easiest ways to put money to the side to cover costs. You may be thinking that saving money is hard but the fact is, if you pay yourself X amount of dollars and put the money in a separate account, the money will stack up quickly. Set an amount you can comfortably put to the side.

According to Study Finds, about seven out of ten people in the United States are living paycheck to paycheck without any savings. If you are in this situation, getting a second job can help. A side gig can come in handy when you are trying to raise money. Depending on your income you may be able to pay for surrogacy sooner than you think by paying yourself first out of every paycheck.

3. Think Outside the Box

There are other ways to pay for surrogacy besides saving. You can raise money using a crowdfunding site. Ask friends and family to contribute to the cause. Crowdfunding makes it easy for people to donate to your cause because they can give the amount they can afford. Imagine, if everyone you knew donated $20.

Hold a fundraiser. Non-profits hold fundraisers all the time and raise quite a bit of money. You can do the same. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. Parenting a child is worth swallowing your pride.

4. Cut the Fat

If you have your heart set on parenting a child, then you should be willing to give up the things that are wanted and not needed. For example, if you stop for a coffee every morning on your way to work, make coffee at home and easily save hundreds of dollars a month. Giving up a few things now will hurt less when you take on the parenting role because you can afford a surrogate.

This is also a good time to think about budgeting for the new child. According to Zippia, two-income households spend about 10% of their income on childcare. It’s important that you look at the big picture and plan your budget for after the surrogacy. Parenting is not cheap but one of the best investments you will make. Learn more ways to budget for surrogacy today.