Congratulations, you are expecting a beautiful new bundle of joy. It is such an exciting milestone in anyone’s life, but be warned… it is an expensive milestone! Your new arrival will mean that your finances are about the get a big shake up. But don’t panic, with some careful planning, money will not need to be a worry for you when baby comes.
Here are the areas we recommend focusing on when considering your baby financials…
Bank on A Reduced Income
If you have both been working full time before the arrival of your little one, then you will probably experience a significant drop in your income. Taking time off work means fewer wages coming in.
So it is time to budget and plan.
Have a look at your current incomings and outgoings, then compare those numbers to what it will look like when your baby is born.
If your current budget allows it, start putting some money away each pay day. It will be great to have a little bit extra to draw on when your earnings are down. Also look to clear any high interest debt or credit cards if possible, so that there is one less thing to factor into your post-baby budget.
Explore Parental Leave or Other Government Assistance
See if you are eligible for paid Parental Leave or other government assistance, as it can help close the gap between your previous earnings and your reduced earnings.
Paid Parental Leave is a government funded payment designed to help cover the loss of income a working mother will experience when taking time off to look after their newborn child. If this is not available to you, then there may be other government funded financial assistance available instead.
Explore your options with your local government or citizen’s advice departments.
Be Sensible With Baby Expenses
As a new soon-to-be parent it is very tempting to rush out and buy all the latest baby gadgets and supplies. Chances are, half of them will sit in the cupboard barely used. Speak to several experienced parents about what they used for their babies and then you can make an educated choice about what you will need for yours.
You can save a lot of money by buying quality second-hand goods. Just make sure that their safety ratings meet current standards still. Or even better, talk to family and friends to see if there are items that you can borrow or items they no longer need.
If people ask you what you would like for a gift for the baby, then you can let them know what practical things you are still missing. They may be happy to buy them for you, club together with another friend, or even give you money or vouchers towards the item.
You might even find local toy libraries or car seat hire facilities in your area. Do some research about what is out there, as you may end up saving yourself hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Budget For Childcare
Childcare will be one of the most significant expenses to factor into your new budget, it can be pricey. If you have supportive family members close by, then they are worth their weight in gold!
If you do go with a childcare option, make sure you shop around as the pricing and atmosphere vary widely. Make sure that you choose one that feels right and ticks all the boxes on your list.
Life Insurance has a whole new meaning when you become a parent. Before you only had to worry about yourself, but now you are responsible for a whole other little life. The thought is not nice, but how would your family cope if you and your partner were no longer around? Protect yourself against financial worry with the right life insurance cover.
If you have existing Life Insurance, then make sure you review it before the baby arrives to see that it gives you the right amount of cover.
Other insurance covers can be expensive but will help protect you against other areas of financial strain. Medical cover, mortgage protection, income protection and trauma cover are all additional options that can give you peace of mind if your situation requires it.
The other thing you will need to have in place is a Will. Name your child’s legal guardian, and arrange your affairs in case the unexpected does happen.
Returning To Work
There are many things to consider when deciding when, or if you will return to work after your maternity leave is over. You need to make the decision that suits your family the best. Whether that is one parent remaining at home, both returning to work, electing to use childcare, or choosing not to. Only you can make those decisions.
One thing is certain though, even if you both return to full-time work, you are unlikely to have the disposable income that you had before you grew your family!