Having a baby is a significant milestone in life that many people experience. For some it’s an unexpected event, for others it’s planned, but it’s safe to say that there will be a whirlwind of emotions in either situation – and a range of financial considerations too.
If you decide to embark on this life-changing journey, some careful planning can help ease some of the financial stress that often comes with parenthood. To help, we’ve put together some key things to think about when you’re planning to have a baby.
Start by evaluating your current financial situation. If you don’t already have one, create a detailed budget that outlines your income, expenses, and savings. Identify areas where you can cut back and allocate those funds towards baby-related expenses, because there will be many!
A well-structured budget will serve as the foundation for your financial plan. If you’re unsure where to start with budgeting, don’t panic – we’ve got resources to help:
As part of your budgeting process, it’s a good idea to create a list of all the essential baby items you’ll need when your bundle-of-joy arrives. Clothing, nappies, formula, a pram and nursery furniture are just some of the items to consider and add to your budget – but they are not all you’ll need to think about. Check your home and car insurance to find out if all your baby purchases are covered by your policy; it could be that you need to increase your contents cover or look at a new policy to be protected.
Here are some more considerations to not overlook when you’re planning to add an addition to your family…
You’ll need to factor in the healthcare expenses associated with pregnancy, labour and postnatal care into your budget. This doesn’t just include the birth itself as there will be other important appointments you’ll likely need to attend. Thankfully, many costs related to prenatal care and delivery are often covered by Medicare, but if you choose to opt for private health care, there will be additional expenses.
This means that it’s probably a good idea to review and understand your current health insurance coverage. Is maternity care included and what potential out-of-pocket costs could there be? If you have a singles policy but want to add your baby to it, you’ll need to budget for the higher cost of a family policy.
Remember to think about potential ongoing health costs after the baby arrives too. Although the hope is that your baby will be born without complications or any health concerns, this isn’t always the reality unfortunately. Consider setting aside funds for unexpected medical expenses that may arise during the pregnancy or after the baby is born if you can.
Review your workplace’s policies on parental leave. The government provides a Paid Parental Leave Scheme, offering financial support to eligible parents during their time off work but you should understand whether your employer also provides paid leave and if so, what it looks like.
Having all this information will help you with your budget and will likely also influence how much time out of the workplace you take. Plan accordingly to cover living expenses during the period when one or both parents may be on leave because if you'll need to rely heavily on savings, you’ll need to ensure your savings account is looking healthy sooner rather than later!
Bear in mind, that by law, employers aren't required to pay superannuation to someone on parental leave. Some employers do choose to pay super during parental leave, but this isn't the case for every business or organisation. As a result, you may want to evaluate your superannuation strategy and make some voluntary contributions to help limit a shortfall later on in life.
It may seem a long way off if you’re not even pregnant yet, but thinking about childcare early on is crucial for your budgeting process. Research childcare options in your area and the costs along with any government support packages that you and your child may be eligible for.
Looking even further into the future, it may be beneficial to start thinking about your child's future education. School-fees can vary dramatically from school to school, and depending on where you live and your financial situation, you may be paying these fees from kindy right through to graduation.
Remember, it’s never too early to open a kids’ savings account!
Your life is going to change forever when your baby arrives, and it’s likely that your financial goals will change too. That’s why it’s a good idea to take some time to reevaluate your long-term financial goals in light of your growing family.
Whether it’s reducing your debt, adjusting your investment strategies, or building a healthy emergency fund, make sure your long-term plans align with your new priorities and responsibilities. Consider speaking with a financial advisor to get personalised information tailored to your financial situation and plans.
Top tip: Consider life insurance and estate planning as part of your long-term planning, to ensure your child will be provided for in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.
We know having a child can be overwhelming for a wide variety of reasons, and planning for a baby involves more than just a cot and baby showers. It requires careful consideration of the financial implications that come with parenthood too. By creating a comprehensive financial plan, you’ll be more likely to avoid disruption to your financial stability, so you can get on and confidently welcome your new addition into your life.
Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (P&N Bank) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant product T&Cs, before acquiring any product in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determinations (TMDs) are available on our website or upon request.
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