As an expectant parent, there will be a lot of things you’re trying to get your head around, from how you’re going to juggle your work when the baby arrives, to what on earth an epidural anesthesiology is.
But have you considered your finances?
Recent figures released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have revealed some astonishing things! Up to the age of 17, it costs the average middle-class family $170,460 to raise a baby that’s born now. If a family’s income is more than $65,800, this figure jumps to $249,180. And that’s without taking college expenses into consideration, which can average $11,976 per year for public schools and $26,070 at private ones.
However, by doing a bit of planning before the baby arrives, you can make sure you’re not caught out with your finances – both now, and in the future.
Consider Your Current Budget and What You Might Need
If you’ve already got a budget plan in place – great. But if you haven’t, now’s the time to sit down and analyze your spending habits. Having a budget in place can really help you take control of your finances, especially before your baby arrives.
Because of how much your budget will change once your baby’s born, you’ll ideally want to settle your debts if you can. This will allow you to meet the costs of diapers, clothes, bedding, strollers, cribs, and so on, which can soon add up over time. However, in a lot of cases, you will start to save money in other areas, as you won’t be going out as much and you might not go on vacations as frequently.
Furthermore, if you need a bit of help getting all of the essentials together for your baby – why not hold a baby shower? Have a list of things you need and invite family members and friends along who can help contribute to your baby fund.
Make Sure You’ve Got Enough Saved Up for Emergencies
Even though it’s a daunting prospect, you’re soon going to be responsible for someone else other than yourself. So, to reduce how much pressure is on your shoulders, plan ahead for all eventualities.
Emergencies aren’t something we want to think about, but they can happen. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider adding life insurance to your monthly expenditure if you haven’t already. This will help provide financial stability for you baby should the worst happen. Equally, you might want to consider health insurance, which will cover medical expenses and doctor’s bills; and disability insurance, which will keep your head above water if you’re suddenly unable to work.
Another key part of preparing for emergencies is having a savings account in place. In general, this should cover about three to six months’ worth of your outgoings, helping to reduce any financial pressure that might arise in an emergency.
Finally, don’t forget that, no matter how young they are, your children will learn their financial habits from you. So, get into those good habits now before your baby arrives, and commit yourself to creating a good financial budget and plan that you’ll stick to.