For many people, having a baby is a natural step in life. It is considered by the general population to be the norm of a family. Some people don’t feel the pull to parenthood and that’s perfectly okay, but many do.
If you are planning to have a baby in the future, there are many things to consider. Today, we will be looking at a big one: Finances.
There are two big components when it comes to saving for a baby. One of them involves what to have in assets before you have a child, and the other is the planning for when the child is on the way (and potentially into the months of when they’re already here).
One thing to take serious note of here. Just because you don’t have each and every one of these things doesn’t mean you’re struggling financially for your child’s entire life. Instead, these are all blankets of safety and with each one, you will be more secure.
Now, let’s take a look at stepping stools for financial security as you enter this next chapter of your life!
What financial goals should I be close to reaching in my life before having a baby?
It’s not necessary to meet every single steppingstone here, but as discussed earlier, each one adds an extra layer of safety.
Have a stable household income
This one is major. A stable source of income is vital in being able to consistently meet your child’s needs.
Having a stable income means more than just a paycheck. Keep a close eye on your job. How secure is your position there? Do you anticipate any major shifts in your company? Consider these things as you evaluate your income standing.
Low debt threshold
Another thing to look at before you have a baby is how much debt do you have? If you have a large amount of debt, paying that off will take up a sizable portion of income. Having a child during this time may further tighten the budget and leave very little wiggle room for emergencies.
No major health expenses
No one has the ability to predict the future, but some things can be anticipated. Do you currently have any health concerns? Get those checked out!
If you’re currently dealing with an illness, it would be best to wait that out. If it is chronic, then get yourself to a point where you are managing it with the least possible cost.
Savings and your safety net
How much money do you currently have saved up? The exact number doesn’t matter, but here’s the big question.
Would it be enough to support you for at least six months in the case of a major accident?
It is best to be prepared for the worst, incase a sudden injury or the loss of a job happens. If you have a child with you, this will be especially important.
At this stage of life, retirement may either seem a little too close, or it may seem really far away. No matter which one applies to you, you’ll want to start saving up. You may not need a huge amount saved before you have a baby, but do you at least have an accomplishable plan set in motion? Having this together means that your plans won’t be on hold as you tackle parenthood.
Now we’ve discussed several financial milestones to reach and/or have made significant progress towards before you plan your next big step. This isn’t all of the financial progress that you’ll need to make before you have a baby. Some planning will take place during the time of pregnancy and up into the baby’s first few months of life. We are going to discuss this planning next!
You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Now, we move on to planning for your upcoming new addition. Let’s take a look at what to do to plan financially for your upcoming arrival.
Create a budget
Do some research. When you have your little one, some of your spending needs will shift to revolve around them. Things like childcare (which we will be discussing later), formula, and other needs will need to be worked into a careful budget that avoids any overspending.
Children need to be looked after. How do you do this? Childcare during the day will cost money one way or another.
The first thing to consider is: what would be the best option for your family? Would it be a daycare, or would it be a stay at home parent? Both have a cost. At the daycare, there is the literal check and for a stay at home parent it’s the lack of a check. There isn’t a “right” answer to this question. Each family will be different in their approach.
Another thing to look at is the daycare waiting list. Many daycares cannot serve everyone, so they will have a list that can either be long or short.
As you get closer to having a baby take a look at your current living situation. Are you in a good neighborhood? Are there good schools and parks in the area? Is your house stable right now? Do some research to find out what these answers are. They will help you determine if your current home is the right one for your family.
The first thing to do about insurance is to make sure you have it. If you don’t, it’s very important to get it as soon as possible. Make sure you are covered by a good health plan. It’s best to have the best and not need it than to have the worst and need something from the best. Also, be sure to know the deductible on your insurance plan. Check the benefits it offers. It may include things like a breast pump and other great surprises.
Once you have your insurance, be sure to get the baby on there in a timely manner so that they are covered too!
The final insurance matter to discuss is life insurance. You want to be prepared for everything and having a good life insurance policy means that in the event of the unthinkable, there is a safety net for a child.
College funds and investments
It may feel weird to think about your child going to college when they’re just a baby, but it will creep up at a very expensive rate. Starting a college fund early will help you be more prepared for when the time comes.
Now that we’ve dealt with the budgeting aspects, let’s take a look at the physical needs of a baby. They’ll need clothes, toys, a crib…the list goes on. These will be expensive but there are ways to lower the cost. Look at the sales in your area. Plan to hit those, as they will be huge savers.
Also, get access to hand me downs. If you have an older child, save their clothes and toys. Look at your nieces and nephews and talk with their parents about trading around clothes and other things. You can also shop at second hand stores. Good will has many great things there. Another idea is to join a local mom’s group on Facebook. It’s very likely that they will be interested in a hand me down trade. When making a purchase refer the detailed baby gear reviews on our site.
These are wonderful. In the event of a baby, everyone is often willing to pitch in with gifts for the arriving little one. A registry tells people what you're looking for and can cross things off as people cover them, so you don’t end up with two of the same things. Amazon is a great tool to build one of these. Also ask for amazon and visa gift cards, as these can be put toward the essentials down the road.
The last thing you should look at, especially once the little one is here, is amazon’s grocery delivery system. Using these, you can order essentials like diapers and have them delivered to your two within the next two days. You can also schedule a delivery to come periodically so you always have a stock. This tool is great for things like diapers (which babies go through a ton of), formula, and other non-perishable needs!
Ultimately, when you're gearing up for a baby, be smart about every decision. Saving is your best friend when it comes to preparation. This list is here to guide you as you plan for not only your future, but the future of your child. We talked about what to have in place before you have a child, and what sort of things to take care of during pregnancy and the first few months of life.
Going forward, your child will be a wonderful blessing and with smart financial planning, you’ll be ready!
Planning For A Baby Financially Series:
Best Investment Plan For Your Child Future
The Best Money Saving Tips For New Parents
The Top 7 Websites To Use For Cash Back Shopping
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