Bringing a new life into this world is a great responsibility that comes with life-changing obligations. The costs of raising a child are significant, so it is crucial to spend as much time as possible planning the future with your loved one. The checklist of items that need to be purchased even before the baby is born is long and intimidating. Of course, add to that list the Lamaze classes, medical checkups, insurance, etc. If you feel overwhelmed by the financial obligations before you, here are some money moves every parent should make before having kids.
Take care of your debts
Before you consider having kids, check your own “financial landscape” first for any possible bumps and steep slopes. Chances are you have some debts in your corner that have been dragging for months or even years on end. If they are barely manageable now, imagine how manageable they will be once you have a baby. This is why the most important thing before conceiving a child is to reach “clear” when it comes to extensive debts.
Check with your company
The 21st century is a hectic time and it is not uncommon to see an individual working at least two jobs. Check if your company is paying for maternity leave and make sure to check every clause, benefit or a lack of one thereof. Such crucial information should be present in your contract, but if you want to save time, you can always go directly to the HR manager or advisor to speak with them in confidence. Use the given information to work out how much elbow space you have in case you have to go on a maternity leave and you can even involve a lawyer to make sure your company treats you fairly.
Financial consistency and discipline
The majority of what makes a sound financial plan can be boiled down to consistency and discipline. If you cannot trust yourself to plan things properly and make regular down payments, you should involve an additional family member who will always be able to check up on you. In addition, parents and grandparents have a chance to use superannuation to provide their children and grandchildren with some financial security.
Have an emergency fund
Apart from the regular baby fund, it is important to create separate “nest eggs” for different purposes. Some of these financial resources can be dedicated to house repairs, birthdays and family expenditures, you can have a vacation fund or layover money. However, in addition to all of these, especially if you are planning a baby, you should add a separate emergency fund in case something completely unpredictable blindsides you. The most important thing is to put money into it regularly and forget about it unless a true red alert comes knocking at your door.
Constantly monitor spending
You and your spouse or partner will simply have to sit down and have a heart to heart conversation when it comes to money if you plan on expanding your family. You need to create a schedule and constantly monitor your spending. This means some rigorous saving measures have to be put into place, which is not the scariest thing in the world, but in order to avoid any complications and conflicts, you have to be open with each other and lay all the information down. Being on the same page is half the battle.
Having a child is the biggest and the most noble decision you’ll ever make, so make sure you’ve got everything under control before you even start thinking about bringing a baby into this world. Try to save up as much money as possible, but don’t deny yourself every single pleasure. Financial security is important, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of happiness.