Follow this smart plan when looking to start a family
Bringing a human being to life means that you have an extra mouth to feed. While you might not always be prepared for the arrival of your child, it helps when you start planning as soon as you’re aware that you want kids in the future.
Here are some of the things to consider beforehand:
Planning is the best thing you can do for yourselves as a couple and your unborn baby. Open a savings account and start putting money towards it, and before you know it, by the time you are pregnant, you will have enough money to cover all costs.
Once you fall pregnant, there are a lot of things to consider, such as your health insurance, maternity/paternity leave among other things. You need to ensure that the arrival of your child doesn’t set you back financially. And this is why it’s important to plan.
Understand your health insurance and anticipate costs
Having a baby is expensive, even when you have health insurance. Find out from people who have given birth if your health insurance will be enough to cover all needs. If not, try and work out how much it will cost and save towards that.
Plan for maternity/paternity leave
Once the baby arrives, as a mother you will need to take some time off work to take care of and bond with your child. Fortunately, most companies give you full pay while you enjoy your maternity. But it’s not the case with every company. Find out how much time your company provides you for maternity leave and whether you get full pay or not. That way, you can start saving towards that.
Draft your pre-baby budget
Once you know what you’ll be spending on out-of-pocket medical costs, understand how your income will be impacted in the coming months and have a prepared shopping list for your new addition, and adjust your budget accordingly.
Having to constantly buy diapers, baby food, and pay for child care will change your household expenses for years to come. You need to plan for these changes ahead so that when the time comes you aren’t caught off guard.
Choose a pediatrician for your child
Your baby’s first doctor’s appointment will come within her first week of life, so you’ll want to have a physician picked out. Talk to friends and family to get recommendations, call around to local clinics, and ask to interview a pediatrician before you make your choice. Make sure that the pediatrician you choose can be covered under your medical aid. Do your research ahead of your child’s arrival. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to cover the costs out of your own pockets.
Start an emergency fund
If you don’t already have an emergency fund for rainy days, now’s the time to anticipate some emergencies. The cost of raising a child is high and there’s no telling if you’ll have the disposable income to pay for any unexpected expenses. Having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses covered is a great place to start.
Other important things to consider as your child grows
Save for his or her education
Education is expensive and you need to plan for it as soon as your child is born. Take out an education savings policy, create a unit trust or a normal savings account, and start putting money towards it. In your budget, also factor in stationary, school uniform, impromptu trips, and school events. You need to ensure that whatever you save will be enough to cover all the essentials. As a couple, you need to consult a financial planner to help you with this.
Do your research on schools you want to take your child, find out how much it costs. But don’t forget to also factor in the impromptu spending that will occur during the year. When you have this in mind, your financial planner will advise on how much you should be saving and help you work out how much you can take out each month.
It doesn’t end there, you also have to plan for higher education. Discuss all of this with your financial planner, it may be wise to separate the two savings, one for school and the other for tertiary.
Adjust your policies
As soon as your child comes, you will need to add him or her as a beneficiary in all your policies. Speak to your financial adviser on making the adjustments to your policies. Make sure you do this as soon as you can.
The bottom line
You need to always be prepared for the inevitable. Don’t get married unless you have saved for it. Going into a new marriage with debt is the worst thing you can do. Plan and save ahead to ensure that you have enough money to wed your partner and start a debt-free journey. As soon as you meet someone that you plan to spend your life with, start saving for your child or children especially if you and your partner do plan to start a family.