Congratulations, you just found out you’re having a baby! Adding a new member to the family is always an exciting experience, so make sure to enjoy the nine-month ride! However, after the shock and excitement wears off, reality starts to sink in: the idea of an extra person is something that you and your spouse may not be financially prepared for! Thankfully you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few things you can do right now to help you be better prepared financially when your bundle of joy arrives!
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Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
The most important thing you need to know about preparing for the arrival of a new baby is this: no matter how much you may prepare, you will never be 100% prepared! Not saying that you won’t have a plan – every parent has a plan – but certain things will come your way that you may not expect or necessarily be prepared for. But the most important thing to do is relax and take it all in stride, mentally, emotionally, and financially.
Find Out How Long You Can Take Off for Maternity/Paternity Leave
One of the first things you want to do when you find out that you are pregnant is go to the company you work for and learn more about their policies. Do you get maternity or paternity leave? If so, how long? Is it paid or unpaid? These details matter because they will help determine your next moves as you plan for your new baby.
Perform a Personal Audit
Babies are expensive, so saving is huge! One way to go about this is by performing a personal audit – go back the past 6 to 12 months and look over your expenses. Categorize your expenses under labels like bills, entertainment costs (shopping, movies, dinners), emergencies, etc., so you can see exactly where your money is going. You can even start keeping up with your current month-to-month expenses with money-tracking and saving apps. Also, take into consideration your insurance coverage and costs, including health insurance, dental coverage, and life insurance. This practice will help you understand exactly what you spend your money on so you can see where you can cut back to help save up for the baby.
Keep Emergencies in Mind
Having a baby is an exciting process, but it is also a critical one. Not only is the health of the baby important, but so is the health of the mother.
Having something set aside for an emergency is always the wise way to go. What if the mother goes into labor earlier than expected? What if mom and baby have to stay in the hospital longer? What if the mother was supposed to have a natural birth but wound up having to have an emergency C-section? What if the baby has a medical condition that needs to be monitored? Having an emergency fund established will be the way to cover all of these concerns and give you additional peace of mind.
Don’t Buy Everything At Once
Parents – especially new parents – are notorious for this one! The idea that a baby is coming is already exciting, but it gets worse when you go into a store and see baby clothes or toys! These impulse buys are okay from time to time, but you don’t want to go too crazy!
You wouldn’t believe how much money some first-time parents spend on items and clothing that their baby never gets to play with or wear! And, you never know, your baby may not even like that toy that you thought was so cute, or you may not use that specialized bottle maker that you thought was going to be so convenient. Buy items and clothes slowly throughout the pregnancy so you can still control your budget and spoil your baby at the same time. Also, be sure not to go overboard so you can get the good stuff at your baby shower! This will keep you from breaking the bank and buying unnecessary things that you know you won’t use later on.
Here at Bell & Associates Consulting Firm, we love family, and we want to make sure that every family that comes in contact with us is adequately taken care of.
Having a baby is an exciting experience, and you want to make sure that those nine months are as stress-free as possible, especially for the sake of mom and baby. We hope that the tips we’ve mentioned above will help you ensure that your finances are one thing you won’t even have to think about so you can focus more on how much you are going to enjoy your new addition.