Tips & advice on getting your finances back on track.
Preparing to have a baby can be equally exciting and frightening at the same time. Whether you are just beginning to consider pregnancy, or you are already expecting, you should begin preparing for the financial changes that will come along with the addition to your family.
In an effort to feel more prepared for your baby’s arrival, develop your baby budget and begin following that budget now, before the baby is born. By managing your finances as if the baby is already here, you can work on building your savings and ease the financial transition. With a new life to care for, feeling comfortable with your financial situation and having a decent amount of money in savings will surely help ease any financial worries.
Here are some things to consider when preparing your baby budget:
1. Medical Expenses
Research any additional medical expenses you may incur, add them to your baby budget, and stash that money into your savings account each month.
You will want to be prepared for additional medical expenses that come with pregnancy, child birth and a newborn. Reach out to your medical provider to find out what is covered and what is not. Will there be a deductible for the birth of your baby? If so, you want to be sure that you have that set aside so you can avoid going into debt. Also, it is good to find out how much your medical insurance premium will increase once you add your child to your plan. Account for that dollar amount in your budget, and stash it aside into savings each pay period.
More: How To Create A Budget
2. Loss of Income
If you anticipate a reduction in household income once the baby arrives, start living on the anticipated reduced income now by putting aside the additional money currently earned into your savings account.
Will you or your spouse/partner be out of work with a reduced income for any period of time? Will one of you reduce hours or completely stop working to stay at home and care for your child? If you anticipate any sort of reduced income, look at your budget now without that income. Keep in mind; you will likely also have additional expenses such as diapers, clothing, and the other endless baby needs. Essentially, you may be looking at increased expenses on a reduced income. If your baby budget seems tight, do not get discouraged, but rather look for ways to reduce spending and possible (convenient) avenues to bring in additional income. Before the baby comes, start taking action and progressively try to live on a lower income, saving as much as possible each month.
3. Child Care
If you are anticipating having childcare costs after the baby is born, research how much that will be; account for it in your baby budget, and add that money into your savings.
Childcare is often the largest expense that a family incurs with a new baby, and for many, this expense will continue for several years. Because this could be a very high expense, it will be helpful to account for childcare expenses immediately in your budget and put as much as possible into savings before it becomes an actual expense. Remember, transitioning into a baby budget is going to be challenging, so the sooner you begin, the easier it will be once the baby arrives. It may likely take time to make these changes to your budget and trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming. Changing one budget item at a time and setting monthly goals will help you get started on your baby budget.
Lauren Lovett has been with Navicore Solutions for six years serving as a Certified Credit Counselor and Grant Writer. While in these roles, she has witnessed the positive impact that the organization’s counseling services has on improving the money management skills and economic security of individuals and families in need.