Congratulations on the new addition to your family that you are about to have. The birth of a child is a heart-warming occasion and mothers start preparing for it by arranging baby supplies and that cute nursery. However, it can quickly become stressful if you don’t have your finances in order before and after the baby comes into this world.
Below we have mentioned a few important elements of financial planning for to-be parents.
Planning Required Before Delivery
- Fully comprehend your health insurance and calculate upcoming costs: Although health insurances cover most part of the hospital bills, you’d still have some fairly significant additional costs that are expected to accompany your pregnancy. Calculate these out-of-pocket costs and prepare for them in advance.
- Plan for maternity/paternity leave: Your household finances will heavily depend on the length of paternity/maternity leave you to take and whether you get paid during that period. Take time to understand your company’s policies and state’s laws to get a clear picture of your projected cash flow.
- Plan a pre-baby budget: Once you have calculated all the costs that you’ll have to bear in the upcoming months, prepare a budget for pre-delivery shopping and other expenses to accommodate those costs. You can use BudgetGuru to help you devise and stick to this budget by allowing you to track your expenses to the last penny.
- Draft a post-delivery budget: Once you have a baby, your monthly expenses will grow significantly due to recurrent costs of baby supplies like diapers, child care, etc. It’s wise to plan for them before the baby comes instead of later.
- Choose a paediatrician: Choosing a paediatrician based on various factors like good ratings, recommendations, proximity, visiting hours, off hour support etc. The first doctor’s visit of your child will be within the first week of his birth and you want to be prepared for that.
- Update your emergency fund: Raising a child comes with a lot of costs and you want to be prepared for it. Any unexpected expenditure that may come up in case you lose your job, experience a medical emergency or your child meets with an accident (let’s admit how prone to accidents they are) can be dealt with the emergency fund.
- Add your child to your health insurance: The first thing you should do as a parent is add your baby to your health insurance plan. Usually, you are required to do this within a few days after the baby is born. Nonetheless, it is advisable to add them sooner than later since sick children with no coverage are equal to big medical bills.
- Consider a life insurance policy on your child: Nobody expects their young baby to lose their life but although the chances are low, it might happen. Life insurances for infants don’t have high rates and they usually cover funeral costs. Although, a more common choice is a ‘term’ insurance for kids that lasts until they become self-sufficient.
- Begin planning for child care. Assuming you have to get back to work, you need to start looking for a day-care or a nanny to take care of your little infant. These things tend to cost a lot and are very time-consuming as well since you’d be running thorough background checks on people who’d potentially take care of your baby. It is better to have a budget set in advance and find the best child-care within that budget.
- Adjust your beneficiaries: Assuming you already have life insurance for the primary breadwinner in the family, you should add your child as a beneficiary. If you don’t have life insurance, get one! It will provide for your child in case of any misfortunes.
- Write or adjust your will: Do write a will! This will make sure that your child is provided for in case you or both the parents die in an unfortunate event.
- Keep funding your retirement: After you become a parent, it is easy to forget your long-term plans and personal goals like taking care of your retirement. You don’t want your child to be burdened with your responsibility when you are old so make sure you take care of yourself when you can.
- Save for his or her education: College fees are one of the major reasons young adults are in debt before they even start their careers. You can prevent this for your child by starting the right saving plan for your child from the day they are born.
- Saving for their marriage: In India, marriage is considered to be a status symbol and parents start saving to host an elaborate marriage function from the day their child is born. While spending your life savings on a wedding may not be your cup of tea, we do suggest starting saving up or investing in advance. You can either do that by investing in commodities like gold or long-term investment plans with greater returns to have enough money at your disposal in case you or your child wish to celebrate their big day in a grand manner. You can start by buying 1 gram of gold each month from the day your child is born in case you are one of those who find gold as the safest and most tangible investment option.
As stressful as it may all look, planning your finances before your baby is born is far less tedious than after when you’d be barely getting by on a few hours of sleep and endless cups of coffee.