That thin blue line. That feeling of indescribable excitement and hope for a new future. Discovering that you’re expecting your first baby is such a unique and joyful time, if one that comes with a lot of changes. One of them is most certainly money. Most new parents have concerns about how they will support a child and save for their future – it’s only natural. Here are the financial steps to consider taking while you wait for baby to arrive.
Get Into The Habit of Saving
If you’ve never been the type to set money aside as a matter of course each month, consider getting into the habit now. The consequences of living hand to mouth when you have a little one are a lot more severe – you can’t live paycheck to paycheck any more. You probably have seven or eight months to start getting into the habit of setting aside some rainy day money. You should aim for a ‘cushion’ of three months salary to be saved in case the worst should happen and you should lose your job or fall on hard times for other reasons. So make a new budget to cover the time you are pregnant and make sure you’re putting away savings.
Be Smart About Purchases
Part of the expense surrounding starting family is the added extras you need with a change in circumstances – you may find yourself needing to rent or buy a bigger place to live, or suddenly have to take on a used auto loan to get a big enough car to hold your new family. Make sure that you shop around for the best deals and rates and that you have budgeted for the monthly repayments before taking on any additional financial commitments.
Sort Out Insurance
Living a single life or as part of a couple, insurance tends to be low down on your list of financial priorities, but with a baby on the way, you will need to get it sorted. Look for a life insurance policy would pay out an annual tax-free amount rather than a lump sum, as this type of cover would provide a more steady stream of support for any dependents. In the event of you passing away, your child would be provided for.
Plan Ahead For a Single Income
One of the biggest shocks about having a baby is dropping to a single income. It’s important to be realistic about what finances will be like while you aren’t working, so make sure you understand your employer’s maternity policy and what support you may be entitled to – and plan ahead. You and your partner may want to save up to supplement the single income. You could even try a couple of months of living on one income and try to bank the rest as savings for when this scenario occurs.
Choose Pre-Loved Baby Equipment
A huge financial outlay can be paying out for baby equipment such as prams, car seats, cots – even toys and clothes. All of these costs can be offset by choosing to pick up some pre-loved bargains through auction sites or local listings such as Gumtree. Babies grow so quickly that most things you will find will only have had very light use, so it’s possible to pick up some great nearly-new bargains at a fraction of the off-the-shelf price – and you can even look to resell them once your baby has grown. There is simply no sense in paying out for a brand new travel system or cot when you can source one in near perfect condition second-hand.