Starting a family and becoming parents is the most beautiful and overwhelming experience in one’s life. At this time, one has to be sure that their finances do not go haywire. Having a baby is an expensive affair. Whether it is a planned pregnancy or a surprise, a financial jolt is not recommended. Parenthood is surely a wonderful experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities.
Your finances and its plans may take a slow pace or a backseat in the endless list of things to be done. You need to buy new clothes, buy all sorts of products to make your nine months quite comfortable. Raising children is tough, especially in India, where the cost of living hikes unexpectedly too.
When you become a parent, the excitement around is doubled and your heart is filled with joy that you tend to overlook the finances or pay much attention to it. Between pediatric visits and other supplies, you may think that your finances are in place and those little savings you have here and there will be enough. However, something keeps comes up, doesn’t it? Well, this is why you need to plan your finances to adhere to the unforeseen changes.
During this time, there could be scary financial challenges. This phase of life requires both partners to be physical, emotional and financially strong. As parents, it is a good idea to start saving more towards your child’s future and the best time to do so is – as soon as you can.
Creating a plan that gives you some additional financial benefits can be a good way to save more. Perpahs, you can do this by analyzing the returns assured in the investment plans you have made or choose that is sufficient for your future.
For example, if you plan to invest Rs. 1,00,000 for a span of 24 months in a bank’s Fixed Deposit, you will be applicable to a rate of interest at 7.90%. Hence, by the end of the investment period, your gross maturity amount will be around Rs 1,16,424. The longer period you invest for, the better the returns! And by the time your child grows, you are well prepared for the expenses that tend to shoot up too. Be it, from health to education to mere luxury, expenses are always involved.
Your bank accounts will start dipping without even realizing it. Hence, planning your money and putting your finances into a plan can actually ease your parental workload. Before that, it’s vital for you to understand the pop-up expenses that would need to take care of. From crib to a stroller to dresses and so on. You have got to be covered.
While these are just the basics, it is advised to understand and not anticipate other costs involved. If you are expecting soon, carve some space into your budget plan for these under-the-radar expenses.
- The Third-Trimester Treats
Carrying a growing human in your belly can get more and more uncomfortable as the date is due. In order to ease your late-pregnancy discomfort, you are expected to pay for those extra groceries, prenatal spa sessions and retreats, and exotic food when the usual food does not be enough. You will tend to order in as your current cravings kick in. All this may seem frivolous but can surely make a huge difference for moms-to-be.
- Unexpected Costs Related to Feeding
When you breastfeed, you probably do not have to think about budgeting much for the baby’s food, since your body will produce all the nutrients and nourishments your little one will require for free. But, yes, nursing does not always be easy.
When you / your spouse is pregnant, you will need to spend some extra income towards consultation, counseling or any other kind of services required during pregnancy. Hence, it becomes very important to plan out your finances accordingly.
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- Middle-of-the-Night Sleep Remedies
Now, a bad sleep for your baby can have many negative effects, including on your work, parenting, and health. Initially, every baby may cry a lot and if you experience this, you will need to put some decent cash toward a remedy for the baby that won’t sleep. This does not necessarily have to be expensive, but something that will prey the baby to sleep smoothly.
Between constant diaper changes and feedings, usually, babies do not wake up in the middle of the night, but it’s always advised to keep some finances aside for trying out different ways to get your baby to sleep.
If you are wanting to keep a full-time caretaker for your baby, you will need to essentially save up a lot. If one of you decide to quit your job to take care of the baby full-time, it is advised to keep aside money for a daycare or nanny to cover the loss of income. You need not save as much for a few months after the baby has arrived, but this can actually be the largest ongoing expense concerning your baby.
For example, if you end up waiting for the daycare in your price range, you will need to enroll another one with a higher fee, to begin with. Usually, in-home daycare is less expensive compared to the kind of service offered by a school. It’s also advised to keep aside some cash for a night nurse or helper. You never know if you would like to hire someone for a few hours while you catch up on that sleep.
- Getting healthcare coverage
As soon as you know you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to let your insurance provider know about the new addition in the insurance plan, so it can be reviewed as a whole. If you do not have insurance at the moment, then it is a good idea to take one or consider other medical options.
It does not matter what situation you are in, make sure you are covered with health insurance, basics, premiums, copayments, co-insurance, etc for your baby and you. This will help you restructure your monthly budget plan accordingly.
Here is some simple financial baby checklist that will get you on track
- Plan ahead for maternity/paternity leave
It is best to understand how much time your partner’s jobs allow for parental leave. To make a budget plan and keep aside your finances, you need to know how many unpaid leaves you will need to take. Also, if required, you can consider getting the right daycare or babysitter.
- Plan a budget
Write down any recurring child care costs (from diapers to babysitter fees to toys etc) in a document you will remember to see. This will help in keeping track of your finances before you start.
- Plan ahead for unexpected medical costs
Medically, taking care of a baby is expensive even when you have insurance. Keeping aside some income for your child’s health is one important factor to consider when it comes to planning budgets. Saving for an emergency fund coms sin handy too.
- Build an emergency fund
If you have not started already, start now. Set aside some part of your monthly income for the unexpected and unforeseen situations. A thumb rule to remember is to plan ahead for three to six months worth of expenses.
Aahna Gandhi is an enthusiast traveller, writer and a PR Professional. She likes sharing memorable moments from her travels and inspire others to live a life full of wonder. Known for her content, she has worked for travel, technology, lifestyle, health sectors as well as finance.
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