Regardless of whether you’re scraping by or living comfortably, you’re likely to feel the pinch of parenthood when it comes to your bank account. Here are five points that could help keep you financially in the pink (blue, or gender-neutral) when a baby is on the way.
1. Review your health insurance coverage
A new addition to the family is wonderful, but unexpected costs can dampen even the most euphoric of parents. Review your health insurance to make sure you are covered for medical bills during pregnancy, delivery and after care.
2. Build up a fall-back financial buffer
When you've handled birth – everything else should be a dawdle, right? Well, not exactly. It pays to be prepared for the unexpected. Kids can be accident prone, and the sleep-deprived equally so. Expert advice is: try to save three to six months' worth of living expenses as a fall-back buffer.
3. Draw up a will
You just became someone's most important someone. Give yourself the peace of mind that you can look after your family no matter what happens, by drawing up a will. And while you are at it, review your life insurance policy and update your beneficiaries to ensure your child has financial security.
4. Give friends the option of contributing to baby's first bank account
The old saying 'it takes a village' was never more true. Instead of showering you with designer baby-gear, cuddly toys and flowers, let your pals know that you're saving for your little one's future, and give them the option of contributing to baby's first bank account. If that feels a bit too practical, ask a friend to drop hints: vouchers and cash gifts are the only sure way to avoid double-up gifts or lengthy return processes at stores or online.
5. It's never too early to start a school/university fund
It goes without saying that you should invest in your child's future as early as you can. Education can be costly, so the sooner to save, the more options you (and your child) will have when it's time for secondary education.