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Expecting a baby? Here is your guide to financial planning month by month.
Having a baby is a miracle and a huge blessing, but it comes with financial challenges, especially if this is your first baby or if you were surprised by the pregnancy. The good news is that there are steps you can take to welcome your baby into your financially stable home.
Raising a child doesn’t come cheap. The USDA estimates the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 at $ 233,610 for a middle-income family, or about $ 12,980 per year. There are many ways to save money. money before your baby arrives. pregnancy.
During months 1 to 3: meet with a financial advisor
Use the first trimester to assess your financial situation and make a plan for success. If you have a financial planner, schedule a meeting to discuss preparing your finances for your pregnancy and baby. If you don’t have a financial planner, now is the time to find one. Financial planners help you create a short-term budget and financial plan, such as managing health care costs and any loss of income during maternity / paternity leave. In the long run, it’s never too early to start saving for college and retirement. Learn about writing a will and getting disaster life insurance. You want to make sure your baby is well taken care of.
Your financial planner will help you prioritize what’s most important and manageable for your particular situation. They may have suggestions on where to start cutting expenses to save more money. For starters, you can save money on dining, entertainment, or expensive salon treatments. Consider the potential contributions of family members. The amount of money you set aside or save for the baby depends on your particular situation.
If you have large debt and little savings, consider free debt budgeting and consolidation services. Explore the services offered by your bank, credit union or employee assistance program (EAP). Practice self-compassion and forgiveness and transcend any financial shame or financial anxiety. Become a financially conscious parent by positively reframing this challenge.
Month 4: Identify the items needed and create a plan
In the fourth month, think about what items your baby needs and how much they will cost. If you are expecting baby showers, consider the following when it comes to your baby registry:
- You will have a better chance of receiving the items you need by requesting them from your registry. It will also reduce the stress of excessive clutter. Include items at different prices so your loved ones can choose gifts according to their budget.
- Consider asking your closest family members (like your parents or grandparents) to pool their money for more expensive items.
- Select the items that have good reviews but are not the most expensive. It might make it possible for people to give you more of what you need.
If you don’t have a baby shower, create a ‘wish’ list and start exploring budget options like coupons, sales, buying lightly used items at consignment stores, or using sites like Facebook Marketplace. Let your friends and family know that you are welcome. Let go of your ego or pride when you realize that you are giving your loved ones a way to support you. In addition, you are environmentally conscious by not buying again.
Month 5: Search for insurance benefits and other resources
In the fifth month, make sure that the hospital where you plan to give birth is networked. Also identify a pediatrician in the network. Ask your insurer if there are any special maternity or newborn benefits or coverages. Find out about your reimbursable expenses. Explore flexible spending or the benefits of the health savings account.
In my therapeutic practice, I have seen many new parents not taking full advantage of the resources made available to them through their employer or their partner’s employer. Check with HR on programs available for new parents. They may include leave of absence benefits or EAP services. Also ask your doctor or OB-GYN for resources. Check out community resources such as support resources available in your park district or place of worship. My client with triplets asked an army of volunteers from her church to help her with everything from babysitting to meals to supplies in the first few months saving her countless dollars. while preserving his sanity and his marriage.
Month 6: Protect your mental health and your relationship with babies
During the sixth month, many people spend more time planning their daycare than preparing or preparing their partnership for the transition to parenthood and family. So focus on investing in pre-baby counseling instead. This investment can save you the cost of altered mental health (which is a real risk due to postpartum depression) or relationship happiness, which can have dire financial consequences. Check your insurance or your EAP benefits or sites like Psychology Today to find a therapist. If you don’t have insurance, contact a social service agency near you. Use these sessions to talk about your money psychology, the money scenario, and discuss financial communication, transparency, and money limits.
This is a good time to discuss the plan for any change in work schedule and to explore childcare options. Ask your financial advisor for comments and suggestions.
Month 7: Make room for the baby by selling or giving away unwanted items
The seventh month is a good time to start nesting. Declutter your house and turn it into cash. Haven’t played your keyboard or used your skates for five years? Consider selling them or donating them to a nonprofit organization that will issue you with a receipt to use as a tax deduction.
Month 8: Be creative about new sources of income
If you or your partner is away from work, consider reducing your work hours or becoming a stay-at-home parent in the eighth month, consider new sources of income. For example, a flexible part-time, home-based data entry job can be perfect during naps. A couple I counseled took a paper route the dad did while the mom breastfed the baby early in the morning, making an additional $ 25,000 a year.
Month 9: Remember that every little bit counts
Ask the hospital for examples of formulas, creams, diapers, referrals or discounts in the ninth month. A free diaper bag can be perfect for anyone who helps you babysit. Ask about resources, referrals, and discounts for ongoing needed items and services such as child care.
Having a baby is life changing. Make it easier on yourself by preparing for each month of pregnancy. By doing this, you will be better prepared emotionally, relationshipally, and financially for your new bundle of joy. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to be a happy parent too, so open up to receiving the support you and your baby deserve.