Welcoming a new family member is exciting but with so many aspects of your life changing, when it comes to your finances some forward planning can make the transition so much easier.
Fortunately, babies allow several months to prepare for their arrival and it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement. While it's important to have all of the baby's needs ready, it's equally important for Mum and Dad to be financially organised. Conduct a review of your financial affairs as early as possible, even before you start your family. A good idea is to draw up a "baby-budget" by listing all household income and expenses under three columns: before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy. This allows you to see and compare your financial position at the different stages you're going to experience. Some of the items in these columns might include:
Private health insurance. If you choose to go private over public you'll need to have pregnancy cover for 12 months prior to your baby being born. Shop around for insurance and be sure to check what it covers when comparing.
- Antenatal classes
- Medical appointments and medications
- Daily necessities such as baby food, nappies and infant
- Clothes for the baby and maternity wear
- Furniture, transportation, feeding and bath time supplies
- House fittings to baby proof stairs and cupboards
- Child care. Childcare centers have limited capacity, so be sure to register your interest at least 12 months beforehand.
- School. If you plan on going to public school, moving to a suburb within the school's catchment area ensures kids are enable to enrol no matter what year they're in. In you're considering a private school, you may need to register your interest as soon as possible. It can also be wise to start saving early on for school fees and those add-on expenses.
Determine your entitlements
At least one parent will probably take time off work and the potential reduction of household income can be daunting. Understanding your support entitlements upfront can relieve some of the worry and assist with budgeting your pregnancy expenses. The Federal Government offers eligible parents up to 18 weeks Parental Leave Pay. Centrelink has a Paid Parental Leave comparison estimator on its website, www.humanservices.gov.au. This tool will estimate your entitlement and enable you to determine the best option for your family. Depending on how much time you want to take off work, you can also opt to take paid annual leave or unpaid leave from your employer if entitled to do so. If you decide to return to work after the baby arrives, you may qualify for government assistance with the cost of childcare. The Department of Human Services can provide information about your eligibility.
Planning = less stress
People often set up a savings strategy for key life events like buying a home, a major holiday or retirement. Having a baby is more than a key event – it's life-changing – yet few people consider saving for it. Planning ahead can provide peace of mind and place you in the best possible position to welcome the newest member of your family.
This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice about this product based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances. Some content reproduced with permission.
Published: Tuesday, 05 Apr 2022