A family is unquestionably one of the most gratifying things one can have in life. But starting a family has its consequences. Apart from time and emotional well-being, a happy and healthy family also demands financial security to the same degree.
If you are reasonably concerned about the monetary implications of parenthood, here are a few key parameters to consider.
Understand The Consequences
A baby is a huge responsibility that brings with it plenty of significant life changes, at least for the initial few years. First off, you should consider if you can handle the extra financial burden. Estimate the costs and see if your income covers them all and offers some breathing room, too.
Consider the finality of the situation as well: once a baby is born, there is no turning back. Your child will be reliant on you throughout its entire life, and you cannot abandon it when things get tough.
You can also expect upheaval in your work situation, and you should think about taking paid leaves or temporarily leaving the job to look after the baby. Moreover, your lifestyle, sleep pattern, and even eating habits will go for a toss.
As an aside, it’s wise to look for daycare centres or paediatricians in your area.
Take Care Of The Budget
A budget is one of the key factors, if not the key factor itself, in providing for your family.
After your child is born, you will suddenly find that your income is limited and your expenditure has increased extensively. Therefore, it is essential to plan your budget properly. You may also have to cut corners in small ways to sustain the sudden financial crisis.
It is always better to practice managing a low budget even before the baby is born. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed with the monetary changes all of a sudden and can weather the economic storm in the long run.
Clear Your Outstanding Debts
Before starting a family, you need to pay off all your outstanding dues and debts. As a parent, you will be accountable for your child’s future. Apart from meeting your baby’s needs and demands, you will eventually need to cover their educational expenses as well.
Having a baby and raising it is in and of itself a big financial affair. A pending mortgage will only exacerbate the situation. In order to resolve this problem, you can consult a financial expert for money management tips and advice.
Find a solution with your card payments as well. Instead of paying the full monthly amount on your credit card, look into a credit card minimum payment scheme to tide you over.
Know Your Paternity Or Maternity Package
Find out what kind of package your organisation is providing regarding your paternity or maternity leave. You can consult your office’s HR department and give them a clear picture of how much money you’re getting.
Moreover, some companies also provide extra benefits and bonuses during this time, which helps you estimate your budget properly and understand the benefits you can access.
Check On Your Social Benefits
Irrespective of your financial state, everyone has the right to reap extra benefits from government schemes and policies. Ask your local bodies about childcare vouchers, child tax credits, maternity grants, and child benefits. You can even take advantage of free NHS facilities and dental care during your pregnancy.
There are easy loans for would-be parents based on their current credit scores. You’re probably wondering: how to check my credit score and is it complicated? With a quick search online, you can find many websites where you simply need to enter a few details to view your credit report for free.
Avoid Shopping Sprees
While it is quite natural for parents to go on a shopping spree for their newborn, it’s advisable to spend carefully and logically rather than go all out on the baby accessories and clothes.
Make a list of necessary items to narrow down your childcare essentials and avoid excess spending. Be as frugal as possible when buying things that your baby won’t need for the next five years.
Moreover, try to find cheaper alternatives for things while shopping for your baby. Getting them from a second-hand source will not only rack up your savings but also has long-term benefits for the environment.
Manage Your Energy Bill
After having a baby, your electricity and water cost is more likely to experience a sudden surge. In the first moments of parenthood, you may be required to heat the milk frequently, use running water often and even keep the light on for the entire night.
Therefore, try to find cheaper alternatives to cut down on the extra energy costs. Instead of constantly heating milk in the oven, use flasks to keep it warm. Try to find a better deal with cheaper energy suppliers to save some money.
Consult With Your Partner
Sometimes, you may feel overburdened or stressed managing all the finances alone. In tough economic times and many other regards, it’s wise to avoid keeping any secrets from your spouse.
Talk to your partner regarding every aspect of your worries—after all, two heads are better than one. Inform your partner when you first recognise the signs of a financial crunch. You may also involve your close acquaintances for support.
Starting a family feels like shifting from a double income source to a single one. But a rainy day fund can provide you with a sense of security in such cases.
Managing your finances will become a lot easier when you make an entirely separate savings fund for the baby and related costs. It’s wise to get a headstart on savings because building a plush reserve can take a long time.
Once the pressing issue of a savings account is resolved, you can be a better parent and focus your energy on caring for your child.
Starting a family is so much more than just an emotional and mental challenge: it’s also a major financial commitment, particularly for new parents. Without proper planning and foresight, you could be putting a tremendous amount of weight on yourself as well as your partner.
With the above tips, you can effectively reduce the burden of being a parent and be on track to a happy and healthy family.