It’s the most exciting news you’ll ever get – CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE HAVING A BABY!
As a mother of 3 gorgeous young children, it’s definitely been the most rewarding, joyful and satisfying time of my life.
But in truth I do wish I was a bit more financially savvy when my first bub came along. It can be very easy to get suckered in to all of the gimmicks and gadgets associated with this time of life. At this stage of life – you are a marketers dream!
I didn’t like to consider that starting a family was going to be about money. I really liked the romanticism of it all and imagining that everything would sort itself out. And it kind of does, IF you have an excellent line of communication with your partner, you are honest with yourself and you have a plan. I know you’ve heard it before but sometimes we need to hear these things a few time. Like it or not: Money makes the world go around.
The trick is to have clarity about your finances which will make you feel confident. And with confidence your decision-making process becomes easier.
Hold on to your bootstraps while I share some statistics with you:
• A new child will cost you around $10,000 in their first year
• Medibank Private revealed at the beginning of 2015 that the cost of having a baby has risen by 34% to over $8,500 per birth
• AMP & The University of Canberra found the cost of raising two kids in Australia for a family on a middle-income will set you back $812,000
• Average family average spend per week with 2 kids $458. This does take into account factors such as housing – an extra bedroom can cost up to $200,000 or if you’re renting $300 a week. (Source: news.com.au)
This can all seem a bit overwhelming when you check out these stats. BUT – rest assured that with some preparation and planning you can ease the financial strain of starting a family.
Start talking about it with your partner – get talking NOW about what you expect and what your partner expects in relation to financial expenses during this time. You will have to compromise and that’s ok. Make time for weekly financial check-ins with each other to make sure that you are both still on the same page. Correct any overspends (literally and emotionally) and move on.
Health fund out-of-pocket:
Check your health fund and call them to find out what you are NOT covered for. It’s much easier to ask this question than the other way around. Get clear about what you will get back from each payment that you make (what will be your out-of-pocket expense).
Consider your other medical expenses:
- Obstetrician and Paediatrician (for after the birth)
- Blood tests
- Scans and ultrasounds
- Birth classes
- Add up all of these costs and spread them out across the term of the pregnancy and then allocate them to your weekly money plan (budget).
Public vs Private:
I had 2 babies privately and my 3rd in the public system. It cost us nearly $8,000 each baby for private and $0 for public. Private facilities were great, but the public was awesome. With public we had a midwife visit our home for 4 weeks after the birth to make sure we were all doing ok. This would have cost an extra $5,000 privately. It’s something to consider. Do your numbers and feel clear and confident about your choice.
At some point you will need maternity clothing which at around $100 a piece for about 3 months wear is not what I call value for money. Check with friends and relatives for anything they can lend you and take a look at some second-hand pieces on Ebay etc… The pieces have been worn for such a short period of time and are usually in excellent condition. And remember to check out factory outlets as well.
Unpaid time off
Think about how your household budget will be when it’s down to one income. I highly recommended practicing this during your pregnancy while you are still working. Bank all of your income and live off your partners. Create your budget around this one income. Also, check your leave entitlements with your employer.
check what you are entitled to receive as government assistance. At the time of writing the government can assist with payments via the Paid Parental Leave Scheme which provides eligible parents with up to 18 weeks of pay at $606.50 per week. You may also be entitled to other benefits from the Family Tax Benefit, Parenting Payment, Rent Assistance or Health Care Card. Visit here for more info.
Stockpile! Start now
Start adding to your regular grocery shop the items that you’ll need when the baby is here. This will do 2 things. You will have to work out how to manage the extra expenses into one income (as mentioned above) and it will give you a stock pile of goodies for when baby is here.
Below is a list of baby essentials. When you are shopping for your baby consider if the item is a NEED or a WANT. It’s ok to WANT stuff. You just need to be clear about that and make a conscious, confident choice that it is within your financial means. Here’s the list, you decide what fits where for you…
NEEDS versus WANTS
(Essential, can’t live without) (Non-essential, can live without)
Baby wipes, cotton wool, barrier cream
Change table (use a bed)
Singlets, body suits, socks, beanie
Travel cot (pram will do)
All-in-one warm suit
Sun shades for car windows
Sheet set, blankets, sleeping bag, muslin cloths, wraps
Baby bath (although the kitchen sink works a treat!!)
Maternity bras, pads etc…
Bottles, teats, bottle brushers, sterilisers
This time of your life is an incredible, amazing time and you want to soak up and savour every precious, cheek smooching experience with your bundle of joy. Spending the time creating a plan and some preparation will give you the head space to enjoy your little treasure.
About the Author: Known as Australia’s Money Savvy Mum, Money Rockstar and Money Maven, Michelle House is a passionate financial literacy advocate. As a business owner, household financial manager and super mum to three gorgeous children, she knows from personal experience how important it is to stay on top of your day-to-day finances. Michelle shares her secrets for strategic money management that will create more flow with your personal finances and help you achieve your financial goals.
Michelle’s passion is to share her money secrets with as many people as possible empowering them to live an awesome and amazing life, free from the stresses and worries around money.
If you are ready to have power over your money, Michelle will show you how!
Find Michelle online as well as on social media:
FB: Michelle House International
*Disclaimer – Information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.