Being Prepared Isn't Just for the Scouts
And Then I Woke Up
Most women, when they were little girls, dreamed of the day they would marry and be a mother. The story books and movies proved they could have it all and live happily ever after. Then they grew up. And, reality set it. As it turned out, they could indeed marry and have a family, but the happily ever after part somehow got sandwiched between having to work full-time and poor financial planning.
Plan Early, Play Later
Having a family is an expensive project and one that requires good planning in order to be able to raise the children and still have a life that isn't constantly stressed with money problems. A couple can make life a lot easier on themselves if, before they are married, they develop a solid financial plan, including such things as maternity leaves and investments for college for the children and retirement for themselves. It may seem a stretch, but it is surprising how quickly time goes by and if they haven't planned for the future, their future may become bleak.
Even with health insurance, there is a good chance there will be some hefty out-of-pocket expenses when the babies start to come. Should there be the need for emergency medical treatment or the need for surgery, it is best if these things are considered part of the planning process. The cost of an emergency can sometimes put a couple behind the 8-ball. Check your insurance policies to ensure you are covered for all eventualities - better safe than sorry.
Save for a Rainy Day
Prepare ahead for any lost income which may be incurred over the course of pregnancy and birth. By putting money aside to compensate for the lack of income during the weeks or months post-partum, the pressure of taking care of the day-to-day costs of life will be reduced significantly. If possible, pay off major debts early since, once the baby arrives, family finances change. Expenses go up which makes it harder to pay off debts. Just by decreasing the amount owed, the stress levels can be changed to become manageable.
Insurance Against Future Loss
What about life insurance? It is a good idea to buy term life insurance for yourself and your spouse before you have a baby so it protects your child in event you or your spouse die before your child becomes an adult. Check with an insurance consultant or financial planner before embarking upon life insurance to be sure you are buying the right product for your needs.
Who Is Taking Care of Baby?
Childcare is yet another consideration which should be decided before the baby comes. Who is going to care for the child? Will you stay home? Will your spouse stay home? Are you planning to return to work, and if you are, have you decided arrangements for daycare? These are all important questions and ones which will affect your financial picture.
Having a child is a huge responsibility and an incredible experience. By planning properly ahead of time, a couple can enjoy the experience.