Whether you have a planned or unplanned pregnancy, preparing for a baby doesn’t only involve buying cute clothes, you also need to be financially prepared. Being financially prepared consists of budgeting for your baby’s arrival, planning your maternity leave, and anticipating your medical expenses. It’s important that you plan ahead of time so that you are not caught off guard.
Have a Plan Before Delivery
Plan for maternity leave: Your household finances can be substantially impacted by how much time off from the job you take and if you receive pay throughout that period. Get familiar with the policies at your workplace to get a glimpse of how your maternity leave will impact your finances in the upcoming year.
Review your health insurance benefits and forecast costs: Even if you have health insurance, adding a baby to your household is costly and you could still be obligated to some expenses out-of-pocket. You should calculate the expected costs early on in your pregnancy.
Have a baby budget: Your income will be affected when you add a new member to your household. There are many costs associated with a baby so it’s important to place limits on what’s needed and what’s optional. You may want to opt for purchasing used items to save back some money.
Start a 529 account: Having this plan in place helps you save for college. This investment account can be utilized for educational expenses that will occur later in life. The earlier you begin adding funds to that account, the more you will possibly have available by the time your baby is in college. It’s wise to ask for a 529 plan’s official statement and read through it carefully for information such as charges, state tax, investment objectives, and other state benefits.
Cut your credit card debt: During your first trimester, you should start cleaning up your finances. You could accrue hundreds in interest by having balances that are thousands of dollars. The money you could save in interest is funds you will need for the added expenses. You may want to consider transferring your balance to a card that has a lower interest rate. This will help with paying down your credit card debt and increase your ability to secure loans in the future.
Purchase life insurance: Many pregnant mothers should invest in an insurance policy for themselves that is at least six times more than their annual salary. It’s recommended that you purchase a term life policy that is 20 years or less.
Have a Post-Delivery Budget
You will have recurring costs for childcare, diapers, and baby food that will alter the finances in your household for a long period of time.
Select a pediatrician that’s in your insurance network: Your baby will have his/her first doctor’s appointment within the first week after being born. While searching for an appropriate doctor, make sure that the doctor is within your health insurance network. You can confirm this by contacting your insurance company so that you are not on-the-hook for unexpected charges.
Start an emergency fund: If you don’t currently have funds set aside, now is the time to anticipate possible emergencies. Kids are prone to accidents and you will need to have some disposable income to cover unexpected costs. It’s recommended that you have at least three months’ worth of living expenses saved up.
If you have an unplanned pregnancy Des Plaines, IL, contact the Aid for Women Pregnancy Care Centers for pregnancy testing and an ultrasound provided at no cost.