You’re going to be a mom! Congratulations! You’ve probably got a million questions about what life as a parent is going to look like, especially your personal finances but one thing you probably already know is that it’s going to be quite different from the way your parents raised you.
One area that can be especially tricky is personal finances: how do you balance paying for diapers and daycare with saving for retirement? How do you know whether you should take out a mortgage or rent? What does all this have to do with maternity leave? The answer may surprise you—but it’s not what you think.
Here’s what we recommend:
Your baby isn’t going to be born any more soon just because you’re stressing about money (and besides, we don’t want your stress hormones affecting your pregnancy). Take a deep breath and do some research on ways to save money before and after giving birth. You’ll find tons of resources online, including tips from other moms who have been in your shoes before!
Get your finances in order.
It’s important to have your personal finances in order before you have a child, but it’s especially important if you’re planning on having a baby soon. If you don’t know where all your money is going, it’s time to take stock of your expenses and figure out how much extra income you’ll need each month as well as how much more you’ll spend on groceries and other essentials once the baby comes along.
Know what resources are available to you.
Having insurance coverage is essential so that if anything happens during or after giving birth, you can get the care you need without having to worry about paying for it out-of-pocket. Talk with your insurance provider about what kinds of maternity coverage are available and make sure everything is up-to-date before you get pregnant!
Save early and often.
This may seem like common sense, but making sure that you have enough money saved up before having children is crucial for both short-term and long-term financial security for yourself and your family.
Make a budget.
It’s easy to get carried away with all the new expenses that come with having a baby, but if you don’t have a budget in place, it will be impossible to know where your money is going and whether or not you’re staying on track with your financial goals.
Create a savings account for baby-related expenses.
This could include anything from diapers to clothes and even toys! By having this separate account, it will be easier for you to keep track of what you’ve spent so far and what else might need to be purchased down the road.
Consider what kind of caregiving arrangement.
This could include keeping the baby at home with one parent while the other works full-time hours outside of the house. Hiring someone else full-time or part-time from outside sources such as daycare centers or babysitters, or finding a way for both parents to work from home for some time.
While pregnancy can be a time of great joy and excitement, it’s important to remember that you are creating a new life and should therefore protect your financial well-being. For new mothers and those that plan to become mothers, this commitment means being prepared financially for the challenges and expenses that lay ahead. I am always rooting for you.
Yours in Financial Independence, Temitope.
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