You just tied the knot, but you and your spouse are already thinking of starting a family. As you get into the wonderful details and talk about how many children you want to have, you pause and ask yourself: are we ready?
A research conducted in the UK reveals that many expectant parents are not ‘financially prepared’ to welcome their own bundle of joy. Of the 1,028 parents interviewed during the course of the study, 52% cited they are not yet financially ready to support a baby because they simply do not have enough money coming in.
How to Prepare
Ideally, it is best to start planning as soon as you decide you want to have a baby. You can start by talking to your insurance provider. Pacificprime.hk suggests asking about maternity coverage insurance from your provider to get a clear picture of your financial responsibilities during pregnancy, delivery, and recovery period.
You should also know your maternity package if you are working. Consult your HR advisor about maternity leaves, how much you will receive for how long, and what other benefits you are entitled to. Your pregnancy and subsequent birth will affect your work life for some time and you will feel the impact on your finances. If your company does not have a ‘Family Friendly’ policy, you may have to start looking at other options.
Finally, if you have debts, settle them before the baby arrives as you do not want to have any trouble with creditors and worry about how you will manage further down the line.
Signs you are Ready
Being able to pay your bills regularly and on time is a good indication that you are ready to welcome a baby. It also means you are not living from pay cheque to pay cheque and probably have enough in the bank to keep your family financially secure.
How well you understand your health insurance policy and coverage is also another indication of your preparedness. This means that you have calculated the costs associated with childcare, such as professional’s fee and hospital bills and you are ready to make a stand against your insurance provider in the event they decide not to cover something.
Lastly, you know you are prepared when you understand how pregnancy and raising a child can affect your work life and finances, and you have other options in case your current employer does not entitle you to maternity benefits.