If you’ve just received the news that you are pregnant congratulations! And yes, you’ll need a solid financial plan and discipline because there’s about to be another mouth to feed.
Many couples will want or need to move into a bigger space. The extent of many of your baby-related expenses will be controllable, as your and your partner’s expenses are today. However, even with maximum restraint, you’ll still be walking down new grocery aisles and visiting new stores, ultimately spending money on products and services you never considered previously.
Here are four financial tips for expecting parents:
1- Communicate with your partner
The theoretical conversations you may have had a few times previously will now become real. Decisions will have to be made. Nothing should be assumed. So, our first financial tip for expecting parents is to talk about the issues. Will one of you stay home? If so, for how long? Things may change. That’s OK.Could all of you live on just one income? If you think so, what makes you so confident? Have you ever done so before? Where can you cut costs? etc
2- Live within your means
It’s as important as ever to make sure to live within your means. (Also, while this is a financial tip for expecting parents, it really applies to everyone.) Resist the temptation to use your new arrival as an excuse to purchase things you can’t afford and don’t really need. If you have a car with four doors and four tires, you already have a “family car.” Your apartment or existing abode is probably big enough to accommodate the baby. Try to put off a major move for as long as possible. Not everything has to fit the stereotype. Spend on what’s important to you within the constraints of what you can actually afford.
3- Establish an emergency fund — now
If you haven’t already done so, there’s no time like the present to establish an emergency fund. The traditional three to six months sounds like a lot. It is a lot. But it’s better to have some money socked away for this purpose than none at all. Do what is possible. Remember, you’re trying to set aside three to six months of non-discretionary living expenses only. If you aspire to have one partner stay at home for an extended period, one easy way to enhance your emergency fund is to practice living on one income while both spouses are still working.
4- Get life insurance
Many young adults without children can actually spend their money more wisely than on life insurance. That concept changes immediately upon conception. Now, someone will be depending on your income for years to come. You’ll need to be sure that if something unfortunate happens to you, your child can still maintain the lifestyle you’ve been providing. Only life insurance can provide that financial security.