Planning for a Baby
Budgeting for a baby
You can smooth some of the unexpected bumps that come with starting a family with some forward financial planning. Have a look at our budget planner. It can help you create a list of your anticipated expenses when having a baby. You could also consider opening a bank account for the baby after they’re born and save for costs.
Taking a fresh look at your financial situation.
Budgeting for a baby.
Studies have shown that in Australia new parents spend approximately $10,000 in the first year after having a baby. This doesn’t account for any pre-pregnancy costs, such as pregnancy assistance, pregnancy care, etc.
We’ve put together a few things to do before starting a family that may help you on your journey and relieve some of the financial challenges.
Understanding the journey.
Talking to your partner about what may affect your financial future could make a big difference in the long run. If you’re planning on having a baby, consider who will be the primary caregiver and who will continue working, and how your financial goals and priorities might change over time. This may also be a good time to consolidate any existing debt to help with your financial planning.
There are many steps to consider when preparing for a baby. Government health sites offer comprehensive advice and conversation starters. HealthyWA, for instance, takes you through planning and the different possibilities when pregnant, having a baby, caring and parenting.
Baby budget: What to consider.
You might be single or a couple or a couple with children. Whatever your situation, your budget needs to change to accommodate the new baby and your family’s changing needs. Our budget planner can help you establish what income and what bills you’re paying weekly, monthly, etc. From there you can work out what you need to save and see how your spending will change with a new family member.
ASIC’s MoneySmart provides a breakdown of costs you may face, help with how to budget, what government help is available, childcare costs and leaving custody of your child in your Will. Westpac’s Davidson Institute has online budgeting webinars and tools to help you plan for having a baby.
Opening a bank account for a baby to save for costs.
Having a baby can be a testing time for any family budget. There are hospital bills and any ongoing medical bills, purchases for the baby – cots, prams, car seats, change tables, nappies - and maybe set-up costs, such as renovations for your home.
What’s going to change.
For some, conception and pregnancy may not be straight forward. Specialist care in the conception stages or assisted conception options, such as IVF, can be expensive.
For others, they would like to adopt.
The Federal Department of Human Services has information on adoption, as well as other related topics. For example, payments and services for which you may be eligible, managing your money, and support for non-parent carers. The latter can include grandparents, legal guardians and other family members providing fulltime care for children.
Take the time to find out if, and when, you might be eligible for any government assistance – it can ease some of the financial pressure to cover some of the upcoming expenses. This includes potential government benefits such as Parental leave Pay, Family Tax Benefit or Dad and Partner Pay.
During and after pregnancy, there are the care needs of you and the baby to consider. You might also want to consider public or private hospital care at the birth and what your health insurance and other insurance needs – for example, life insurance – might be.
Public vs private healthcare
It’s worth doing your homework when it comes to the costs and entitlements associated with public healthcare and private health insurance. Be sure to check the waiting periods for private health insurance services, from the time you sign up for the cover. Even if you already have private health insurance, take the time to review your existing cover and entitlements, and check if any waiting periods are still applicable.
What to expect with twins.
Initially, most people think in ones not multiple births. Twins are likely to occur in 1 in 250 births in the general population. The data shows twins are more likely to be born early. Pregnancies conceived with fertility treatments increase your chances of having twins. Your doctor or specialist will be able to provide more on multiple births.
Maternity leave rules.
The Federal Government Fair Work Ombudsman has a section on parental and maternity leave rules and entitlements, including pregnant employee entitlements. All employees are entitled to parental leave when a child is born or adopted. If you’re having a baby, have a look at your parental leave entitlements. Entitlements include maternity leave, paternity and partner leave, adoption leave, special maternity leave, a safe job and no safe job leave, a right to return to old job.
Employees are entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. They can also request an additional 12 months of leave. For more on your entitlements, see here.
What you won’t expect.
Online you can find articles that explore myths around pregnancy; having ultra-sound tests and the possibility of needing additional tests. There are also books, podcasts and videos on conception and pregnancy, as well as what to expect after the birth of your baby.
Read more here.
How we could help
Things you should know
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
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