Getting ready to be a parent involves a lot of financial preparation before your baby is even born. Before that bundle of joy comes into the world, make sure to take some time to plan for your new family. Here are 5 financial steps to take before your baby arrives.
Figure Out Your Medical Costs
It’s expensive to have a baby, so you’ll need to figure out what the medical costs will be. These costs vary from city to city, and hospital to hospital. If you have health insurance, your coverage will be different from other expectant parents. It’s important to find out what your copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be. To determine exactly what you’ll pay out-of-pocket versus what is covered, you need to contact your medical providers and health insurance company. Doing this early can help save you from some headaches down the road.
Create a Budget
Your income will take a big hit when the baby comes, so now more than ever you’ll want to make a budget. If you’ve figured out what your medical costs will be, the next step is to make a list of the other expenses for your new son or daughter. Strollers, diaper bags, clothes, formula, crib, toys, and baby room preparations are just some of the many expenses you’ll need to plan for before baby even arrives. Figure out how much you can comfortably spend each month on supplies and acquire the products you’ll need over the nine months of pregnancy. Try to avoid overspending on all the fancy gadgets you’ll undoubtedly find. Stick to the necessities (and your budget) to help save money.
Choose a Network Doctor
Ask for recommendations from friends or family in your area, and make interview appointments with pediatricians to help select a doctor you are comfortable with. You’ll also want to make sure your doctor is in your provider network to avoid any out-of-network charges. Verify by calling your insurance company.
Plan for Maternity or Paternity Leave
When your baby is born, you and your partner will want to take time off. But first, you need to find out how much time you can take and if you’ll be paid while you’re away. This is a serious consideration, as a change in funds can affect your post-delivery budget and your bottom line. Make sure to check your company’s policies, as well as your state’s laws to see how maternity or paternity leave will impact your household finances.
Save for Emergencies
With a child on the way, you need to be prepared for emergencies. Kids are accident prone, so it’s a good idea to have at least three to six months’ salary in the bank to cover an unexpected incident. How do you build an emergency fund? Here are a few tips:
- Set a savings goal each month to get you into the habit. Try setting up an automatic payment to your savings account when you get paid to make it easier.
- Reassess your budget and cut some expenses by eating out less or carpooling to save on gas. Reallocate the money you save to your emergency fund.
- Spring is tax season. If you get a return, consider putting the money into an emergency fund, instead of spending it.
You’ll want to spend every moment with your new bundle of joy. Save yourself from taking time away from your little one by following these steps before your baby arrives and you may find a little peace of mind.
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