Money Bite-Size Read:
- Whether it’s a surprise or planned, pregnancy is a huge lifestyle change.
- It’s time to start budgeting for the costs of pregnancy and raising your child.
- Here’s the money do’s and don’ts on how to save money when you’re pregnant and what to expect to budget for when you’re expecting.
The Money Bites Take:
These money do’s and don’ts set out how you can save money when you’re pregnant, including what’s worth spending more money on and where you can save.
What should you expect to budget for when you’re expecting?
Pregnancy represents a massive change to your lifestyle. Unfortunately, this change comes with a price tag attached, which varies depending on where in the world you have your babies and the choices your make about your health care.
Money should be the least of your concerns when you’re in labour.
You should be able to afford your recovery and enjoying time with your newborn. That’s why it’s important to budget when you’re pregnant, well before the baby arrives.
If you’re not sure what to budget for, an emergency fund can be helpful, particularly when you build up this fund over time so that you have plenty of cash for unexpected expenses. So, what’s worth spending money on, and where can you afford to cut back?
Here’s the money do’s and don’ts for how to save money when you’re pregnant:
1. DO budget for your time out of work
If you’re taking time out to have a baby, that’s time your need to budget for. You’ll need to account for time not at work earning money and save this money in advance. It also helps to talk about this with your partner and consider moving to part-time work to share the load.
2. DON’T ignore your rights to take paid paternity leave
Most countries and companies have a paternity leave scheme, which is time away from work offered to new parents. In Australia, this paid parental leave scheme is available so all parents can afford to spend time with their baby. While you may love your job, it’s worth taking time to be with your newborn as its valuable time you won’t be able to get back.
3. DO plan for pregnancy process costs
The whole process of pregnancy involves costs, such as as vitamins or supplements that your doctor might recommend. You’ll also need to buy new clothes as your body changes during the pregnancy. Given this is a short-term change, it’s worth looking to charity shops for pregnancy clothes. You could also buy more loose-fitting clothes that you can wear post-pregnancy.
4. DON’T be afraid to look at second-hand baby items
When purchasing items for a new baby, you’ll be tempted to buy the best because we all want the best for our children. However, a baby doesn’t care about brand names and what pram influencers and celebrities happen to use. So long as the items are clean and meet current safety standards, it’s worth looking at second-hand options.
5. DO look for discounts on items you need to buy new
As much as we want to recycle, there are certain items you’ll want to buy new. Examples of this are the mattress your baby will sleep on, even if the cot itself is second-hand. Compare different options, look at price reductions via discount vouchers and sales such as the Black Friday sales season to save money.
6. DON’T forget to protect your retirement fund
A period away from work to look after a baby might mean not putting money into your retirement account. Check whether your employer will be contributing to your retirement while you’re on parental leave. You can also take steps to sort out your super, including making a co-contribution while you’re not earning a full-time wage.
7. DO consider whether you want to go public or private
Think about where you want to give birth, including in the public health system or a private hospital. While you might have private health insurance, there are still hidden bills involved with both options, and you should also look at other services such as midwifery group practices to find what works best for you.
8. DON’T ignore ongoing costs after the baby arrives
Babies introduce a whole lot of ongoing expenses to your budget, such as nappies, wipes, and baby food. These smaller daily costs add up, ranging from $791 to $1059 in Australia. Given this is a wide range, an emergency fund can be useful for managing unexpected costs.
9. DO look after yourself post-birth
Just as when you fly, the emergency briefing tells you to put your own mask on before helping others, you need to budget for self-care so that you can be the best parent to your new baby. That could include preparing meals in advance so you can grab nutritious food easily or prioritising time for exercise if this makes you feel good.
10. DON’T forget about education costs
Education costs will be a significant expense you’ll need to budget for throughout a child’s life. That starts with childcare costs, which you’ll pay until your child starts schooling unless you and your partner want to work full-time or have a helpful carer on hand to help out. There’s also school fees after this and associated costs such as school fees or new uniforms that you’ll need to budget for.
Having a baby is one of the greatest value adds to your life.
You can’t put a price on the joy that can come from raising children and building a family with someone you love. However, you can budget for these costs early so that you spend more time focused on your newborn rather than worrying about your finances.