Welcoming a baby into the world can be a wonderful, life-affirming occasion for any couple, yet there are also a whole host of considerations and concerns to keep in mind when preparing for this major event.
Getting your finances in order and being prepared for the additional burdens you will face as parents is perhaps the most important aspect, so here is a look at the costs you will face and some strategies for dealing with them.
Be aware of healthcare costs
First and foremost, you need to think about the costs that come with the healthcare services required when having a baby.
So long as you have adequate health insurance, you should be able to mitigate most of the steeper expenses, but you need to be aware that there are not just fees to pay for scans and checkups during the pregnancy itself, but also for the delivery and the post-birth support.
Checking the cost of childbirth by state is one way of working out where it is most affordable to have a child. You can also compare and contrast different healthcare providers and insurance packages to make sure you are covered appropriately for the trials and tribulations of pregnancy. Checking to see if financial support options for expectant couples is available in your area is also a good idea if you do not want hospital bills to become an issue.
Assess employment-related benefits and limitations
Being provided with paid maternity or paternity leave by your employer is not a given; in fact, the US is one of the few places where new mothers do not have the right to continue claiming their salary for a period after the birth of their child. Instead, you get 12 weeks of unpaid leave by law, although certain states such as California do offer income support in this scenario.
Because of this, it is worth checking to see whether your employer offers specific benefits for pregnant employees that go above and beyond the bare minimum. Likewise, if you anticipate that your income will drop for a time after the birth, you should plan for this accordingly.
Calculate future expenses
After your child is born, there will be all sorts of new costs to bear, most of which will be an unavoidable aspect of your life for the foreseeable future. Because of this, you need to scout out the kinds of expenses that come with raising a baby and take these on board as part of your household budgeting efforts.
For example, grocery costs will necessarily increase, and there will also be expenses for things like childcare, clothing and education to weigh up.
There is always room to make savings, but the only way to do so effectively is to prepare well in advance and be attuned to the kinds of costs that could suddenly fall into your lap when your little bundle of joy arrives, rather than being sideswiped by them further down the line.