They say that if you wait to have a baby until you’re ready, you’ll never have a baby. While there’s some truth to that, there is something to be said about being financially stable before bringing a newborn into your life. Here are some signs that your finances are prepared (as much as they can be) for a baby.
Your Budget is Baby-Centric
Your old budget goes out the window when you have a baby. (I say this from experience. Three times over.) You need to prepare a new, baby-centric budget. That means getting honest about your savings, long term goals, and fixed and variable expenses. A large portion of your money will now be going toward your kid. And the more kids you have, the more expensive things get. According to the USDA, for married parents earning between $59,000 and $107,000 per year, two kids cost between $12,350 to $13,900 annually.
You Reviewed Leave Policies
Before you have a baby, you should familiarize yourself with your employer’s parental leave policy. As US News reports, some companies offer multiple weeks off for the primary caregiver, but some extend that to the secondary caregiver. Knowing what your work life will be like after the child is born is helpful when planning out expenses.
You’re Thinking Long Term
The earlier you start planning for your child’s education, the better. Consider opening a 529 plan as soon as possible. Then, tell everyone who asks what that child might like for a birthday or holiday that a contribution is always welcome. At the very least, you want to start having discussions about your money strategies for the child’s higher education. The more you talk things out prior to having a baby, the better prepared you’ll be when the baby arrives.