Tag Archives: parenting

How to Financially Prepare for Maternity Leave

Pregnancy is often a very exciting time in the lives of soon-to-be-mothers. However, like all things, a degree of preparation is always in order and appropriate. While some employers and places of business do grant their workers paid maternity leave at the appropriate time, this is not the case with all institutions. Therefore, if a woman’s company does not pay for her maternity leave, she will inevitably have to do some financial planning of her own. Thankfully, there are a series of well thought out steps that expecting mothers can take to ensure that all goes well during their leave from work.

Start A New, Separate, Savings Account

Although having a new baby can be very exciting, it can also be very expensive. The added costs of childcare combined with the reduction in income can serve as a major blow without the proper funds. According to U.S. News, one of the best ways to financially prepare for maternity leave is by putting aside extra money into a savings account. Ideally, this should occur prior to the time in which the woman takes off for maternity leave. Starting months in advance or even as soon as the pregnancy has been discovered can be very helpful in the long run. Baby-related expenses add up extremely quickly. Preparation is absolutely imperative.

Try to Build A Strong, Support System

Having and caring for a baby within the first few days and weeks can be an amazing experience, but also very overwhelming at times. Having the support of a spouse, in-laws, or other relatives can make all the difference in the world. It can also cut back on childcare expenses which would likely follow after the new mother returns to work.

Financial reasons aside, a strong, reliable support system always makes a difference in the lives of new parents. Raising children is a journey and as the old saying goes, it takes a village.

Put Together A Budget

Prior to maternity leave, putting together a strategic and reasonable budget is going to be very important for soon-to-be-mothers. Not only does this allow the review of income, expenses, and other matters, but it also allows women to track patterns and specifically understand how their baby will impact them financially. Of course, there is no set number and many variables which will impact the budget which needs to be set.

Some women decide to meet with financial advisors as they work to put together the right budget for themselves and their families. However, this is optional; with or without a budget, moms-to-be can still take the right steps, thus ensuring a smooth and stress-free maternity leave.

A Final Word

Regardless of how much planning takes place, maternity leave is likely to present its own unique and likely unforeseen occurrences. However, with the right financial planning and a strong support system of loved ones, any potential challenges which may arise can be easily handled and dealt with. Finally, talking to other women who have experienced pregnancy and maternity leave can also make a tremendous difference.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Plan for Having Children

Having children is one of the most significant milestones in the life of any adult. In the best case scenarios, knowing that a baby is on the way can be very exciting and even a little nerve-wracking. However, without the proper financial planning, excitement can quickly become stress while nerve-wracking can morph into downright terrifying. This is why financial preparation for the newest member(s) of the family is absolutely imperative.

Understand that Children are Incredibly Expensive

Virtually everyone has heard the infamous phrase: “Kids are expensive.” Many people even believe it and rightfully so. However, hearing that children are pricey and getting a numerical breakdown of the associated, ongoing costs of childcare are two different things. The exact digits can help people understand the gravity of the costs which will definitely become real.

Anyone who is preparing to have kids needs to, at the very least, have an idea of the specific average costs. Thankfully, Discover thoroughly breaks down each facet of childcare and how much they amount to. For instance, the average annual expenses of raising a child within the first two years cost over $12,600.

This breaks down to the following average, yearly costs: $2,900 for education/childcare, $1,800 for transportation, $800 for clothes, $3,700 for lodging, $1,600 for food, $1,200 for healthcare, and $900 for various other expenses. Granted, these costs can be higher or lower depending on assorted factors, but nevertheless, the aforementioned costs provide an idea into how pricey it is to care for one child just within the first 24 months.

Have a Plentiful Emergency Fund Stashed Aside

An emergency fund is paramount for all adults; however, it becomes fifty times more critical when a baby is involved. The truth is that no matter how much money is carefully budgeted out, unforeseenĀ costs have a way of arising, especially when babies are involved. According to USA Today, new parents are advised to save up to [at least] six months of living expenses in the event of any crises or urgent matters. Even after the arrival of the baby, the aforementioned emergency fund should not be touched unless it is absolutely necessary.

Ensure the Existence of Steady, Reliable Income

While budgeting and saving money are incredibly important financial planning steps for having children, the positive impacts are severely counteracted without the existence of steady and reliable income. This is why Money Crashers recommends for expecting parents to have ongoing pay and preferably an established position, particularly if one works in a company.

Each family has varying work situations and what is applicable to some parents may not be suitable for others. While each circumstance and career path is different, steady and reliable income is utterly paramount when starting and expanding a family.

A Final Word

Children are a blessing to any loving couple who is ready to grow as a family. The ability to enact strategic financial plans is guaranteed to make raising kids much easier and stress-free than it would be without any preparation. Understanding the expenses associated with children, maintaining a healthy emergency fund, and ensuring streams of reliable income will make a significant impact. Although the ups and downs of parenthood are unavoidable, even with the best of plans, following the foregoing steps will prevent many problems both in the short-term and the long-term.