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10 smart financial moves for New and Expectant Parents

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

There are few events that are as exciting as having a new baby as I have learnt first-hand from my experience of becoming the excited parent of a chubby bouncy baby over 2 years ago. However, this same wellspring of joy and excitement could also potentially be a source of nagging anxiety for expectant and new parents for a variety of reasons. While there may be a few things to plan for, one issue that would be useful to address would be financial preparation for the arrival of your bundle(s) of joy. Having a solid and realistic financial plan in place to help you prepare for the arrival of your precious little one will go a long way to reducing your stress.

Following the enthusiastic feedback for my previous post called 'Bun in the oven!' about financial planning for a baby on the way, a number of new mums who have specifically requested (and rightly so!) a more meaty and practical approach to this topic, I have decided to do a follow-up that looks at specific action points and strategies you could employ to help you be in the best financial shape for the birth of your little one (s).

To help your planning, there are a few basic things to bear in mind:


Surprise?

Having a newborn rarely takes you by surprise. Majority of pregnancies take several months from the time you find out that you are expecting, to the time of delivery. While 9 months is the usual time frame, some babies may arrive earlier than planned. However, even when babies arrive ahead of their expected date of delivery (EDD), parents would still have had several months to plan. Also, for a planned pregnancy, you would usually have had some time to plan even prior to conception. So, don’t worry. You’ve got this!


New babies, new bills.

Having a child is a joy and a gift but also a commitment and responsibility. You can take it for granted that your expenses will go up and plan towards it. Think medical bills, larger housing, roomier vehicle, car seats, pushchairs and prams, bouncers & rockers, cot beds & nursery furniture, nappies, baby food, sterilizers, travel expenses (if you have family coming to help or you had your baby abroad), etc. While the list is not exhaustive, it is also pertinent to note that it could vary significantly depending on your personal and family circumstances. For instance, you may not need new accommodation or a vehicle and if you are fortunate to have adequate private health insurance or live in a country with universal health coverage like the UK, then you don’t need a special budget for medical care. However, if you live in a country where you would have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills, I suggest that your medical budget includes the cost of having a surgical delivery even if your birth plan doesn’t primarily include surgery. This way, you wouldn’t be caught out if things don’t go as initially planned.


Income dip.

In some cases, your household income may reduce during the time of your pregnancy, delivery, and parental leave. If you are self-employed or run a small business that requires a lot of your attention, you may not make as much money as you did when you had more time. Professionals and wage earners who bill by the hour like contractors and consultants may be more affected in this regard. It is important to factor this into your planning as well!


Expense dip

Yes, new parents may often notice a reduction in their expenses immediately after delivery. This of course depends on what your lifestyle was prior to pregnancy and delivery. For instance, you may find that you spend far less on entertainment, travel, commuting for work and eating out because you will be spending more time indoors with your bundle of joy.


 

Bonus point! If you have read this far, you deserve a bonus point. Having touched on those factors, let’s dive into actual steps that you could take to help you feel more prepared.

1. Start with a budget.

The dreaded ‘B’ word. I said it. Well, a budget doesn’t have to be an elaborate document on a spreadsheet or budget app. A simple outline of expected costs would be helpful as a guide. If a budget is not your thing, consider doing at least an estimate of the expenses you may incur in the first year of having a baby. Do not delude yourself while making your budget. Be realistic and include all the cost elements that you can envisage. I would suggest it is better to overbudget than to underbudget and find yourself unprepared. For instance, as I mentioned above, even if you didn’t plan to have a CS, include the cost of having one as part of your planning. Another example is including the cost of infant formula even if you are determined to do exclusive breastfeeding. In these instances, even if things don’t go as, you initially hoped, you would still be fine.

2. Cut or Eliminate debt.

3. Setup An Emergency Fund

4. Activated Monthly Automatic saving system (AMASS)

5. Art of the side hustle.

6. Start a cattle herd: invest for the future

7. Deals! Deals!! Deals!!!

8. Get It For Free!

9. Government Programs

10. Review Your Estate.

11. Gifts

Finally, having a child is a deeply personal and important decision that you would need to consider carefully. The points articulated above do not imply that everyone must have everything sorted before having their first baby. Many new parents hardly ever feel like they have all their ducks in a row before the arrival of their little one. However, a little planning goes a long way to help you feel more in charge. Keep Hope Alive!



Author: 
Dr Ndubuisi ‘Andy’ Egwim, a UK based entrepreneur, investor, and part-time sessional GP, is the founder of MoneywiseDoctor.com, a blog and newsletter that provides practical financial insights and strategies to help doctors avoid ‘financial heart attack’. With a passion for empowering healthcare professionals to achieve financial freedom, Dr Egwim is committed to helping others take control of their financial well-being for peace of mind. 



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