Expecting a new baby is such an exciting time in a parent’s life. Whether it’s your first or your third, every baby is unique and planning for the event is a thrill that no parent ever gets accustomed to.
However, a new addition to the family means you will need to do a little financial planning and preparation beyond the new crib and bassinet layout.
Everyday things such as which are the best diapers and what are the best foods to start your baby on are fairly easy, financial planning? Most parents don’t think about it until much later.
Look at what we consider are the top 15 essential financial tasks that you should complete just before, and soon after, your baby is born.
Financial Planning Before
Understand What Your Insurance Covers
Even when you have insurance, some plans don’t cover everything. Check with your insurance provider so you understand exactly what will be covered and what they might not cover. Sites like NerdWallet can help you make sense of medical bills and terminology. Prepare for these bills now and save yourself a lot of pain later on.
Check Out Your Company’s Maternity/Paternity Leave Policy
Find out as soon as possible how much paid time off you and your husband can take after the birth of your little one. State laws vary, as do company policy, so knowing how much time you can take, or how much money you won’t be getting if you need extra time off, will be very helpful in planning your budget over the next few months.
Make a Pre-Delivery Budget
Once you know the answers to questions #1 and #2, you can determine a budget for expenses and saving before the baby arrives.
Make a Post-Delivery Budget
Babies cost money! Even if you plan on breastfeeding, you will need storage bags, wipes, diapers, and all those other little expenditures that add up quickly. Plan for these items now and perhaps add some of these items to your baby shower gift registry!
Choose a Pediatrician Within Your Health Care Network
It helps to have your pediatrician picked out before your infant needs their first appointment. Be sure he or she is within your health care’s approved network to avoid additional costs.
Get an Emergency Fund Going
If you don’t have one, now is the time to start an emergency fund. If you have one, check up on the amount you have stashed away and consider adding 10 or 20% for that little one that is sure to cause unexpected expenses.
Order a Social Security Card and Birth Certificate
Hospital staff should approach you about this, but if they don’t, or if you are planning on giving birth at home, contact state office of vital records for these items.
Your Baby’s First 4 Weeks
Add Your Infant to Your Health Insurance Plan
Almost all health insurance providers allow 30 days to register your new baby, some even allow 60 days. Do it ASAP as it’s so easy to forget these things when you have a colicky baby!
Talk About Life Insurance
Some people don’t like to think about this, but since no one can predict the future, you should think about getting a life insurance policy for your baby to cover funeral costs if anything should happen.
Plan for Child Care
If you will need to return to work, think about child care right now. Finding the right nanny or daycare center can be very problematic, especially in large cities.
The Next 90 Days
While parenting lasts a lifetime, the first few years of your child’s life are super important when it comes to financial planning.
Check Your Beneficiaries
Assuming you have life insurance already (and if you don’t, it’s time to do so) be sure that your child is also listed as a beneficiary, as well as your significant other. You might also consider increasing your life insurance. Check your 401K and IRA’s as well.
Write or Change Your Will
No one likes to think about their impending demise, but things happen. Plan to take care of your child if something happens to you or both you and your spouse by having a will drawn up or changing your current will to include your new baby.
Get Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is used far more often than life insurance. Make sure that you have enough coverage should something happen, and you are out of work for a few months.
Fund Your Retirement
DO NOT stop setting money aside for your retirement simply because the new baby means new expenses. You don’t want to be living with your child when you are 80, do you?
Save For Their Future Education
This is a great way to let relatives “help out” with your baby. Ask them to put money in a fund set up for your child’s education. Early planning makes college shopping easy instead of becoming a loan searching nightmare.