Are ready for parenthood and think you’re ready to bring a bundle of joy into your lives? Having children is a large personal and financial responsibility, and if you aren’t ready to dive in head first, you may be in for a bit of a shock when your new little bundle arrives. The average cost of raising a child from birth to eighteen years tops off at an average of $250,000 so you should be sure you’re prepared for that commitment. Before you decide to have kids, you should take a good long look at your finances, and then make these money moves so you’re prepared for your new arrival.
Be Financially Secure
You don’t need to be a millionaire to have children, but you should have a steady source of regular income coming into your home so that you can afford to care for your child. In addition to paying your regular bills, you’ll need enough income for all the extra expenses that come with raising a child, such as pediatrician appointments, diapers, food, clothes, and baby items like car seats and cribs. You should ask yourself how long you’ve been at your current job, how stable it is, what your long-term plan is for yourself financially, and whether or not you feel your job is secure. If you find that you’re not financially stable, you may want to consider securing a better job before jumping into being a parent.
Once the baby arrives your budget will likely shift in priorities. You’ll likely no longer have as much discretionary income for things such as concerts, eating out every week, and expensive trips. Instead, that money will need to go to care for your child. Take a look at your budget to get a full and accurate picture of what you’ll be looking at in monthly expenses after your baby comes and see what areas you can cut back to afford the new expenses that come with being a parent.
Upgrade Your Vehicle
When it’s just you or you and a spouse, driving in a vehicle that isn’t necessarily as new is likely not an issue. After all, it’s just the two of you and you’re probably not as worried about what might happen if you get into an accident or your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. However, once a child arrives your entire view will likely shift and you’ll want something that’s safer and more reliable to keep your new little family secure. One of your priorities should be finding a safe and affordable family car to accommodate you and your family once your child comes. Even on days when they aren’t in the car with you, you need to be safe as well while you’re out on the road because you have someone at home who depends on you to be around to care for them.
Save for Emergencies
Emergencies don’t stop happening just because you’re a parent. In fact, you may run into emergencies more frequently after you become a parent that will need to be addressed right away. It might not have been as big a deal to go a few days without heat when it was just you and your spouse and your heater broke, but when you have a child in the picture you want to be sure you’re providing a safe environment at all times. Saving a little money each week for an unexpected emergency is key when you’re a parent and can come in very handy in a pinch. Automatically set up a portion of your paycheck each week to go to savings and you should be more than able to handle an emergency.
These simple money moves can help you be prepared for the arrival of your child. The more prepared you are, the less likely you’ll worry about being able to provide for your child and the more you’ll be able to enjoy them.