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If you are expecting, or are thinking about having a baby, here are some tips that may help.
Financial stress is tough at the best of times, but when you are sleep deprived and in the middle of a new job that you or your partner have no idea how to do, the impact can be huge.
Right now, Max is asleep in the pram next to me in a café in Brunswick while Annie is taking a well-earned nap. Long gone are the days of relaxing with a hot coffee and my order is now a take-away in case he drops the lip before I finish writing this. I have always prided myself on being a man of process and structure – just seems like someone forgot to tell 4-week-old Max! That’s been a tough adjustment.
The past 4 weeks has been an absolute blur at times, but as I attempt to get my working life back to ‘normal’, I still have some residual money ‘stuff’ to tidy up off the back of Max’s birth.
The irony is not lost on me, a financial planner, leaving financial stuff that needs doing until after Max was born.
Here’s what I have learnt about where money and babies intersect, including three areas to look at before your baby comes:
Getting all the ‘stuff’ ready;
- Write a list about what you need and get one of your friends with kids to look over it
- Go to Facebook marketplace first – it has everything, cheap!
- Don’t buy anything until you have told all your closest friends and loved ones – they will have heaps of hand me downs
- Don’t buy anything until after the baby shower
- Check what the maternity/paternity leave policies are for your employers
- Review your existing cash flow (over a 3 month period) to check where you can cut back if you need (Annie and I cut back on travel to save some money this year)
- Do a budget – add in the money you will receive and subtract the money are likely to spend. This will help you to alleviate any stress and make decisions before the pressure is on
Private Health (if you are going in the private system);
- Make sure you change your cover to include obstetrics (there is always a waiting period)
- Understand the hospital
- Check your cover for IVF (this varies massively between funds!)
- Once your baby is on the way, let the insurer know
- Setup your mygov account and follow the prompts
- Make sure you lodge your ‘new birth declaration’ within four weeks of the birth
- Make sure you register the birth with Births, Deaths & Marriages
Finally here is a couple of reference points from the experts. All the information is out there, it’s just not in one specific place.
Like all big decisions, take some time before you start the journey and then be more motivated than I was to ‘cross the T’s and dot the I’s’ before your little friend comes along. Trust me ????
By the way, this took three coffees over two days to write.