Parenthood is an extraordinary experience, but it comes with a new set of responsibilities
Review Your Health Insurance
Start looking over your health insurance deductibles to estimate how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Although many group health insurance plans offered through an employer offer maternity coverage, the majority of individual plans do not.
The average cost of a normal delivery in 2010 was just over $10,000 and a cesarean section cost an average of $23,000. Knowing these costs and understanding your benefits can give you a ballpark number of how much to save.
You will also need to plan for other health expenses that may not be covered, like vaccines, and for the increased premium for child coverage.
Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Babies are expensive, and affording a child is far more difficult if you are swamped with credit card debt. Start knocking out your high cost debt for the next nine months. It will be harder to make a dent in your debt once the baby arrives, and paying it down can free up your budget a bit for other expenses.
Get Life Insurance
No parent should ever go without life insurance. You might be able to get a solid policy for as little as $200 per year if you are a healthy young adult. Insurance is especially important for the breadwinner but ideally should cover both parents before the baby is born.
You may not want to think about life insurance, but one of your biggest responsibilities as a parent is to financially provide for your child if you lose your own life.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
You might hear new parents complain about the cost of formula and diapers, but those expenses are nothing when compared to daycare and college tuition. To prepare for these expenses, you need to gain a clear picture of how much you are earning and spending each month. Create a realistic budget by looking at areas where you can skimp a little, and stick to it. Put the extra money in a savings account and avoid the temptation to overspend on baby stuff. Yes, the clothes are cute, but your little bundle of joy will soon outgrow them.
How did you financially prepare for children? Did your spending habits change when you were expecting? Share your tips with other moms- and dads-to-be in the comment section below!