Financial Planning for Pregnancy and Baby
Your body is becoming physically ready to have a baby. You’re working on becoming emotionally ready. But how financially ready are you for your bundle of joy to arrive? Here are a few things to start thinking about now, so you can be prepared for the future.
Understand your health coverage
The costs of maternity care, labor and delivery can vary wildly depending on where you live and what kind of health insurance you have. Make sure you understand exactly what’s covered and the total amount you’ll owe in doctor and hospital fees. If you need help figuring it out, your OB/GYN probably has a financial office that can help you, or you can call your insurance provider and ask them directly.
Know your employer’s maternity leave policy
Most employers are required to offer up to 12 weeks of maternity (or paternity) leave, but they aren’t required to pay your salary during that period. Find out what to expect so you know how to prepare for a potential loss of income.
Tally up essential gear
Babies need lots of stuff. Parents like to buy lots of stuff. Setting up a budget for essential gear like a car seat, mountains of diapers and a crib can help you stay on track and know what you can spend on fun stuff, like extra clothing and toys.
Make a childcare plan
Who will care for your baby when (or if) you return to work? If you don’t have the luxury of a family member waiting in the wings, you’ll probably need to find a daycare facility or an in-home sitter. Now is the time to decide what option is best for your family, and plan for the upcoming costs.
Make a new budget and then set aside a little extra
Even if you already have a great budget in place, everything will change once you add a new little person to your household. Research the hard costs of parenting during the first year and build those into your monthly budget. Then, set aside some extra money as an emergency fund to take care of the unexpected.
For information on price estimates for a wide range of medical services, visit Baycare.org/My-Estimator.