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Financial Considerations Before Having a Child

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Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding things in life, but it does come at a cost. As you prepare to introduce a new child into your family, there are plenty of things you need to consider.

The Budget

Bringing a new child into the picture will certainly have a significant impact on your budget. This means another mouth to feed, diapers, toys, doctor visits, clothing, child care and more. It can seem overwhelming when you consider introducing all of these new expenses, but careful budgeting can make this an easy transition.

If you don’t currently have a budget, you need to create one. Before you can budget expenses for the new baby, you need to first understand where your money is currently going. After looking at your current budget, begin to add the new expenses for the child and estimate what they may cost on a monthly basis. Some of this may be new to you, and it may take a little research to find out what things cost.

Once you factor in the new expenses, take a look at whether you have enough money to cover those expenses. If not, you need to take a look at the rest of your budget and find out where you can cut back.

Insurance

Another major new expense that is introduced when having a child is additional health insurance coverage. Not only will you have substantial medical costs during pregnancy and through delivery, but also maintaining coverage for the child after they are born. First, check with your current provider to see what type of maternity coverage is offered and whether or not you should switch to your spouse’s health plan or purchase additional coverage.

Once the child arrives, you’ll have to make an election to add them to your existing plan. Be sure to check with your current provider to see what is required to add the child and what, if any time frame there is to complete this. Even if you have a good employer plan, be prepared to see a sizable increase in premiums.

Estate Planning

If you and your spouse haven’t created a will yet, this is the perfect time to think about it. Now that you have a child on the way you’ll likely want part or all of your estate to be passed on to them at your passing. More importantly, you’ll want to decide who would take custody of your child if you die while they are still a minor.

You won’t be able to list a child in the will until they are born, but use the time before the birth to gather all of the necessary information and paperwork and seek out an attorney who can help you once the time has come. You will be extremely busy once the child is born, so coming up with the time and information to complete the will after the fact will be more difficult.

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