If you are planning a family then it can be worth thinking carefully about your finances. Children are expensive and you will need to be prepared for the extra money that you will need to pay out for them. It might feel that they will not add much, especially when they are little and do not eat or drink much. But they grow up and they grow fast meaning costs can soon escalate and therefore it is important to be prepared for that. If you are not prepared you may end up having to get a loan to pay for everything that you need. Although this can be useful it might not be ideal and you may be in a situation where loans are not very accessible anyway if you have a poor credit score.
What costs will there be?
It is good to start by thinking about what costs there will ne. You might think this is obvious but different parents have different costs. It might be that both parents want to remain at work and so childcare needs to be paid for. It might be that one or both parents will work part-time or one will give up work and so that cost needs to be allowed for. There will also be items to buy for the baby such as car seat, cot, clothing, pram and then as they get older more clothes, bed, food, high chair and then as they get even older games consoles, school uniform, holidays, more food and even more clothing! You may be able to save money on some of these items perhaps by having them given to you by friends and family or by buying second hand. It can be difficult to calculate an exact figure and to put away all the money that you will need. However, if you can make an estimate of how much you might need for the first few years that could get you on your way.
Save up extra
It is always wise though to save up a bit extra if you can. You never know what might happen and whether you will need some extra money. Sometimes it can be too hard to go back to work or there is no job to go back to after maternity leave. It might be that the child needs more things than you allowed for. You may even find that you need extra money for things for you, perhaps needing a new car, to replace white goods or do home repairs. So, if you can put by some extra then you will have that security of knowing that you have more money in case you need it. It can make you feel more secure going into pregnancy knowing that you have a big chunk of savings available to help you.
It may take time to save this up but it could be worth the wait. Knowing that you have a financially secure future can take a lot of stress out of having a family. A family will bring its own concerns as well as many more joys, but if you can eliminate the worry of money then this will make the whole experience much more pleasurable for everyone.
Have a contingency
It is wise to have a contingency plan as well. It may not be possible to save up the money that you need in time or you may find that there are unexpected things that you have to buy or circumstances change and you start to struggle. It is really wise to think about what you might do in advance and then you will not need to worry so much.
It might be that you can plan on one of you taking on more paid work perhaps. You might be able to downsize and spend less that way. You might be able to sell some things to make money, rent out a room or something like that. It is wise to come up with a selection of ideas and then you will be able to choose one if you need to. Make sure that the things you come up with are things that you will really be prepared to do.
It might seem like quite an extreme thing to do, but planning financially for a baby can be really valuable. While you might be guessing at how much money you might need to save up, you will be doing better than not saving anything at all. You could, of course, just save everything that you can and then you will know that you have done the very best that you can possibly do. Having an idea of other things that you could do to cope can also be really reassuring as well. Having one less thing to worry about can be a great weight off your mind as you will have other things to focus on and you will not want to be distracted.