The arrival of a new born baby is such an exciting time which requires a lot of preparation: mentally, emotionally and financially for both parents.
Recent research from AMP Financial reveals that parents worry more about money in the lead up to having a baby than any other time. But with a bit of planning and prep work before your baby arrives, you can feel better equipped for what's to come.
Focusing on your mindset and understanding your spending habits is key to financially thriving during mat leave. Adopting an abundance mindset means less worrying about what you can't control, and shifting your energy to what you can do now. Think about it, is it better to confront your spending habits now, while you have time to save, rather than when you’re living off one income with a newborn?
Money and budgeting isn't the most sexy thing to talk about. If you're planning to start a family or are already pregnant, think of starting or updating your family budget. Understand where your disposable income is spent each month and what your fixed costs are (food, mortgage/rent, internet, transport etc) and your variable costs - the expenses you can control (daily coffees, subscription services, clothing). It may be eye opening to start off with, but by tackling these costs sooner than later, you'll be able to get a good understanding of your spending habits and where you'll be able to make changes.
During your pregnancy (if not earlier) start to live off one income, as the reality is, as soon as your baby is born you will be living on a single income! By practicing what life would be like on a single income you will be able to better prepare for your financial obligations and see what you can live without. By living on a single income, you will be able to increase your savings to enjoy life's simple pleasures with your newborn without any stress.
Some forward planning will help you feel in control of your finances.
- Start researching the costs of all baby items (pram,cot, bottles, nappies etc) and purchase items strategically (on sale or second hand).
- Research the costs of obstetricians, ultrasounds, prenatal/postnatal classes, hospital fees.
- Understand your employer and government entitlements for maternity leave/paternity leave.
- Plan your savings opportunities prior to your baby's arrival.
- Plan any weekend getaways, interstate or overseas travel into your post baby budget.
- Budget for coffee dates and treats like dinners and weekend brunches out.
While a new baby is such an exciting time, whats not exciting is having to stress and anxiety around money and mat leave. No matter how long you are taking off, empower yourself with the right knowledge and tools to not just survive but thrive on mat leave.
Need further insight and handy tips? Download your free ebook Better than Pay Day: How to Thrive on Maternity Leave