Learning that you are pregnant is an exciting, emotional time for anyone, and also one that has a lot of financial concerns surrounding it. The cost of having and raising a child increases every year, and would-be parents need to be prepared for the financial realities that come with having a child. Today, we are going to take a look at several financial issues you need to consider when you learn that you are pregnant.
Plan ahead for any changes in income while pregnant.
If you are employed, do you know how your employer treats pregnant employees? Does it provide maternity leave or temporary disability insurance? If not, what, if anything, does it provide?
Are you planning on staying at your job as long as possible and returning to it as soon as you can after you have your child, or are you going to take time away? Are you planning on leaving work completely to raise your child?
All of these questions will affect your income, and you’ll have to be prepared for the change.
Go through your health insurance policy with a fine-toothed comb.
Having health insurance is necessary if you are having a baby, but knowing exactly what your policy does and doesn’t cover is equally important. As soon as you learn you are pregnant, or preferably before, you should go through your health insurance policy for any terms and conditions that might apply to your pregnancy.
For example, your policy should be clear about what procedures it covers and what you will be responsible for paying as copays or as a part of your deductible. You’ll also want to pay attention to any pre and post-natal care terms, as well as emergency procedures or contingencies that might arise during pregnancy.
Look to the future.
Beyond the immediate concerns raised by the pregnancy and potential loss of income, there are also the financial realities that you’ll have to confront as you pay for all the diapers, new clothes, baby food, toys, and all the other expenses associated with a new child. Studies show that the average cost of raising a newborn is about $12,000 in the first year, increasing to about $12,500 by the time the child reaches the age of two. If you have yet to prepare for this increase in expenses, you’ll have to start budgeting now. If you don’t have the income to cover the costs, you’ll have to start looking at ways you can decrease expenses in other areas.
After you’ve got all that figured out, you still have the contingency issues to think about. Do you have a life insurance plan that will protect your family if you die? What about if you become sick or incapacitated? Thinking about these questions now is essential if you want to be prepared.