Starting a family is a massive commitment – in every area of your life, financial not the least. There’s a lot to consider, from how much nappies cost to whether or not you have the right transaction account. All those little decisions add up to a big difference when it comes to you financial future, and the future of your loved ones. To start, it’s often worth looking at the websites of financial institutions, such as www.boq.com.au, to ensure you’ve got the banking products that best suit your needs. With an understanding of the products available, some well thought out planning and clear goals, you can start your young family off on a sound financial footing that will set them up well.
If you’re carrying any credit card debt, do everything you can to get rid of it before you start a family. You’ll be less stressed without debt hanging over you. You also need to consider if your income will change when you begin your family – you may not be able to service the same amount of debt any longer. As your priorities shift, you’ll find there are so many other things you’ll need to put money towards. You will have medical expenses with which to contend, and the start-up basics for a new baby can run into the four figures range. The cost is high, even if you go for second hand baby capsules, cots and clothes. Starting your new family when you are free and clear of any debt will also leave you some wiggle room if any emergencies crop up – think of your credit limit as a safety net, rather than an entertainment fund.
Budgets and Goals
Sit down and get a realistic picture of where you’d like to be financially by the time your new family gets its little addition. How close are you to that goal? What can you do to get closer? How will your first year of parenthood look? One income? No income? What resources will you need? Can you get any help from family and friends? How would you like your family’s financial future to look in five years? Ten? Map out a path to take you there, taking into account how soon you and your partner can re-enter the workforce (if at all), the costs of childcare, and the rising cost of clothes, food, child safety devices, and education. Set some goals and keep your numbers flexible.
Make it a priority to find out what entitlements you may have as a young family. Complete any and all paperwork required as early as you can – preferably before the baby’s birth. This will save you time and stress once the little one is here, and you can start receiving benefits as soon as possible, shoring up those bank accounts at what will be an expensive time.
To plan a secure financial future for your new family, you need to have some idea of how that might look. Take some time to work out your current position, and where you’d like to be. Then map out a way to get there with some savings goals. The key is to be realistic rather than optimistic. Overestimate any expense forecasting rather than minimising. It’s also important to make your plans flexible; children are nothing if not unpredictable.
Got any planning tips for young families? Help someone out by sharing your wisdom in the comments box below.