Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life. While nothing can quite prepare you for the changes about to happen, one area that you can get a handle on is your finances.
Talking about the changes that will happen to your family after you have a baby is really important and these conversations should include money.
Some of the things to discuss may include:
Start your budget with your current income and expenses. If you don’t know where your money goes, try tracking your spending for 2 weeks, then put the details in our budget planner. Add the extra expenses you’ll have once the baby arrives (nappies, baby food, nursery equipment etc) and make adjustments for any changes to your income if you or your partner take time off work.
Ask your employer about your paid leave entitlements like maternity leave, recreation or annual leave, long service leave or unpaid leave.
To keep costs under control, think about buying second-hand goods. Check online, at specialist second-hand baby stores, garage sales and charity shops. Find out the retail price of new items so that you get a good deal. Family and friends might also have items they can lend you or hand-me-downs they can give you.
Depending on your income and assets, you may also be entitled to other benefits such as Child Care Benefit, Parenting Payment, Rent Assistance or a Health Care Card. Try to incorporate these benefits into your budget. You can phone the Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 for an estimate of payments for your family.