It is fairly obvious that marriage is a big, huge commitment. However, it is at least reversible. You can get out of a marriage.
Having a kid is a completely IRREVERSIBLE decision. So do think hard, real hard before you have a baby. Both you, your husband, and the people’s support you ABSOLUTELY need have to be on the same page before you decide.
PS: I know a family which was pressurized by the kids to go and get a pet. Exactly 18 months later, they GAVE BACK THE pet to the shop they got it from. TERRIBLE and stupid thing to do, I agree. However when you have a kid, such options are not available. See whether you are motivated ENOUGH to have a baby. This post is just asking you to be financially prepared. Mental and physical preparation are very different.
If you’re feeling the urge to have your first baby, and you and your spouse have decided to go ahead, read this post. You’ve probably spent a lot of time imagining what your future baby will look like, what names you like, and how adorable they’ll look in a bright orange dress with toys all over. Great.
But when you’re planning to have a baby, you need to plan for much much more than nursery color schemes. Babies need more than nappies, cribs and love. Babies can be expensive. A child costs a lot of money to raise until they are physically and financially independent.
THIS POST IS NOT TO SCARE YOU, but to tell you that the pre baby days are the best times to start saving/investing and being ready to receive the most important guest in your life.
HEALTH CARE FOR YOU and your to be born kid
Prenatal care includes doctor visits, vitamins, and perhaps some UNPAID leave. Many of the medical costs of pregnancy and childbirth may or may not be covered. Talk to your HR. Indian corporate sector is not women friendly at all when it comes to motherhood. However PSU companies and some top corporates are very friendly – choose your employer well!! Some new parents pay very little out of pocket, and others pay a few lakhs – if the child has a medical problem right at birth. Check with your HR, or with your insurance company now to find out how much the cost of childbirth is covered under your plan. Also find out whether the kid is covered for medical bills right from the day the kid is born. Also in some group insurance plans there may be a waiting period before they cover pregnancies. Changing jobs has to be done sensibly when you are planning a baby! Many employers provide you a facility to work from home – that can be a huge financial and time boon especially in big cities with long commutes.
After your baby is born, medical bills, check ups, vaccinations, are almost mandatory for the first 30 odd months. See how much of this will be covered by your employer or the insurance cover that you have. If not covered, start building money for that also. If you are taking unpaid leave your income also drops when your cash flow requirements are increasing – provide for that too.
The Child care Debate!
Who is going to look after the baby for the first 24 months before the kid is accepted in a child care? Your parents? His parents? Will they move in with you? Are you planning to move in with them? Or near their place of stay? Even if you have an answer what are the financial implications of hiring a maid? transport for you, the kid, the maid, your caretakers…..and creche is expensive too. Rs. 20,000 a month is a very safe estimate in the first few months of the kids stay in the planet!! Be prepared with a fund for all this.
A car is a must!!
Whether you can afford a car does not matter but when you were 3 months pregnant your husband was pressurized to buy a car. Right? So the car is already there, and it will be used for all trips from now on. So the bike goes for a toss and the car comes into play. So add up those expenses.
A bigger family, so a bigger house?
A room for the dog, a room for the baby, and a room for the parents who move in. Hey who moved your bedroom??? A bigger house – rented or owned calls for far more expenses – apart from EMI one has to provide for a higher electricity bill, maintenance,….are you ready for all that cash drain? Have you learnt to live on ONE INCOME? and what is the fall back if the ‘only’ provider falls ill? Does he have adequate medical and critical care insurance? Just asking.
And of course all the new stuff need more place do they not? that 4 ft teddy….or whatever..
Hey, YOU are going to make a great mom…you will be awesome if you are a bit better financially prepared too.
PS: do not look for ‘what you should do when you are pregnant’ – Dr. Anand has a great book, right?
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