Our top 3 financial tips for expecting parents
Becoming a new parent can be filled with so many moments of joy, but it’s also a time of great expense. One-time essentials like the cot, pram and car seat quickly add up, while ongoing expenses including nappies, clothing and formula accumulate relentlessly month after month.
Worryingly, according to our research, 75% of Aussie parents underestimate the cost of having a child. This lack of certainty about how much money you actually need – especially in your bub’s first year of life – leaves many families facing increased financial pressures after the birth, causing untold stress and potentially impacting their financial future.
With this in mind, we’ve detailed our top three financial tips for expecting parents – best implemented, if possible, well before bub arrives.
Exhale – you’ve got this.
1. Consider advance payments to your mortgage or rent
If you already own your home, the months before bub arrives are the perfect time to consider making advance payments to your mortgage. Research shows that 20% of families struggle to repay their home loan during parental leave, adding extra stress to what is already an exciting yet taxing time. According to the parents we surveyed, funnelling extra into your mortgage to see you through a planned career pause is an effective way to ease the financial burden of new parenthood – with one in four Australian families already doing just that. Simply figure out how much you’ll lose in income during parental leave, then calculate a realistic monthly figure you could afford to add to your current mortgage repayments.
For expecting parents who rent their home, the same principle applies. Consider asking your real estate agent if they accept advance rental payments. If so, then great – you can deposit your extra payments directly into the agent’s account. If not, you can set up your own separate savings account. Calculate the amount each month you can afford to contribute towards future rent when you’re off work on parental leave, and pay these extra rental payments straight into your savings account.
Whether you rent or own, making advance payments towards this key expense will make you feel a whole lot better about your financial future.
2. Buy second-hand where possible
It’s natural to want the best for your future baby. So it may be tempting to buy a new top-of-the-line pram, cot and car seat for bub’s safety and comfort. But the truth is, these essential items can often be purchased second-hand for a fraction of the price – sometimes in near-new condition and with warranties still in place. Online sites such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace offer a huge number of essential baby products at low prices, while op shops and vintage stores are another avenue for thrifty parents-to-be.
Decorating the nursery is another brilliant opportunity to scour second-hand sites and stores for colourful and unique finds. Pre-loved framed prints are a great option as the quality is often good-as-new, while toys and soft furnishings may be more on the ‘loved’ side but can be picked up for a song.
Of course, as with any second-hand purchase, it pays to do your research when shopping for bub. With an important purchase like a car seat or pram, you’ll want to inspect the item in-person for signs of wear and tear. And if the item is still in warranty, don’t forget to collect relevant receipts and paperwork if you decide to buy.
Buying second-hand where possible will free up much-needed cash – a great help for new parents navigating their baby’s expensive first year of life.
3. Know your baby budget
Expecting a family but haven’t given much thought to your baby budget? Then consider this: some studies show that new parents can spend up to $10,000 on their baby in the first 12 months of life alone!
To avoid the stress of mounting expenses you hadn’t expected, we suggest doing a baby budget well in advance of your due date. To make things easy, we have created our very own baby budget calculator. Simply insert all of your expenses and it will give you an overview of your one-off costs, along with what your monthly overheads will be.
Having a nest egg to rely on for your baby’s expenses is one of the best things new parents can do for their financial health. Click here to download our baby budget calculator.