Having a baby is one of the greatest joys in one’s life.
However, it also brings about a monumental change in our responsibilities, which can appear daunting and intimidating if not planned well in advance.
So here’s a short and sweet 10-point check-list to make sure that the transition into parenthood is both smooth and joyful.
1. Start by creating a short-term kitty to take care of both the delivery expenses and the numerous items you will need for your kid… from baby-pram and baby-toys to baby-cot and baby-seats.
2. Don’t be hesitant to use hand-me-downs. As any baby outgrows the clothes, toys etc. very fast, it makes no sense to buy everything new. All this money saved would be more useful for other critical needs such as debt-reduction, education, etc.
3. Check out the maternity (and now in some cases even paternity) leave and other benefits, if any, offered by your employer(s). Accordingly, you can derive maximum gains from these benefits.
4. Include your baby’s name in your health insurance policy. And if your employer is also providing medical insurance for your family, don’t forget to furnish the updated family details.
5. Your life is now precious to one more person. So, enhance your life insurance cover. To reiterate the obvious, term policy is the simplest, cheapest, easiest and the best way to do so.
6. Monthly budgets would have to be redrawn so that you can comfortably accommodate the increase in expenses on baby feeds, baby powders, baby clothes, baby doctor and so on. And, in a few months after the baby’s birth, once the mother goes back to her job, day-care and baby-sitting expenses will become a critical part of your monthly expenses.
7. Use your bonuses and other lump sum inflows to part prepay your loans and slash down your debt burden. You will sleep more peacefully, just like your baby.
8. Though still years away, education is becoming quite expensive. So “now” is the time to start building a suitable education fund for your child. By the way, don’t be lured by the terrible insurance plans. Go for pure-investment products ONLY.