Before I get started with this post let me just say I am pregnant with our first child. I am no expert on having children and affording it. However I am an expert on my own life and I am in control of my own financial situation. Pregnancy is both a joyful time and a very stressful time for many. No matter how much you prepare in advance you can never be completely stress free or ready for this new endeavor. Your life is about to change drastically whether you already have children or you have had no children yet.
I believe these things can affect your finances the most during and after your pregnancy.
- Not having health insurance or not having proper coverage. (Heads up to you young mothers too who may be covered under a parents policy still.) Just so you are aware your insurance may deny your claims related to pregnancy as non covered leaving the balance as your responsibility. I work in medical billing and have for years and many insurance companies do not cover pregnancy related claims for a dependent child. They will typically only cover pregnancy related conditions for a subscriber and spouse. If you find yourself in this situation you may want to consider checking into coverage through your own employer or finding out if you qualify for Medicaid coverage. Do this as soon as possible to prevent anymore unnecessary costs.
- Listening to everyone else about what you need to have for your child. You will most likely be bombarded with information during this time from well meaning friends, family and by many advertisers about what they believe you need. What I suggest is for you to really think about what is absolutely necessary. You don’t need everything that is made for a child and your child doesn’t have to have every adorable item you see. Be reasonable about what you will use and don’t over spend on unnecessary items.
- Not preparing in advance is a huge downfall of many and can become a very costly mistake. What you need to do is to make sure in every situation to try to be as prepared as possible. This is difficult to do in a lot of situations especially financially but making sure you are at least trying to prepare in advance is important.
A few examples of ways you can prepare in advance would be
- Make sure that if you are trying to get pregnant and you have the opportunity to select insurance coverage through yours or your spouse / partners employer that you do so with much consideration. If you have an opportunity to meet with a benefits representative at your company I advise that you do. This is a great time to ask questions regarding which coverage would cover if you are hospitalized, etc. it is also a great time to consider additional coverage such as short term disability coverage, hospital indemnity, etc. These can help you afford the bills and the time off work during your maternity leave but make sure to also question if they have a pre-existing clause in case you are already aware that you are pregnant.
- Not saving your money and not considering the costs involved once the baby arrives. Not to scare you but children are expensive and with the blessing of a new baby comes increased responsibility and often increased cost or decreased income. If you choose to become a stay at home mom you and your spouse will experience a significant decrease in income coming in. If you choose to work the cost of daycare will cost a lot more than you are used to paying and will also take away from your income. My advice is start saving before you even become pregnant for unexpected expenses if at all possible and start making.
- Begin making sacrifices and changes to your expenses if at all possible. Eliminate any unnecessary expenses if possible to free up more income for the future and also save currently. A good example of this would be cancelling, cable, home phone, unnecessary subscriptions or cutting down and paying closer attention to additional unnecessary expenses.
Preparing for a new baby is tough, this is why I am hoping to help others through what I have learned.
A fun way to save in advance for these upcoming costs if you you have time is by trying a savings challenge which I use every year. This can help slowly save some extra money for emergency expenses and this is especially helpful if you can start before you even get pregnant. Maybe your spouse or partner can join you in the challenge and maybe you could save twice as much this way.
Another fun thing I suggest for expecting moms is to pay attention to the various companies that offer freebies for babies and moms to be. I have created a list of various ones that I have discovered that have helped me gather some great items for free or almost free. You can check out my post on best baby freebies that I have discovered here.
I am sure there are many more that I am unaware of and I challenge you to find them too and take advantage of these great offers. I would love to hear about any additional ones that you find in the comments or by emailing me at [email protected]