Whether it’s your first child or your 11th, the blessing of a child brings with it a ton of things to do. It can be easy to forget something. After all, you might be busy assembling a crib, reserving a day care spot, or trying to decide on the child’s name! Here’s some important financial to dos to remember for your sake and the child’s.
"All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother" -Abraham Lincoln
5 Ways to Prepare for the Birth of a Child
Get an idea of what childbirth will cost
Your new child will be a blessing, but there is still a cost with this tiny new person. Contact your insurance company and ask about what your plan covers for childbirth. They should be able to provide some general estimates for what a typical birth will cost with your plan. Also, contact your OB-GYN or other provider to ask these same questions. Don’t afraid to get specific. If your provider expects something like a C-section, then be sure to ask about how your insurance covers this procedure. There may still be unexpected costs, but getting a starting point now will save you from any surprises later.
Find out how to add the child to your health insurance
Most providers will have a set process for adding a child to your plan. It’s still worth finding this out ahead of to time to know what will need to be done. This will also let you know what the enrollment period is to add the child on to the plan. Most providers will have a grace period of 1-2 months after the child is born.
Plan for what happens if Mom or Dad passes away and put your wishes in writing
This is not fun to think about, but tremendously important. Think carefully about who would care for your children in the absence of one or both parents. Once that decision is made, have a conversation with the person or persons who would be caretakers to make sure they are ready and able to play this role in your child’s life. After all this, it is incredibly important that you cement these plans in a will. If you don’t, then the government decides what happens to your children and who will be their caretaker. Consult a legal professional for help drafting and executing your will. Don’t let decisions like this scare you. Revise your will if something changes with one of your named caregivers. Get it done and be at peace that your children will be safe and cared for.
Update financial plans to provide for the child
You planned in the item above for who will take care of your child in the case of an untimely death. Another piece of this is to ensure they are provided for financially. Update beneficiaries on important assets like retirement accounts to be up to date with your wishes. Also, something like term life insurance should be a consideration to make sure the resources are available for the child’s upbringing.
Revisit your household budget
Does your budget have an allowance for diapers? How about that organic baby food you spent all that time researching? Your impending arrival will have an impact on your monthly budget so there’s no time like the present to make that part of your plan. Never had a budget before? There’s no time the present to get started.
Plan for the unexpected
The only thing we know for sure about life after your new arrival is that something unexpected will happen. It might be an extra doctor visit, a broken water heater, or a worn-down tire. An emergency fund to help with unexpected needs will help alleviate the stress when these things pup up. Don’t spend endless time trying to list all these out but remember what we’re told in Luke.
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" -Luke 12:25 ESV
This is not a comprehensive list by any means. There are also some important items to take care of after baby’s arrival, but that’s for another time.
Congratulations on your soon to be family member! Have questions about planning for your family financially?
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