If you are thinking of starting a family, there are a lot of things you need to think about and sort out before you have a baby.
Will you go through the private or public health system? What will be the out of pocket costs of the road you choose to go down? Will you have to budget for any out of pocket health expenses?
To be honest, I have used both services and I personally wouldn’t go private again. We were out of pocket over $3000 for our premature baby (our youngest son of three), which wouldn’t have cost anything under the public system and he would have received the same level of care. The only difference being, you have a room to yourself. Considering you are in there for only a few days (or less if you have the baby naturally) it really is, well from my experience, a waste of money.
Then there is the financial planning while pregnant; how many weeks maternity leave are you going to take? How far along will you be in your pregnancy before you decide to go on maternity leave? How long do you plan to be on maternity leave? How much money will you need while you take time off?
Once you have had the baby: what financial assistance are you entitled to through your workplace or government payments? Can you survive on one income? Can you defer your home loan payments while you are on maternity leave?
Thankfully, CUA offers a Parental Leave Calculator that assists in planning out the best way to optimise your parental leave with the aim of ultimately spending more time with bub.
Next in the financial planning stage is budgeting for the baby. A baby will need a nursery set up, car seat, clothing and nappies. Then there is a high chair and food later on. Child care costs, if you are planning to go back to work, can be quite a large expense out of your income.
As I was working part time, by the time I paid out child care costs and lost family benefits etc we would have been worse off financially. It made financial sense to stay at home with the boys and live off one income.
Setting up a nursery can be quite expensive. If you are savvy and buy second hand items or products that are on sale, you can possible buy the essentials for $1000. But an average cost of setting up a nursery is around $3000.
Most stores charge around $500 for an average priced cot and for a quality car seat (that takes you from birth to school age), you are looking at $400. A pram can cost anywhere between $200 (at Kmart/ Target etc) to over $2000 for the luxury brands like Joolz and Bugaboo.
A pram is a pram really and you are only paying for the brand name. All prams bought in Australia have to adhere to safety standards, so you aren’t paying for quality with the more expensive brands. I never saw the need to pay thousands of dollars on something you will only use for a few years. It is the same with baby clothes. Babies grow so fast in the first twelve months and continually going up in sizes, it is not worth spending a lot on clothing they may only wear a few times.
As you can see, having a baby can be quite an expensive exercise and something you will need to save for. Budgeting for a baby, can be made easier by utilising a baby budgeting calculator, such as the calculator offered by CUA on their Hatch page.
CUA’s new parents page is aimed at new parents, and those planning to become parents, with a focus on future investments, ensuring their family has the best protection and are getting the best value from financial services. CUA have also created a specific range of products and services to support you no matter what stage of your family growth you’re up to.
A recent study found the cost of raising two children in Australia for a family on a middle income will be $812,000. For a higher income family, the cost rises to $1.09 million from the time the kids are born to when they leave home, while a lower income family will spend $474,000.
Obviously, the costs will be dependent on where you live and what type of schooling you decide to send your child to (private schooling can be between $5,000 a year through to $50,000, just for tuition).
As you can see, financial planning is essential before planning to start a family. I know we wish we had have been better prepared for the expenses of raising a family and had financial advice beforehand. Visit //www.cua.com.au/baby for more information.
#SP Thank you to the CUA for this sponsored post collaboration, which was in accordance to our Disclosure Policy. All opinions are our own.