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Financial Pregnancy Planning: How To Prepare

Pregnancy shopping

Is a baby in your future? You may have dreams of starting a family one day, and that day may be here sooner than you realize. The good news is that there are actions you can take today to get ready for that next step.

Here are 8 steps toward financial pregnancy planning that can position you to be the secure, stable parent you want to be.

  1. Verify your ability to support another person. Get on a budget to see how much wiggle room you have each month. If you don’t have any leftover funds on a regular basis, then you’ll need to make some changes to prepare. Either cut back on what you can or figure out ways to increase your income.
  2. Compare health plans. As you shop for insurance, you have an advantage in that you know you’ll need a big-ticket event covered soon. Other people need coverage in the case of an unforeseen sickness or injury, but you need coverage for something over which you have a little more control. This means you can compare, side-by-side, which plans have maternity plans, lower deductibles, better administrative support, and even wellness programs for mommy-to-be.
  3. Look into short-term-disability reimbursement and paid leave. If your paid vacation and sick leave does not expire, start saving up hours to use. You’ll need to be paid time off for more than your baby’s delivery and your recovery. Most new moms struggle with varying degrees of morning sickness, and all pregnant women need time off for over a dozen prenatal medical checkups, called “well visits.” Common genetic tests and other blood work will also require time away from work, for which you should budget and prepare.
  4. Get out of debt. Perhaps the most important thing you can do for a healthy pregnancy is to reduce stress. If your debts are a source of stress to you, then you should climb out long before you have a dependent to think about. This step is a lot easier said than done, so call someone for help. CESI Solution has nonprofit debt experts who can help position you for a debt-free future.
  5. Start saving. Even with great health coverage, the out-of-pocket medical expenses may alarm you when the baby does arrive. Soften the blow by preparing early so you’ll have a financial cushion to fall back on. Also, add enough money to your emergency savings to cover baby’s needs, too, including formula and diapers.
  6. Plan to buy used. The most common items at yard sales and thrift shops will always be baby gear, and that’s because before you know it, the baby stage is over. Why then, spend top dollar on new brand-name goods when you’ll be done with them only weeks after opening the package? Get used to the concept of buying used clothing, furniture, and gear now so that you’ll have the go-to sources established when you need them.
  7. Read up on life insurance. Even if you don’t sign up, you’ll want to know the products available so that if anything ever happens to you, your little one is cared for.
  8. Increase your HSA and Flex Spending Account Contributions. Most employers offer the benefit of a health savings and/or flex spending account. Sign up for this perk, and start funneling cash that way as fast as you can, specifically for pregnancy planning.

It can be fun to think about welcoming a baby into your family, but it can also be a little intimidating. Reduce apprehension by checking off this list in preparation. Then when the baby comes, both you and your bank account can celebrate.

Image Source: Flickr

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