Let's talk: What to financially expect when expecting
Expecting a baby is one of life's most exciting moments. For many people, the nine months can fly by so quickly making it feel like you'll never have enough time to fully prepare, especially financially.
As a mother of two I wasn't surprised by our Cost of Living research which revealed Australian parents spend close to $300,000 raising a child from birth to the age of 17 – basically the cost of a small mortgage.
I also wasn't surprised to find our food, education and household items are some of the biggest costs. But what about everything else? Clothing, childcare, nappies, health care, the list goes on.
As new or expecting parents, answering all these questions on your own can be overwhelming. Speaking to other parents and learning from their journey to parenthood is invaluable.
Their experiences in planning for the foreseen costs, and also some of the hidden costs can help you establish your own budget and approach – it's amazing how fast babies grow, and subsequently go through clothes, or how much you spend on food when they move to solids.
We want the best for our children, and we are all guilty of an impulse buy. However, with more than 40 per cent of parents claiming they overspend on food, clothing, entertainment and social activities it is important to be mindful of spending and prioritise needs over wants.
It's also important to think about what impact taking time away from work will have on your household budget.
Pleasingly our latest research found nearly one in five people between 18-34 years are thinking ahead and prioritising maternity/paternity as a key savings goal. If it works for you, try setting up a separate account for when your baby has arrived – this will help with the ‘surprise' costs which may come your way. Speak to your bank, accountant or financial planner for additional guidance.