With your baby bump growing bigger each day, to mark off the arrival of your little one, it will be time to bump up your budget.
Preparing for maternity leave goes hand in hand with your finances. Being prepared can reduce stress when your bundle of joy has arrived. We have put together a list of how you can create a baby budget without the stress.
Get your finances lined up for maternity leave
Taking maternity leave means that you will have to find ways to financially support yourself after the paid leave has ended. Unfortunately, your employer can decide whether they pay for a period of 3 to 4 months or not pay at all.
However, you can get access to maternity benefits if you are an unemployed female who contributes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). Even if you are planning on using these maternity benefits it is important to know the terms and conditions that come with this to prepare yourself.
A handy tip is to save enough money that can replace your salary for at least 6 months. This needs to be enough to take care of your daily expenses, baby expenses, along with emergencies. Two things that can come in handy is having medical aid and a birth benefit that will protect you and your baby. Speaking to a financial advisor can assist you in creating a realistic budget that you will be able to maintain, instead of being overwhelmed by the expenses of having a baby.
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Where possible buy in bulk
As you tally the cost of maintaining your bundle(s) of joy you will soon realise that things are pretty expensive. Purchasing disposables such as diapers, baby wipes, toiletries, and non-perishable foods in bulk can be worth your while. It might take a huge chunk out of your budget initially but over time it will soon pay off. Furthermore, you can eliminate the stress of having forgotten to grab your babies favourite wipes.
Ongoing costs to keep in mind
There will be once off expenses such as buying a stroller. However, you will need to start adapting your budget to handle the ongoing costs such as medical bills, clothes, food, and the cost of school fees. Keep in mind that the sooner you start planning for these things the better it will be to manage when they finally swing by.
Preparing for their arrival
The countdown to meeting your baby can be exciting and daunting at the same time. No matter how prepared you are. To avoid financial stress during this time, it is important to prepare for the birth of your baby. Giving birth at a private hospital can cost you anything between R15,650 – R35,240 depending on the type of birth you have and how long you stay. Your medical aid will cover some of the expenses. However, if you are giving birth at a government hospital it will be free of charge. Remember to bring documentation such as your ID and proof of address. Additional costs to keep in mind are:
Childcare costs such as hiring a nanny or sending your child to day car
Medical Check-ups for you and your baby
Purchasing nipple care products such as nipple cream, breast pads, and breast pumps
It can seem overwhelming at first, but keep in mind to take things one step at a time. Seeing a financial advisor can also help you manage your baby budget and setting realistic goals. Always keep in mind to save where you can by purchasing second-hand items where possible and making healthy home-cooked meals.