The thought of starting a family strikes a different nerve for different people. Some filled to the brim with excitement, some may want to push it out as far as possible, some don’t want children at all and some are somewhere in between. All valid but all very different attitudes. However, the common thread is the emotional, social and financial costs associated with having children. 

In this article we’re going to unpack some considerations to think through to help financially prepare you for starting a family. This isn’t a checklist or a child-readiness test but more of a peep into reality to help you best prepare. 

Live below your means when starting a family

When it comes to managing our money from month to month, there are only two levers which largely determine your financial situation – income and expenses. When you find yourself having more month than money on a regular basis it means that these two levers aren’t balanced.

Part of the solution is fairly simple but can be very difficult to implement. The goal is to have a buffer at the end of the month. With your new baby comes additional monthly expenses and more unexpected expenses. Start building the buffer now, as it won’t magically appear once the baby arrives. The buffer will help to absorb some of those new and unexpected expenses.

Work to increase that buffer by either increasing your income or decreasing your spending as far as you can. And the only way to do this is to have the humility to live off less than you earn.

Think about replacing your income when starting a family

Your spouse/partner is most likely partially dependent on your income as you probably share monthly expenses. Once a little one arrives, they will be dependent on your ability to provide for them financially, too.

Life happens and it is important to ensure that if life happens and you aren’t able to earn an income due to long term illness or disability, that an insurance company can step in and provide the income you are not able to earn.

Should you pass away while your child is still financially dependent on you, it is important to make sure that the future pay cheques you would have earned are now paid to your family by an insurance company.

Medical expenses, Gap Cover and Fertility treatment

I have seen many instances of expecting mothers who don’t have medical aid, who then 3-4 months into their pregnancy join a medical aid scheme. This is all good and well, but keep in mind, waiting periods and exclusions will most likely apply and pregnancy related conditions and the delivery will most likely not be covered by your medical aid. This means you’ll lose the benefit of being covered by medical aid. 

It is important to join a medical aid scheme sooner than later if you would like for the delivery and any required treatments and/or procedures to be done at the private hospital facility.

Fertility treatments are often not covered by medical aid schemes, keep this in mind as a single cycle of IVF can cost from R60,000 to R100,000. As more than one treatment cycle is typically required to achieve pregnancy, the end cost can be anything from R120 000 to R300 000 or more.

Need assistance getting started with medical aid? Hit the button below and I can help you. 

Start investing for your child’s education

Did you know that in South Africa, the cost of having and raising one child can easily reach more than R90 000 a year? You are looking at R1 million to R3 million or more to raise a child from grade 1 to grade 12. (Source: Discovery)

The cost of education has historically increased at a rate faster than that of other household expense which makes it even more difficult to keep up with. When it comes to your child’s education expenses, the way I see it, you have two options:

  1. You can either save money and earn interest 
  2. You can borrow money and pay interest 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

  • Public school: R30 000 – R60 000 per year
  • Private school: R100 000- R200 000 per year
  • University: R30 000 – R75 000 per year (this can differ between universities and is qualification dependent)

Estate planning, Wills and Legal Guardians

While passing away isn’t something we like to think about, it is something we should plan for. And one of the most important planning tools we can have is a valid Will – with the emphasis on valid. Make sure that your Will is updated as your circumstances change. I encourage you to have an expert give your Will a check to make sure it meets all the legal requirements.

Another consideration is the possibility that you may die before your child is able to take care of themself. In the event of your death, a guardian can take on the responsibility of making the major decisions for your child while they are under the age of 18. The guardian is required to provide the child with accommodation, education and care until they are at an age where they are able to support themselves.

It is therefore important that your Will should not only dictate what should happen to your assets, but it should also nominate a guardian who will take on the responsibility of looking after the best interest of your child.

Be intentional about your relationship with your partner when starting a family

We all come from different families, contexts and have different values but it is important that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to how you want to build your future together.

It is extremely important to create an environment in your relationship where both parties feel comfortable enough to talk about the realities of money and navigating life as partners and parents. Discussing your finances with each other and creating a high trust environment will help you navigate the challenges as they come on your way.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE – I CAN HELP YOU

The best way to be prepared is to be aware. For many years, I’ve helping people navigate money in good, challenging and transitionary times and I can do that for you too. 

I’ve put together two session coaching experiences called Starter Packs to help you do just that. These Starter Packs will help you understand the fundamentals and put you in the best possible place to take the next healthy step in your money life whether you’re planning to start a family or not. 

If you’re like to learn more about Starter Packs or how I can help you reduce the stress the feel about navigating your money life, I’d love to offer you a Free Clarity Call. Hit the button below to book your free session.

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