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How to financially plan for your first baby.

Whether you’ve decided to start trying, about to pop, or are becoming very quickly acquainted with the peaks and troughs and half eaten carrots that define parenthood, you’ll know there are a whirlwind of major decisions to be made. All of which revolve around finances. 

It’s another mouth to feed (gradually), body to clothe (they grow, fast), and brain to stimulate (never too soon to be thinking about school!). So we decided to speak to someone who is not only on the cusp of nursing a newborn, but has a background in financial planning too. 

Here’s how bestselling author, podcastor, money columnist, Victoria Devine, has been prepping for the arrival of her little belly friend, and how you can follow suit if expanding your family is on the bingo card for ‘24. 

When I saw those two little lines pop up on my pregnancy test, an absolute whirlwind of emotion overcame me. Pure happiness being the one that immediately springs to mind but I will tell you which emotion didn’t hit me? 

“Uh oh this kid is going to cost me a mini fortune”. 

That emotion (thought? Panic?) come after, so I am here to help prepare you for those little hidden costs that you may not have factored in when you initially saw those two lines pop up or even from the moment you decided a family is what you are ready for.

First and foremost, my husband and I sat down and figured out the immediate costs and how we had to adjust moving forward. We quickly realised that the road ahead was filled with unexpected financial twists and turns. From the prenatal vitamins to the baby furniture, it seemed like every step came with a price tag. While the joy of anticipating a new family member is absolutely immeasurable, the reality of the associated costs hit us like a ton of bricks.

One of the initial surprises was the array of medical expenses that accompanied the journey to parenthood. Even with insurance coverage, there were ultrasounds, and prenatal classes that added up faster than we anticipated. It was a lesson in financial planning that we hadn't quite mastered before. We also did the full array of genetic testing before we started trying and once I went through the heartbreak of a few miscarriages, further testing was undertaken and once again that meant coughing up some more money. 

Then came the nursery preparations, which don’t get me wrong, is SO much fun. The adorable crib we envisioned for our little one wasn't as budget-friendly as we hoped, and the cute-themed bedding came with its own price tag. No I did not have to spend the money to get a cot imported from America…there absolutely are cheaper ways to do this, so make sure as always you are picking items that align with your means! I spoke to so many friends of mine and midwives who told me which items they were happy to spend on and things that you could do a little cheaper. Often a repeated item that I was drummed into ‘investing’ in was a really good feeding chair because if you have a baby biting on your nipples you at least want to be comfortable right?! 

Even though our little one is still a few months off, we have already started putting money aside for nappies, wipes, food and clothing for the baby. It is super important to remember that parenting isn’t just about the big-ticket items but also the constant stream of smaller, ongoing costs.

As we eagerly await our baby's arrival, we are starting to consider childcare options. Whether it was the cost of a daycare facility or the potential income sacrifice if one of us stayed home, it is a little bit of a financial pickle that we are still navigating but oh my goodness, it is a pricey thing to put your child in childcare. 

Beyond the essentials, the more research I am doing the more I realise, these beautiful little humans are genuinely worth their weight in gold. The rate that babies grow?! This child will have a new wardrobe every month. So, when you have family and friends reaching out and offering you some hand-me-downs, take up the offer! Your baby will be in and out of those onesies faster than you can blink. 

Now remember, you will find that money that was once spent on late night dinners and impromptu weekend getaways will now be made available, but budgeting is not just a fun little tool, it is a crucial aspect of ensuring your families financial stability! 

However, amidst the financial challenges that lie ahead, every new family needs to learn the art of prioritising their needs over wants, seeking cost-effective solutions, and building a solid financial foundation for your growing family. While the journey to parenthood may come with its share of financial surprises, the love and joy a child brings is truly priceless and I cannot wait to meet my little one. 

Those two lines on the pregnancy test are the beginning of a transformative journey, not just emotionally but also financially. It's essential to brace yourself for the unexpected costs, plan diligently, and embrace the changes with a newfound financial awareness. Parenthood is an incredible adventure, and navigating its financial landscape is just one more aspect of the incredible ride that awaits.