5 Steps to Planning Finances When Raising Children

As much as things goes, good planning is a necessity and this is inclusive of when you are ready to start a family. In this post, we unveil 5 steps that we believe are crucial for planning your finances with a child (or more!) in the picture.

Step 1: Plan & Prioritise

First up, you should review your financial situation as well as your financial plans. You can draw up a fresh budget for the household to prioritise your spending. Through this, you will be able to tell how fluid your cash flow is to accommodate the newly-racked baby expenses.

This includes visits to the doctor, daily necessities for when the baby arrives and even further down the road, long-term needs such as expenses for education.

Step 2: Do Your Research

Nothing beats speaking to professionals or family and friends who have experienced parenthood. Get a gauge on what pre and post-delivery expenses look like - but do not let the information alarm you. Instead, see it as a way to help you prepare and set your expectations.

Singapore has been very giving in terms of offering various government help schemes to new parents. Such schemes offered are the Enhanced Baby Bonus, Enhanced MediSave Grant for Newborns and subsidies for centre-based infant and child care.

You may also utilise your MediSave for pre-delivery expenses and the costs of fertility treatments.

Pre-delivery expenses dive far into pre-natal consultations, ultrasound scans, tests and medications as well as the actual delivery itself. Do note that the MediSave maternity package covers the expenses incurred at both public and private health institutions for all your children.

As for costs incurred from help with conceiving, MediSave can be used to pay for Assisted Conception Procedures. This entails treatments such as IVF and IUI. These treatments are available at public hospitals and are co-funded by the government for up to 75%.

Step 3: Know What to Expect

Maternity Packages & Consultation Charges

It is good to know that consultation and delivery charges vary in different hospitals.

For a start, you may take a look at prenatal packages offered by some gynaecologists as they usually include regular consultancy charges and basic medication. Be sure to read the fine print of each maternity package carefully and do comparisons to find out the pros and cons of each package.

Delivery Charges

The cost of delivery highly depends on the type of delivery, choice of hospital and length of stay. By default, C-sections cost more than natural birth while private hospitals tend to be in the higher range in costs.

Maternity Benefits

If you are an existing policyholder of health insurance, now is a good time to find out if your policy covers pre-delivery and post-delivery doctor visits. Some health insurance is known to include extended maternity benefits such as delivery, complications and neonatal cover.

If you have no relevant maternity insurance yet, here’s what you should consider before buying one.

Maternity insurance plans are a great idea to give yourself additional security during the unpredictable pregnancy period. Like what people always say, it’s better to be covered now and not worry about high medical costs later in the future.

For an easier and more comprehensive view of the maternity plan benefits offered by 7 insurance companies in Singapore, be sure to download it for free here!

Life Insurance

In Singapore, newborns who are registered as Singaporeans at birth are automatically insured under MediShield Life. Life insurance helps your loved ones tide over difficult periods should something unexpected happen to you. After all, it is better to have a plan to fall back on than to have none at all.

Step 4: Paying for Your Child’s Needs

With a little human now in the picture, personal expenses might have to take a cut to make way for your child’s growing needs.

For a start, babies’ basic needs include milk, napkins, food, nursery stuff (cots and changing mats), clothing and healthcare. Pro-tip: You can always opt for hand-me-downs in terms of clothes, toys, baby strollers and car seats.

These are some things to keep in mind too:

● Stick to a budget

● Be strict on needs vs wants

● On-board help with childcare

● Be resourceful about any government help available

While college and University may seem slightly far-fetched now, it is actually never too early to start saving for school and tuition fees. In actual fact, the earlier you start a school fund, the more opportunity there will be for your funds to grow with compound interest and regular investments made monthly or yearly.

Step 5: Changing Spending Habits

Be smart in cutting back on unnecessary spending and start being more generous with coverages and added protection for your child and family. As your family grows, you can add on more cover but always ensure you are able to afford the extra premiums first.

As you make cuts in your spending behaviour, be wary of cutting back on your own savings for retirement and healthcare insurance. Before anything else, you need to take good care of yourself too.

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