Here’s the financially savvy stuff you should be thinking about if you’re planning to have a baby, or are already expecting.
With Hollywood booming with pregnant celebrities like Beyoncé and Amal Clooney, expectant moms and those planning a family may be dreaming about their future bundle of joy. The cuddles, the smiles, the giggles, the bibs and the booties – a new baby will capture your heart. It will also capture a fair portion of your family’s budget!
Danelle van Heerde, head of advice processes and tools for Sanlam Personal Finance, says, “Pregnancy and parenting is costly and there are many financial unknowns. Going into this new life stage with your eyes wide open is therefore important. A financial plan that spans each stage of your pregnancy as well as the months and years that follow will go a long way to help you cope well with the financial side of this exciting life journey.”
A plan, drawn up in consultation with a partner, employer, medical aid provider and financial adviser, should cover the following costs and considerations:
- Make sure your medical scheme’s maternity benefits offer sufficient cover. If you are not a member of a medical scheme, sign up before you fall pregnant. Most schemes won’t sign you up once you are already pregnant.
- Find a competitively priced gynaecologist with an excellent reputation.
- Your first antenatal consultation may cost between R700 and R1 000. After that you can expect to pay about R700 per appointment.
- Start saving for big items. A new pram and baby cot can cost anything between R500 and R10 000.
- Now that the morning sickness has passed, use the second trimester to review your long-term financial plans. Start thinking about updating your will, appointing a guardian, revisiting your estate planning, increasing your life cover and emergency fund, and starting an education fund.
- Meet with your HR manager to understand your maternity benefits. You are legally entitled to four months of maternity leave, but this could be unpaid.
- Prepare to claim for UIF. You can expect to receive between 38% and 60% of your gross salary, capped at R 14 872 per month for a maximum of four months. (There are agencies that can help with the admin for your UIF for a fee of about R500.)
- Start to gently whisper to your bestie that you’d like to set up a registry for your baby shower so that you don’t end up with 20 teddies and no white vests!
- Keep receipts for all purchases. You can exchange items like nappies for a bigger size if your baby outgrows them. Look for specials – you could save a fortune on nappies!
- During this period your budget will have to accommodate your maternity leave, living needs, savings, insurance, medical aid and essentials required for the baby.
- Antenatal classes will cost on average R300 per class over six to eight weeks.
- Buy a car seat (R600 – R6 000) and get used to using it (the first trip back from hospital will have you rattled enough without having to battle with buckles).
- If you don’t have medical scheme cover, prepare for an average cost of R21 000 to R26 050 for a C-section and R16 000 to R19 000 for a natural birth at a private hospital.
- Additional professional fees can add R10 000 to R20 000 to the overall bill. Gap cover can help make up for this deficit, but it depends on the policy you take out. However, gap cover is relatively inexpensive and your financial planner should be able to help.
- Add your new baby to your medical scheme immediately and expect a premium increase as a result of the additional dependent.
After your baby has arrived
- Budget for check-up consultations with your paediatrician. These range from R500 to R1 000 per visit.
- Vaccinations are free at government health clinics, but can cost up to R5 000 at a private baby clinic.
- Childcare expenses start at R1 500 per month and can climb to R8 000 per month should you require a full-time nanny.
- Nappies will cost you about R300 per month, while toiletries can amount to R400 per month.
- Remember, your work situation might change. If you’ve decided to stop working or reduce your working hours, then you need to take your adjusted income into account and adapt your budget accordingly.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.