Here’s the financially savvy stuff you should be thinking about
With Hollywood booming with pregnant celebrities like Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Ciara and Natalie Portman – just to name a few – 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 planner – 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 consultationmay cost between R700 and R1 000 and after that expect to pay approximately R700 per appointment.
- Start saving for big items, a new pram and baby cot can cost between R500 and R10 000.
- Now that the morning sickness has passed, use the second trimester to review your long-term financial plans with your financial planner. 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 maternityleave, but this could be unpaid.
- Prepare to claim for UIF. You can expect to receive between 38% and 60% of your gross salary, capped amount at R 14 872 per month salary for a maximum of four months (there are agencies that can help with the admin for your UIF for around 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 each over 6 to 8 weeks.
- Buy a car seat (R600 – R6000) 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 caesareanand R16 000 to R19 000 for natural birth at a private hospital.
- Additional professional fees can add R10 000 to R20 000 to the overall bill. Gap covercan 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 R1000 per visit.
- Vaccinations are free in a government health clinic, but can cost up to R5000 in a private baby clinic.
- Childcare expenses start at R1500p/m and can climb to R8000p/m should you require a fulltime nanny.
- Nappies will cost you about R300p/m, while toiletries can come to R400p/m.
- 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.