Finances

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Finances

Having children can be expensive. Start thinking about changes you might be able to make if you need to keep costs down.

Raising a child involves costs such as clothing, food, education and entertainment. There may also be an impact on your career and time. Toy libraries, hand-me downs, co-operative baby-sitting and other options can make a difference.

When planning a pregnancy, consider this:

  • Do you have a stable income?
  • Do you have any savings?
  • Are your monthly bills higher than your income?
  • If you have a partner and both of you work, would one of you stop working when the baby comes? For how long?
  • Do you, or your partner, qualify for maternity/parental leave?
  • If you have a partner and both of you will continue working, who will care for the baby and what will it cost?
  • What parts of your lifestyle would change? Think about entertainment, sports, activities, time and energy.
  • What are the most important material things to you? A car, house, vacations?
  • Knowing your financial situation, do you need to make any changes in spending?
  • Can you begin to save for your child’s education?

Fill out this downloadable chart to see where your money goes and what you may need to change when you have a baby.

Think about what a baby really needs. Family, friends and advertisers have a lot of influence. For example, an approved infant car seat is mandatory in the province of Ontario, but an infant swing is not. Breastfeeding is free and is the best food for your baby. Cloth diapers are expensive to purchase but can save you money over time. Once your baby starts eating solids, making your own baby food can be much cheaper and healthier.

If parents think only about the financial responsibilities of having children, they may never end up having any! Luckily, most parents don't base this important decision on finances alone. However, it is best to be prepared.

If you want to assess your family’s financial skills, fill out this online self-assessment quiz.

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