Life Insurance
5 Ways To Financially Prepare For A Baby
Nadine Argueza · Jan 7, 2020
new parent holding baby
Baby on board? Congratulations! Having a child is one of the most exciting journeys you’ll embark upon, but also one of the most expensive. How expensive exactly? According to the USDA, a middle-class, dual-income household will spend just under $250,000 for a child’s basic needs, excluding the cost of college. That may seem like a lot now, but, the great news is that with the right preparation, you can create a solid financial foundation for all of your kids without sacrificing your quality of life. Here are a few important things to prepare for the financial impact of a new baby.

1. Health Insurance

If possible, consider what is and isn’t covered under your health insurance plan before your pregnancy. For example, if you’re under 26 years old and on your parent’s insurance, delivery, and newborn care may not be covered. It’s also a good idea to check-in with your doctor regularly to avoid out-of-network and other surprise bills. If you’re unclear about any part of your health insurance plan, the best thing to do is call and ask your provider.

2. Life Insurance

Life insurance may not be top of mind during pregnancy, but it’s an important consideration for all parents. Insuring your next bundle of joy doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process either. Take advantage of Ethos’ calculator to get a quote that fits your budget.

And if your pregnancy is a surprise, don’t worry. There is no hard and fast deadline for purchasing life insurance for your child. The point is to make sure that you can protect your family’s income and avoid going if you unexpectedly pass away.

To understand how much coverage you need to protect your family, take stock of your current income (salary, investments, and savings) and debt, such as your mortgage, rent, and car payments. Add on childcare and education expenses, the cost of maintaining your household, as well as an allowance for the unexpected. Many experts recommend buying a life insurance policy that's 10 times your annual income, with a term length that lasts for at least the number of years until your children are out of college or your mortgage is paid off.

3. Maternity and Paternity Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires US companies with over 50 employees to provide eligible employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave. If your workplace doesn’t qualify or offer this type of leave you’ll need to gear up for those weeks without the income you’re accustomed to. This could mean better budgeting, working extra work hours, saving vacation time, or all of the above.

In addition to the minimum support required by law, seek out your company’s benefits administrator to make your benefits, paid leave, and extended time off work for your new additions. Whatever your situation is, make sure you understand your rights and talk to your employer about your options.

4. Free and Second-hand Items

Babies grow up fast and before you know it, that onesie you bought will be too small. Garage sales and discount stores are great places to shop for things like decorations, clothes, and toys. Keep your eyes open for deals before your baby arrives and you’ll spend (and worry) less later on. Keep in mind that while a lot of baby gear is fine to use second-hand, it’s usually better to buy some items new, especially if there is any question around safety. Items such as car seats, cribs, and strollers have evolved over the years, so you’ll likely want to stick with something current.

5. Your Home and Car

Your lifestyle will change as children grow—assessing your goals early will save you stress down the road. Two large financial costs to evaluate include your home and car. You should consider whether your current home suits where you’d like to raise a family, including your local school district. Do you have enough space? Do you want a yard? Make a list of your home must-haves and start looking early. As for your car, it may be time to trade it in for a four-door hatchback with the latest safety features. Get ahead of these changes and you’ll be glad you did!

How do I get started?

Purchasing a term life insurance policy is a fast and simple way to ensure that your newborn’s dreams are protected. What parent doesn’t want to walk their child to their first day of school, hand them the keys to their first car, and even plan their wedding? With an affordable term life insurance policy, you’ll make sure that they’ll be able to achieve these goals and more. Contact Ethos today to get started.

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