For many prospective parents, this is one of the biggest questions that they ask themselves before starting a family. Why? Well, because children cost money when they are babies, toddlers, teenagers and even as adults, and this can really affect the parent’s financial stability for the rest of their lives. That means becoming a parent isn’t just a big emotionally responsibility, but it’s also a big financial one. So to find out whether you are ready for this huge life step, read on for some advice.
Yes – you are successful at budgeting
One common sign that you may be financially fit to start a family is that you know all about budgeting and you put this into practice in your everyday life. This means that you have a good grasp of what your monthly incomings and outgoings are and that you also log your spending to keep on top of everything.
Being successful at budgeting also means that you keep to the cap that you have set yourself regularly. Allowing some additional funds to be left in your account to save for the future.
However, If you’re having trouble keeping all of the figures in your head, don’t worry. This is a common issue, and that is why there are all sorts of budget templates that are there to help you. You can use a simple accounting pocket book. Or you can embrace the 21st century and get a budget logging app on your phone. Check out the reviews of the best ones at http://www.digitalhome.ca/2017/02/best-budgeting-apps-for-controling-spending-and-investing/.
The advantage of the latter is that you can set specific spending limits and your app with automatically notify you when your reach them. Making it so much easier to keep on top of your money situation.
No – you are a compulsive spender
Do you find yourself buying arms full of candy and trinkets at the shop counter, or is the ‘buy it with one click’ button is your faithful friend on Amazon? Then you may be something of a compulsive spender.
Usually, compulsive spenders are motivated by an emotional reaction to their purchase. In that, they either are trying to avoid a negative reaction in themselves. Or passing up what they perceive as a good deal creates a negative a reaction that they avoid by making the purchase.
If you are a compulsive spender, it may not mean that your finances are in such a bad state that you aren’t fit to start a family. Instead, it is something that you should work on and try and get better at. As money will be tighter when you have kids, and you also don’t want to pass the trait onto them. Remember they learn by example, so if they see mom or dad doing it, they will think its OK.
Having a long-term financial plan maybe be another factor that suggests you are financially ready to have a family.
A long term plan may be a sketch of what you will do with your finances and investments over the next 5, 10 or 20 years. Having such a plan in place means you aware of your financial situation and what you can do to improve it.
Something that will stand you in good stead once the kids start wanting big ticket items like cars, college tuition, and even contributions to their weddings later in life.
No – you are constantly struggling to pay the bills
If making the bill payments for essentials like electricity and gas each month is always touch and go, this may suggest that you aren’t as financially fit as you could be. It might be that you are just going through a lean time, where all of your earning are taken up by cost. Something which is particularly common when you have just bought a home, so you can start a family.
If you do find yourself in this situation, it can be useful to give yourself little space to get your finances back on kilter. Then once you do decide to start a family, you will have the peace of mind that you can pay for all of the essentials without stretching your budget too far.
Yes – you know what to do in a financial emergency
It is always a good sign if you know what to do if the worst does happen. Obviously, we all hope that we won’t have to experience a financial emergency, but life is unpredictable, and you can never guarantee this.
Having an emergency fund like the one described at http://www.mymoneycoach.ca, is something that you can dip into when things get tough is a great idea in this situation. As is using a quick loan service like CaptainCash.ca to access smaller amounts of money in a tight squeeze. Something you can find yourself in often when you have young children to provide for.
Yes – you have some savings
Apart from having an emergency fund saved up for when things get rough, it’s also a good idea if you have some other savings tucked away. This shows you are definitely on top of your finances, and it also provides you with a fund that you can dip into to get all of the items you need to prepare for a young baby. See https://youngandthrifty.ca/cost-babys-first-year/ for a list of what you might need.
These may include things like strollers, car seats, baby baths, and furniture for the nursery. As well as any private medical costs that you may incur.
No – You aren’t willing to sacrifice
Lastly, if you find you are prioritizing spending on what you want every month, instead of the things that need to be done, it could be a sign that you are not financially mature enough to have a baby right now. After all, it’s vital that you be in a position that you will willingly sacrifice your own needs for your baby’s, both physically and emotionally.
So if you aren’t quite at this point yet, maybe now is the time to travel the world, buy the luxury items that you have always wanted, and tick a few thing of four your bucket list. So when you do start a family, you feel ready to do exactly what it takes for their wellbeing.