How to financially plan for a baby

How to financially plan for a baby

While many people are concerned about saving up for a home loan deposit, a lot of young couples will also be considering planning a family. While there are relationship and emotional consequences to think of, financial planning should also be a chief consideration at this juncture.

Effective budgeting and saving could alleviate a lot of financial pressure, which could otherwise add additional stress to your relationship.

1. Time off work

Are you prepared for time off work? Checking your leave entitlements is one of the first things you should do when planning to have a child. Once you know what you’re entitled to, you can plan other savings or possible assistance around this.

Remember, if you take leave that isn’t paid, you won’t have an income over that period. Padding your savings account now could be a very good move. If you are pretty close to needing to take your leave, you should talk to your employer. According to the Department of Human Services, you’ll need to provide your boss with 10 weeks’ written notice.

2. Things for baby

Children are expensive. Raising two kids in a typical middle-income family will cost you around $812,000 according to research by AMP conducted in 2013. So, it’s important to save money where you can, or you may find your credit card debt getting away from you.

Talk to families that have recently had children and see if they can save some items for you to use. Take advantage of your baby shower and request specific items you’ll need, or at least tell guests what you don’t need. 

3. Things for you

Being an expectant parent means a shift in priorities and a change in lifestyle. There will be foods, supplements and clothing that you will need that have to be paid for somehow. Once you have investigated what you will need over the next year or so — and found the most affordable options — start making a budget.

A great way to plan for this extra expense is to increase your outgoings now. Try making extra payments on your car loan or credit. Not only does this mean you’ll have smaller interest payments in the future, it will also test your financially solvency in a practical way.

For example, let’s say you’ve created a budget and, after considering loss of income and increased expenses, you find yourself $200 down per week on your current available funds. Stretching yourself by $200 now would be a very good indicator of whether or not this is a financially feasible move at the moment. Don’t waste that money though — put it to good use.

4. Accepting help

Planning for a baby is critical to starting your family. This involves a lot of independence and self-reliance. But, it’s also an opportunity for families to bond and for friends to band together. It’s important at this stage of life to not confuse being stubborn with independence.

While you may not want to rely on family for help, accepting their kind gestures will not only keep you close at this time, but will save your credit card some serious stress. As mentioned before, it is quite likely that you will take unpaid time off work at some point. To make up for this, ensure you take advantage of every benefit available to you. If your employer offers some extra support for those on parental leave, don’t turn it down — every bit helps.

The same goes for government services. There are many out there, and while you might not qualify for all of them, you may be able to receive a couple — which could make a huge difference.

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Learn more about savings accounts

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.

How can I get a $4000 loan approved?

While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:

  • Fulfilling the eligibility criteria (providing ID, proof of residency, proof of income etc.)
  • Checking your credit history (you can order one free copy of your credit file per year, and make sure that there aren’t any errors that may be bringing down your credit score)
  • Comparing carefully before applying (making multiple loan applications can mean having your credit checked multiple times, which can look bad to some lenders and reduce your chances of being approved by them)

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Can you direct deposit to a savings account?

Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

Should I open a Commonwealth locked savings account?

If you have trouble saving money, a Commbank locked savings account could be a potential solution. A locked savings account won’t let you make withdrawals and as such, it can help you grow your savings balance if you keep topping it up. 

The Commonwealth locked savings account advertises high-interest rates and minimal maintenance fees, along with a host of other incentives that will encourage you not to touch the money. 

The account offers a higher interest rate for each month that you make limited or no withdrawals, as well as regular deposits. 

To qualify for a Commonwealth locked savings account with the advertised features, you will need to fulfil specific criteria such as:

  • Depositing a fixed minimum amount into the account every month.
  • Making a fixed number of deposits each month.
  • Making a minimum or no withdrawals each month.
  • Maintaining a minimum account balance.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.