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Congratulations, so you've decided to take the plunge into parenthood - the extraordinary realm of moving on from the plant or the fur child and welcoming the smiles and laughter of a human baby.
As wonderful as raising a little human life can be, there is no denying it has its own fair share of hurdles and learning curves.
For it's true when it's said that there isn't a tried and trusted instruction manual, not to mention the costs of potentially raising one or more offspring for at least a decade. But, let's slow the anvil of the reality check down and go one step at a time.
Here's how you can handle the upcoming event of having and raising a child while not feeling drowned by the expenses.
Preparation and choices
Whether certain new parents plan for their bundle of joy or they have a 'happy accident', there is no doubt that the thought of covering certain things about the changes that are about to occur in your life, can be exciting.
However, it truly is wise to find answers to questions such as "what is the cost of having a baby?", for those such as savings and finances can sometimes be a balancing act.
The truth is, this can often come down to your own personal preferences on how you intend to go through different aspects of the pregnancy, birth and raising of your child.
This can include whether you choose a public or private hospital, whether you may have private health, and taking into account areas such as midwifery, labour, obstetrics and post-natal care.
Public or private?
In Australia, whether you have or choose the option to have your pregnancy through the public or private system can determine how much your out-of-pocket costs will be and what you have access to.
Most women in Australia give birth in a public hospital. If you are covered by Medicare, our national healthcare rebate system, your fees for childbirth can be next to nothing or very low, but choices such as your doctor or midwife are out of your hands.
If you go private, you have more choice in these types of decisions, but certain doctors can cost more and it is wise to have a health care policy.
Income & budgeting
As for balancing firstborn finances, it is sensible that you should start to set up a budget for your intended family.
How you manage the finances of this part of your life should reflect the needs of both you as parents and your baby's needs. Try to gauge the initial needs first as a starting point.
Depending on your average income, as of 2021, a good base amount is around $3000 to $13,000 on average when it comes to the first year.
There is no denying that needs will change over time, however, a solid foundation will help you adjust to what is a benchmark for your baby fund.
This is also where a budget planner and see what benefits you may be eligible for can be a great help.
When it comes to the costs of having a baby and those of raising a child in Australia in 2021, it is best to remember:
- Consider your choices from public to private, as this can affect other select choices and fees with your doctors.
- Whether your average income will meet expenses. Don't be embarrassed to use a budget planner or enquire about benefits.
- If you are eligible for Medicare, as an Australian citizen, most costs are covered under the public health system.
I wish all potential parents the best of luck and a healthy bub.
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