How to baby-proof your finances
HAVING a baby can feel overwhelming, with what feels like a million things to do before the newest family member arrives.
Sorting out financial issues may be the last thing couples want to deal with, but it doesn't have to be daunting.
September is the most popular month for births, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, so we've asked money specialists how you can prepare your finances before baby arrives.
People's Choice Credit Union spokesman Stuart Symons said getting rid of old debt before the big day would provide breathing space.
"If you have credit card debt, a mortgage or maybe a personal loan, getting a few payments ahead before the baby is due can give you flexibility as you are finding your baby feet," he said.
"Putting aside a set amount every week in the lead-up to the birth can give you a safety net.
"One parent might have to stop working at a time when you face higher living expenses. This may translate to being able to borrow a smaller amount on a loan or settling on a longer repayment period."
Mr Symons said it was important to build a new budget to stay in control of your finances. "It's easy to overlook the significant cost of nappies," he said.
Soon-to-be mum Sydney T-A Howie said to prepare for family finances, she and husband Ashton Howie asked other parents what baby items they used.
"We focused on necessities like buying a decent pram we know we will get a lot of use out of," she said.
"Facebook marketplace and Gumtree have second-hand baby items in great condition for great prices, so do your research."
Mrs Howie said it was beneficial to work as long as possible to maintain
AMP financial adviser and mother Di Charman said it was crucial to check parental leave entitlements before going on leave.
"Some people don't realise they need to meet a work test to claim the government's paid parental leave payments," she said.
"You should also check your company's maternity leave conditions and how long you need to be with your employer before you qualify.
"Understanding my work entitlements really helped with planning how much time I could take off to spend with my children. It meant I was in a better financial position when it came to going on leave."
BEFORE THE BIRTH …
• Update your insurance: Health and life insurance and income protection provide reassurance.
• Government benefits: Check entitlements including Family Tax Benefit, Dad and Partner Pay and childcare subsidies.
• Mortgage repayments: Your ability to repay may be impacted, so consider borrowing less or setting a longer repayment period.
• Retirement planning: Start a retirement savings plan incorporating long-term family financial needs.
Source: Peoples choice credit union