NewBorn Finances

by Joe on April 25, 2011

Now that our son is here, once in a while i will be writing some little things that may be helpful to new ‘parents to be’ that we have picked along the way during the waiting and as we continue to grow as a family.

Be Prepared
Sometime it feels like even if i was given all the time there is, i still have some little extra things that i want to do to feel ready. If you are like me, being ready is not a feeling; it is a conscious knowledge and admission based on your plan and goals. When you are not mentally ready and your wife tells you one morning “we are pregnant”, you might get a panic attack. Again, starting a family is not a one person game- make sure you are on the same page with your spouse.

Plan for Doctor’s visit
During the pregnancy, there are several doctors ‘visit that will be required. As a husband and a father to be, it means a lot to your wife when you accompany her to the doctor’s office. Whenever possible take some time off usually 1-2 hours off your work and be with your spouse at the doctor’s office. You will experience some new joy when you see the first Ultra Sound image and you are able to see the life growing in the womb. This starts to create the bond between you and your baby at the same time as a dad you get a new appreciation of your wife’s pregnancy journey.

Plan Financially
It would be a great idea to know how much money to budget for your pregnancy and the new baby. But the truth of the matter is babies are different and every pregnancy is unique. However, with a new baby at home one parent will usually stay at home for sometime with the baby before going back to work.  In other cases, one parent becomes a stay home parent while the other parent works to meet the family’s need.  In either case the family finances will be affected.  The expenses will go up with the baby’s need and the income will be reduced either temporary or permanently.  Get together with your spouse and discuss what you expect to do when the baby comes.  Here are some few pointers:

  • Start saving for the baby’s expense ahead of the birth.
  • Look into your budget and see if there are ways to ‘trim the fat’ and make it as lean as possible.
  • In the case of where one parent will be a stay-home parent the other spouse can explore possibility of a part time job.
  • Avoid getting into debt

Understand how Flexible Spending Account (FSA) work
It’s going to three weeks since our son was born and we have been to the doctor’s office three times. This is not surprising since all newborns are expected to have frequent doctor’s visits. Just as any other Doctor’s visit, each time you pay for every visit.  Now that the baby may need to be seen by a pediatrician more often having an FSA comes handy.
Under this plan, money is taken from your paycheck before taxes (you set the exact amount) and put into an account. You can then use that money to pay for medical expenses, like deductibles, medications, and other health related stuff throughout the year. It’s important to understand that FSAs have a “use it or lose it” provision — meaning that you must use the dollars in the year in which they are saved or you will lose them at the end of the year. Check with your  plan confirm what  expenses are “covered,” meaning they are approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a qualified medical expense that can be paid for with your tax-free dollars. For example, while the cold medicine and band-aids you pick up at your local pharmacy can be paid for with your FSA funds, the coolaid you buy at that same pharmacy would not be covered.

Celebrate The Birth Of Your Newborn
The joy that a new baby brings is somehow inexplicable. In my case,  it’s one of those things that you get told over and over by many people – but the truth and reality of this level of joy hit home when our son was born. (I had to experience it to understand it). Treasure the moments you have with your baby. Watch and take pictures of little things and enjoy being a parent.  I see it as a new role that God has extended to us to participate in his creation and impact godly values into the life of our baby.

What was your experience when your newborn came home?
What are your plans when your baby will be born?
We would love to hear from you.

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