Money, Money, Money: Planning for your Parenthood, a Starter Kit

Written By

Bindu Bhat

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To read the Introduction to the Money, Money, Money Series, click here.

“Being a mother is an attitude, not just a biological relation” – Robert A. Heinlein

If you are reading this article, you are in or are considering the motherhood zone! Congratulations!  Truly, parenthood is all about learning by doing!

And with all the physical, physiological and emotional changes that come along in your life, financial planning for this time can easily get side lined. Let’s explore this important aspect of planning for parenthood. It involves understanding the key areas to plan from pregnancy to the first 2 years of your parenthood.

The major expenses to expect during pregnancy and childbirth are typically for:

  1. Personal – food and clothing
  2. Medical – doctors, tests, supplements and delivery
  3. Travel

You could use this as a checklist to plan and budget:

  1. Short term goals (0-9 months) – The pregnancy and child birth phase:
  • Pre-natal programs for couples offer information on diet & nutrition, exercising during pregnancy, labour and delivery, infant care, breast feeding, post-natal care and recovery. Average cost could be upto Rs.20 k for a comprehensive program.
  • While looking for gynaecologists and maternity hospitals, make sure you factor in travel logistics for regular check-ups, scans and delivery.
  • Cost of medication, supplements during and post pregnancy.
  • Maternity clothes for self and new born clothing.
  • Delivery cost can vary between Rs.25k – 120 k for a delivery (based on city and type of delivery normal/C section)
  • You may also want to check the option of umbilical cord stem cell banking facility. This facility can work out to between Rs.80 – 100 k for processing and life time storage of the stem cells.
  • If you are covered by medical insurance, ensure all documentation is in order.

The estimated budget starts at Rs.2.5 lacs plus if all of the above are considered.  

  1. Medium term goals (birth – 2 years) which include:
    1. Baby furniture, clothes and accessories
    2. Mandatory vaccinations and doctor visits
    3. The traditional ceremonies like the naming ceremony, and
    4. Your little angel’s first birthday
    5. Last but not the least, getting back to work phase

Getting back to work

With your baby safely settled, and your maternity leave coming to a close, you may be considering getting back to work. In case you need to extend your maternity leave or take a longer break of 1-2 years; as a family you could be moving into a single income family from a dual income family.

With either choice, plan for the corresponding expense adjustments such as,

  1. A maternity break contingency fund – to take care of all the routine personal and household expenses which will come up post child birth. A general thumb rule calculation is to have 12 months of monthly expenses including the loan EMI’s and insurance payments.
  2. Play school cum day care – A play school cum day care from the age of 1-2 years onwards. Options range from Rs.5000 – 10,000 per month inclusive of day care. Check for references and facilities. Speak to the teachers/care takers to get an idea of the person’s expertise.

Please note that costs are indicative and the wide range is a factor of the city/facilities. Plan to research these options and select a suitable one.

To summarise, as you prepare for parenthood, it would help you to define the key expense heads and the budget you are comfortable spending (with 10% – 15% buffer) including,

  • Medical
  • Personal
  • Early child care

If there are areas which you would believe should be considered, would love to have your feedback in the comments section! In the next article, let’s look into planning for the longer term goals associated with parenthood.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A happy mother-cum-financial-planner-cum educator; community volunteer, avid traveller and history buff; Bindu loves it all. Along with being a mom to her 12 year old, Bindu is also discovering more sides to herself after crossing the '40' milestone and is enjoying the journey thoroughly. Bindu believes that working as a Financial planner gives her the fabulous opportunity of seeing people make positive changes in their money habits. And to catch them young, she conducts financial literacy programs at schools and communities. She's a Mathematics grad and Finance post-grad from Amchi Mumbai, worked with a banking group and a Hyderabad based start up, before finding her niche as a Financial Planner, based in Hyderabad.

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