Can you afford parenthood at this stage in your life?
People are so thrilled about the prospect of child-bearing they almost always forget what it means for their budget or financial capabilities. A baby is a person of whom you’ll be physically and financially responsible for until they are at least 18 years or above. This is not a matter that should be taken lightly at all. Agreed, a child is God’s gift but you can make both yours and the child’s life unbearable if there are no preparations in place.
A friend once told me she had nine months to prepare for the baby. I could only think “that might be true for antenatal and all the pre-birth medical stuff but when it comes to money, nine months is not nearly enough to plan for over 18 years of a life that would be solely dependent on you”. The burden is lighter for couples since they get to share responsibilities. Single parents have the hardest time in raising a child.
Parenthood is expensive. Before venturing into parenthood there are so many things to consider, you need to be sure that you are financially capable to handle parenthood. You should consider things like;
What are you earning currently and how satisfactory is it? Look at your current income and do a hypothetical test of how well that income can support a child. Also consider your options for earning money in the event of losing the job.
How big have your savings grown? Are you even saving at all? If you’ve been waiting for the day of conception to start saving up, the chances of your savings growing to a level that is satisfactory is rather low. When you don’t start saving on time you find out that at least three to six months into childbirth your savings might have run dry.
At this point you should be thinking about the child’s future which factors their education costs. There is need to set aside money in a trust fund for your child or children it’s a safety blanket for their education.There are lots of trust fund options in Nigerian banks today. I think I know that Diamond bank has one or two of those options in place as I opened them for my kids while they were mere infants.I’d advice you to make more inquiries.
Maternity leave (for ladies);
You probably didn’t think this far but after the baby comes, you’ll be on maternity leave for a while depending on how long the company you work for would be willing to give you. You need to consider how the maternity leave would affect your income. Would you be getting paid while on leave or would you have to fall back to your savings during this period? It’s a bit daisy, most companies are not lenient in the sense that even before your baby is born, you have to start making preparations to be back after a month.
A baby might mean moving into a bigger apartment than where you currently live. How will this move affect you financially? Not to forget the basic baby stuff you need to buy like crib, diapers, clothes and all that.Most Nigerians would say ;’Any where I can lay my head is okay, besides he/she is still a baby won’t be noticing anything. You’re wrong. If you do not get it right at the beginning, you’d probably struggle for a while to come.
From conception and through the child’s infancy you’re probably going to be piling up a lot of medical bills. Have you thought about that? Have you thought about how to take care of your medical bills? Some companies have their staff and immediate members of their family registered in the company’s hospital but there is a limit you can use this free medical care. In any case, not everyone has this privilege. So what then? How do you cope with your kids?
This is one of the major things to consider. A lot of people tend to forget their outstanding debts over time. If you’re planning for parenthood you should figure out your outstanding debts and clear them off now so that nothing would be hanging over your head.
Earlier I mentioned that it is easier for couples to deal with parenthood than for single parents. You need to consider the amount of help or support you’d be getting from your spouse, your family or friends. How much help do you think you’ll need? Looking now, do you think you’d get that much help? Forget the spouse for a minute.. Cause there’s always one need or exigency or the other… Diapers these days is so expensive.. A pack of molfix costs N3,500 for the maxi and it doesn’t even last. I don’t even want to get into baby milk and cereal cost.
Don’t bring a child into the world when you can barely fend for yourself. You need to at least be financially independent before you consider a child who’d be dependent on you.