If starting a family is on the horizon or if you’re already expecting a child, congratulations! There’s no question starting a family is one of the most exciting things you can do. But there’s also no question that it’s a time of great change.
While it’s hard to know what to expect when you’re expecting, there are some practical things you might consider upsizing ahead of time to get ready.
1. Your home
Whether you’re renting or own your home, it’s a good idea to assess whether it will still suit your lifestyle once your baby arrives.
Proximity to cafes, shopping, transport, and nightlife may have drawn you to the area in your pre-baby life. But perhaps, post-baby, amenities like easy parking and accessibility to playgrounds and good schools will be more important.
Similarly, the property itself might no longer suit your needs. For example, you might want to upsize to a bigger place with extra bedrooms, or a back garden, whether that means moving or renovating your existing home.
But whatever your reasons for wanting to renovate or move, both take time and energy – two things that might be in short supply once your baby arrives, so it’s best to get a head start if you can.
2. Your car
A sporty little 2-door may have suited your life as a swinging single or cool couple, but it might not be as fabulous for a family of three!
You’ll need a decent boot to stow a stroller and other baby gear, and safety and reliability might come into sharper focus now if you’re driving an older car.
This is a good one to get sorted early, as car shopping with a baby isn’t likely to be much fun. Thankfully you can do a lot of the legwork online – and possibly save money – by reading reviews at Drive and checking out second-hand sales and valuations at Carsales.
3. Your clothes
If you’re the mother to be, it probably goes without saying that as your belly grows, you’ll need to upsize your clothing – at least for a little while!
While there are plenty of specialist maternity wear retailers around, such as Queen Bee or Ripe Maternity, they’re not the only option. For more choice, you can sometimes get away with going up a few sizes at your favourite stores.
And don’t rule out buying second-hand on websites such as eBay, Gumtree or through Facebook groups in your local area – typically the clothes have only been worn for a few months and can be excellent value.
4. Your furniture and household goods
While a new baby on the way usually means buying a pram, cot, change table and any number of other baby items, it’s also worth taking a look around your house. There might be some things you should consider upsizing which aren’t immediately obvious.
Is your washing machine up to the task of the additional laundry that comes with a baby? If it’s a smaller size or an older machine – or if you’ve been relying on the local laundromat – now might be the time to invest in an upgrade.
Similarly, your fridge and freezer will need to be storing more food in the years to come, while investing in kitchen appliances such as a blender could save you hassle when preparing baby purees, or a slow cooker to save you time when preparing family meals.
5. Your finances
Starting a family typically results in some financial changes, so it’s worth taking the time to get your budget in order. You should also consider:
If you think you or your partner would like to stay at home beyond your maternity or paternity leave, having some savings behind you will make it easier to make this a reality. Try our AMP Bett3r Account: a smart, 3-in-1 bank account which you can use to set savings goals and set aside money to reach your goals.
Taking time out of the workforce for family reasons is one of the main factors behind women having less super on average than men1. So you could make the most of your last few months in the workforce for a while by making additional contributions to your super.
Consider whether you should take out private health insurance, and if you already have it, check that it covers pregnancy-related expenses. Take the time to review your personal insurances, such as income protection and life insurance. Whether held through your super fund or on a stand-alone basis, you’ll want to ensure your family is provided for if anything should happen.
We’re here to help
If you’re an AMP customer, you can use our Money Manager tool to see your AMP and non-AMP accounts all in the one place. Money Manager can also help to track your spending, and the budget builder feature uses your transaction history to create a personalised budget.
Our budget planner calculator can also help you create a family budget, while our articles 7 ways to prepare financially for a baby and Going back to work after having a baby have some great additional information.
For more help, contact your financial adviser, or, if you don’t have one call us on 131 267 or use our find an adviser tool to locate one near you.
Check out these five hallmarks of a money-smart life.