Many of us will carefully plan a family and will look at many aspects of our lives to make sure that they are in order before we start. One of these could be finances and it is worth having a think about whether you feel that you will be able to cope financially if you do decide to have a family. There are different things that you can do including saving up some money and it is worth thinking about which might be the most appropriate for you to do.
Pay off loans
It can be wise to start by concentrating on the money that you owe rather than thinking too much about saving money. This is because if you owe money, you will be paying interest out each month for that. This can add up to be very expensive and you will be paying out a lot more money than you will be gaining on interest on any savings that you have. Some loans may not be as expensive to repay as others and some may be for large amounts of money that you could not repay in the short term. However, this is about thinking about how much you owe and what you might be able to repay. If you look at what you have you will be able to decide. For example, if you have a mortgage then the interest is likely to be relatively low compared to other sources of borrowing and it is likely that you will have a long way to go until it is repaid. However, if you have a credit card, store card or overdraft the interest rate will be a lot higher and the amount you owe smaller. These are the sorts of loans that you might be able to repay.
Save up money
Saving up some money can be wise as it is likely that there will be a lot of things that you will need to pay for. It is best to think about loans first though and think about clearing the ones that you can. Once you have done this, then you will need to consider whether it is better to overpay other loans that you have or to get some savings. Usually overpaying will be financially better, but that can depend on whether there is an early redemption fee (which is a charge for repaying early) as these can be really high. If this is the case then it could be really worthwhile to save up instead and if you have no loans then saving is a great idea as well. It will help you to pay for the extra things you need to buy such as car seats, high chairs, cots and all those items and it may even help to cover any lost income that you may have as a result of one of you being on maternity or paternity leave or perhaps both of you having that. However, you will find that eventually those savings will run out so you will need to make sure that you have a plan for when that happens.
Improve income prospects
It is really worth thinking hard about where your income will come form once the children come along. If only one of you works or you both work part-time then you may be able to easily carry on as you are. However, if you both work full time, then you may want one to give up work to look after the children. If you both want to work as you were before then you will need to pay for the child to be cared for by someone else and that will cost extra money. It is well worth taking a look at your current situation and how things might change and calculating what you will need to do.
It could be worth considering whether downsizing might help you. It might seem silly o be thinking of expanding your family but reducing your home size, but the reason is the cost. A smaller property is not only cheaper to buy or rent but also cheaper to heat, insure and tax. Maintenance is also cheaper and so it can be worth thinking about. You will need room for you all, of course, but if you are in a very big property, this could be a big help for you.
These are just a few ideas as to what you might want to do in order to prepare financially for having children. Some people would rather not plan and see how things work out or perhaps a family comes that they have not planned is they have to just work it out. Because people manage without planning it may feel that this is acceptable and of course you will find a way. However, if you do plan and try to sort out your finances first it will mean that you will have a far less stressful time as the children are growing up.