Sunday 20 June is Father’s Day – and if you are a new dad, there are not only nappies and night feeds to get to grips with, but also many more demands on your wallet.
Money can be a huge stressor for young parents. People often feel overwhelmed by expenses and worry they will not have enough cash to raise a family in the way they aspire to. The situation is worsened by the worries and uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shafeeka Anthony, who juggles being a mum of two with a demanding job as Marketing Manager of personal finance website JustMoney, advises couples to talk frankly about what they really want for the family and for themselves.
“As a new parent, you’re probably feeling exhausted and disoriented with all the responsibilities and demands on your time. You want to do what’s best for your baby, but choosing what’s really necessary can be hard when you’re bombarded with information on so many products and services.
“It’s helpful to concentrate on the basics and to start planning as soon as possible, so that you are better prepared for future costs,” says Anthony. “Appropriate insurance will also ensure that, should your income be compromised, at least some of your child’s needs will be met.”
She also offers the following tips.
- Pay off debt. If you’ve been making use of debt, such as a credit card with high interest rates, to support a lifestyle that you can’t really afford, it’s time tofree yourself up. On the other hand, a strategic investment such as a home loan can be a positive move. Read about the difference between good and bad debt here.
- Plan your monthly budget. Understanding where your money goes is the first step in taking control of your finances. JustMoney has a handy budget calculator here.
- Take cover. Insurance policies that deal with life-changing events such as disability, death and retirement, provide security through either a lump sum payment, for example on the death of a spouse, or an income in the long term, if for example you are disabled and cannot carry on earning a salary.
- Maximise medical aid: The best medical plan for you and your baby will depend on the baby’s needs and your budget. Read a comprehensive, easy to understand guide to medical aids here. Check your plan to see if there are any perks for babies, such as a dedicated programme for newborns.
- Plan for education: Education involves more than school fees. You’ll also need to consider uniforms, aftercare, extra lessons and sports outings. To read more about education saving options, such as a tax-free savings account, a unit trust, or an endowment, read here.
- Invest in your relationship: Changing from a twosome to a family is challenging, so do your best to schedule time together as a couple. Check out the deals section on JustMoney.co.za for special offers on restaurant meals, weekends away, and spa treatments.
“Between baby formula and paediatrician visits, expenses can pile up quickly. It is scary, but also exciting and hugely rewarding,” says Anthony. “Fortunately, there is plenty of solid financial advice to help you plan ahead and make the most of this new phase of your life.
“JustMoney was established over ten years ago to provide busy and digitally-savvy South Africans with easy online access to financial information, money management tools, products and services. We partner with trusted financial brands so that you can make informed decisions as your family needs evolve.”