Many couples who want to start a family wonder at what stage of their financial achievements they must be in order to do so. How can you know if you are financially ready to have children?
Of course, having a good income and savings help, but if you expect to have a lot of money to have children, the time will probably never come. What things must you analyze to know if you are financially ready to start a family?
Generally speaking, when we have a good income it is because we are working hard and we do not have time to be parents. On the other hand, if we feel that we have time to dedicate to parenthood, it is probably because we are without much work (or money).
Deciding the right time to be parents depends, of course, on each couple, but here are some tips to help face parenthood without so many doubts.
Build an emergency fund
While you don’t need to have an enormous amount of money put away when you decide to get pregnant, you should have an emergency fund to which you can turn once the baby arrives.
That is why the best thing is to start saving before you start trying to have a baby. Chances are, you may not have two incomes coming in for a few months and will need these savings, and if both of you have regular full-time jobs, you’ll need to take your child to daycare and that isn’t cheap.
It's not only diapers and college
Before you have a child you think diapers and college will be your greatest expenses, but soon after your baby is born you realize there are many things nobody told you about. When your baby starts growing you’ll need to spend money on activities, classes, and camps, and these are hidden costs that you need to be prepared for.
Do you have an (as much as possible) stable job?
Analyzing your job or career stability is an important step in figuring out if you’re ready for kids. You may never feel you are completely financially ready to have kids, but making sure your career is on solid ground is your best bet.
Do you already live in the right neighborhood?
The things you considered important when you chose your house as a couple most probably aren’t what you'll focus on once you are starting a family. Many parents relocate based on school districts, so moving before you start trying to have a baby (and don’t have all the expenses a child brings) is the smartest thing to do.