A financial guide for new parents

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You’ve made it through pregnancy, the birth of your child and have adjusted to life as a parent.

Toddlers

Eunice Sibiya, head of Consumer Education at FNB, shares a few tips on how to stay on track with your finances even with additional family members.

GOING TO NOT-SO-BIG SCHOOL

Many parents decide to enrol their toddlers in a childcare facility because this is where social skills become more established, and many agree that learning through play is beneficial for their development. Whether you decide on a crèche, playgroup, or both, you should do your homework.

  • Ask whether you and your toddler are getting value for your money. Different facilities offer different services. Do you want a day-care, crèche or playgroup? Some crèches ask you to bring nappies and toiletries, while others include this in the cost. Decide on what you want and ask whether you and your toddler can have a trial run.
  • If you’re choosing a childcare facility, let your child attend for a week as a trial run. Also, find out if your employer offers this facility. There are usually staff discounts and you won’t have to change your driving routine. You’ll also be close to your little one during the day.
  • Find out if your child’s school offers any sort of discount for early payment. It’s a good idea to use your bonus to pay for your child’s annual tuition, as you might get a discount if you do so.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Once your child starts interacting with other kids, they will be invited to birthday parties and chances are, you will be attending a birthday party almost every weekend. You will also have your own child’s birthday party to plan for. So take these few tips in to consideration:

  • When attending other children’s birthday parties, try and find toys that work for both boys and girls like puzzles, play dough or bubbles. You could buy a variety of these toys either in bulk or when they are on special. You can bring them out whenever you have a party to go to. This will give your budget a break in that you won’t be buying toys every month.
  • For your own child’s birthday, try hosting a party at home. You can save money by asking friends and family to help get involved in the planning and decorating.
  • To be even more financially savvy, ask close family and friends to pay small cash sums into an account that will go toward saving for your child’s education. You will be surprised at how quickly these small amounts add up over the years, and you will also be surprised at how relieved adults will be with this simple option.

MEDICAL COSTS

Another cost to think about as your child begins crèche or preschool, is that their immune system may be compromised due to being exposed to the outside world and coming into contact with other children.

  • Their immune systems might still be vulnerable, so bundle them up warmly in winter and if you want, there are immune boosting medications that you can make use of.
  • It would also be a good idea to double check what sort of medical aid plan you and your family are on. Call your medical aid and perhaps re-evaluate your needs and the plan you’re on.

As your child grows, their needs change and your budget needs to adjust accordingly. The best way to stay on top of this is to be financially responsible and re-evaluate your budget on a regular basis.