Unexpected events happen all the time. One of the biggest surprises that can happen in your life is finding out you are pregnant when the pregnancy was unplanned. This can throw you and your partner for a huge loop even if you are already in a comfortable financial situation. However, if you are not independently wealthy and have a more median salary, an unplanned pregnancy can still cause you to panic.
Here are the first steps to take upon learning you’re going to have an addition to your family.
Relax and Examine Your Spending
After the initial shock of learning of your pregnancy begins to wear off, you should relax. Meditate, perform some breathing exercises and don’t panic. Many parents have taken care of children when they didn’t expect or plan for them and have done so regardless of their financial situation.
Next, you will want to sit down and determine your spending habits in early pregnancy. If you have never tracked your spending before, it’s wise to start doing so once you have reached your second month of pregnancy. You need to know how much money you normally spend within a month before you can even start building a budget. This allows you to see how much money goes toward necessities and how much you have left over. You can also get a better idea of what you can cut down on.
You should also talk to a close friend or family member who recently had a baby and ask them about general monthly expenses related to the baby. You want to get a rough idea of how much it’s going to cost and how much you can expect to spend on baby furniture as well.
Start Living on Less
It’s wise to start living on less early on so you can know what to expect once the baby arrives. Within the first few months of your baby’s birth, you will probably earn less of a salary. According to the US Department of Labor, only 12 percent of employees work at private companies that actually offer paid family leave. Also, only California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island are the only states to offer it. If you live in another state and work at a company that employs 50 or more employees, you only get unpaid leave for 12 weeks per the Family Medical Leave Act. This means you’ll be missing out on your income.
It’s important to estimate how much you will have to spend once the baby comes and how much less you might earn as well. Pay close attention to your expenses and start a budget that’s reasonable.
Plan for Delivery Costs
Hospital stays are expensive and giving birth can be even more so, which means you might have to scrape when the time comes if you don’t plan ahead. If you have insurance, you are covered for certain things early in your pregnancy, such as prenatal care. Certain tests and the delivery of the baby can cost more. Being in the delivery room can cost upwards of $2,000 even if you have insurance. Even with savings and insurance, you can never fully be prepared for an unexpected medical emergency while you are in the delivery room. Should you find yourself in an unexpected financial pinch that exceeds what you have in savings, do some research on short-term funding sources like direct payday lenders that could potentially help you cover your unexpected emergency expenses quickly.
Think About Your Baby’s Future
Once the baby arrives, you have to plan for their future. Beyond the immediate things, think toward years into the future. Your child will have to go to daycare when they’re old enough. You will also want to take out a life insurance policy to ensure they are protected financially in the event of your untimely death. There’s also the issue of college, and you should start stocking away money for a college fund as soon as possible.
These are the first steps to take when you get surprised by an unplanned pregnancy. Once you have done these things, you will be better prepared for your new arrival.