Having a baby shouldn't come with a long list of economic pre-requisites. It just takes a couple who's willing to work out their finances as one.
Getting financially ready for babyWhen asked how a couple can get financially ready to have a baby, expert and father of three Andrés Gutiérrez replied: "If you're ready to have a baby, don't worry and have it!" With this statement, addressed to future fathers, Gutiérrez goes to the heart of the reason why most men usually postpone starting a family. "Men feel the need to be ready financially," says the expert who finds that while women usually know if they want to be pregnant in terms of physical and emotional readiness, men like to have all their money issues resolved beforehand.
Let's just be prepared
And, yes, when it comes to having a child, there are financial considerations to take into account, according to Gutiérrez. However, instead of tackling every single household issue as a prerequisite for getting pregnant, the financial guru suggests focusing on the ones that matter most:
1. Be on the same page about money with your partner: New couples come into the relationship with different checking accounts, but if they're truly combining their household, they also need to join those accounts and thinking in terms of "our money" rather than "my money". Then, continue by building a budget where both agree on how the money will be spent; a budget that reflects decisions made by los dos.
2. Protect your family: This is the time to secure health insurance, as you won't be able to be insured once there's a baby on the way. Also, make sure to get life insurance. Gutiérrez recommends a 15-20 year term insurance policy for ten times the household's annual income.
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3. Get a will: Wills are not just for the rich, says Gutiérrez. Not only is it essential for designating how your monies will be divvied up, a will is also a court-recognized document where parents can express their wishes of who will take care of their minor children. Without this type of document, it will be up to the state to decide their future living arrangements in case of their parents' deaths.
4. Create an emergency fund: Soon-to-be parents need to be ready for unexpected pregnancy or delivery complications that may need to be paid out-of-pocket or leave the mother unable to go back to work. Creating an emergency fund with 3-6 months worth of income should be just the start.
A one-income family?
The idea of relying only on the father's paycheck as the sole source of income for mamá, papá y bebé may seem like a frightening proposition to most couples, but according to the expert, this is very doable. Once a budget is agreed upon and an emergency fund established, future parents should start slimming down their monthly expenses until it becomes feasible (and less scary) to live with only one income. Then, when baby arrives, either parent can have the choice of staying at home and enjoy their little one without big money worries.
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Financial expert Andrés Gutiérrez is the host of "The Andrés Gutiérrez Show" and creator of Paz Financiera. A successful entrepreneur and small-business owner, Andrés Gutiérrez knows what it's like to start with nothing and build lasting wealth. After hosting a San Antonio financial radio program and appearing frequently as a financial expert on the Telemundo television network, Andrés joined Dave Ramsey's team in 2009 to bring the message of Financial Peace to the Spanish-speaking community.