The Balancing Act

Balancing accounts

Time is money in today’s fast-paced world. Taking time off from work could affect your finances significantly, especially if you are used to a particular lifestyle. On the other hand, a demanding career during pregnancy can be taxing too. Though the joys and rewards of parenting cannot be measured in monetary terms, it’s important to prepare for the financial impact of having a baby. Here’s what you may need to do before you bring a baby into your family.

Get Insured

Now is the time to review your health insurance and make sure pregnancy checkups, the delivery and new baby care are adequately covered. And do ensure if your doctor and hospital are on the list – and if the list is stable. If you have changed jobs recently, or need to get your own insurance, make sure pre-existing conditions are covered. Don’t forget to add your baby to your health insurance policy as soon as she is born.

Explore Leave Options

If you plan to return to work, review your employer’s leave policy carefully. If you are eligible for coverage under the Indian Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, you may take up to 12 weeks of leave with pay. If you have any medical conditions that demand a longer period of leave, read through the Act and avail of the benefits prescribed by the law.

Plan For Child Care

For working parents, finding good, affordable child care is probably the most stressful part of returning to the job. Study your options well before the birth of baby. One parent may decide to reduce work hours, job-share or even resign when the baby arrives. This requires some additional planning and close attention to your budget to accommodate the loss of income. Some employers may grant a leave of absence or allow you to work at home while you adjust to your new status as parent.

Keep A Tab On Expenses

Outfitting a nursery can be a temptation to overspend – and that holds true while shopping for maternity wear or baby clothes. Saving a considerable amount of money for future expenses while you are expecting and searching for good used baby furniture or hand-me-downs from relatives and friends can ease the strain.