When anticipating the arrival of a child in the home, there is a lot of planning that must take place. A large part of this planning is in the area of finances. To ensure you're prepared to meet the needs of the child, it's essential you assess your financial situation and make any adjustments as necessary. Learn what your family can do to prepare.
Perform an Expense Audit
Sit down with your partner and go over all your expenses. Often times, it's difficult for people to truly determine how much extra money they have left in their budget because they don't track every expense. Sure, most people remember staples like their car payment and mortgage, but the morning coffee runs, any shoe buying habits, and other small expenses need to be brought to the surface to precisely understand where the family stands financially.
Specify Child Care Needs
Child care is one of the largest expenses families with younger children will face. Child care can also be pricey. Rather than be faced with a case of invoice shock, start researching local schools in the area. Remember, you want your child to be in a nurturing, challenging and safe environment, so it's better to research beforehand so that you don't wait until the last minute and choose a center solely based on cost.
Consider Housing Needs
Will your housing arrangements have to change with the expansion of your family? Even if you already have children in the home, the addition to the family might make the house feel a little cramped. You and your partner should sit down and discuss any ideas you have for moving so that you can plan for the move and ensure it does not set the family back financially.
Keep Extracurricular Activities in Mind
Children need more than school and home time. They need opportunities to explore their hobbies, be creative, and interact with children their age outside of the classroom. Make sure you factor in extracurricular activity expenses. While it's impossible to know what your child might be interested in, if you get pricing information for a range of different activities, such as soccer and dance, you can get a relatively precise gauge of how much you'll need to set aside.
The more prepared a family is for the arrival of the child, the easier the child and the family's transition. Ensure you are ready with open arms willing and able to provide for your family's new addition in every way you can.
For more tips on preparing for adoption, contact a local adoption agency.