There is plenty of work and consideration that goes into whether or not two people are ready to be parents. While sometimes nature takes its own course and decides for you, if you do have the luxury of waiting until you are financially established enough for an undertaking like parenting, how will you know for sure that you are ever actually ready? Below you will find several ways to tell if you are where you need to be financially to handle even just one child and all that they will require of you. Perhaps by the time that you have read through some of these suggestions, you will have an answer as to whether or not you are stable enough for starting a family.
One of the biggest concerns that seems to trip up new parents is the instability of their work lives. Before you make a decision to bring another person onto the planet, ensure that you have a stable means of providing for their every need. You need a job that not only can cover your monthly expenditures and then some, but you also need to have a job that is consistent enough to continue to provide you that amount all year long for many years to come (unless you pursue a better option). This might not always be the case for many people, and you need to be aware that the baby’s needs are not going to slow down if your work does.
Income To Debt Ratio
When you and your significant other are debating having a child together, it might be easy to look at your current situation that you are in and find it suitable for a third person. The trouble with this is that while you might be able to get by on the amount that you have right now for the two of you, a third person adds a whole different dynamic to factor into your income to debt ratio. While a newborn is not going to keep you debt ridden, they are going to have an ever-present list of needs that have to be consistently met from week to week such as diapers, wipes, clothes, and more.
Have More Than You Need
Perhaps the best way to determine if you and your partner are financially ready to have a child is to assess your entire expenditures from month to month versus the income that you are bringing in. When you can adequately cover all of your primary bills (and all of your extras) and still have money left over after all of that, there is a strong case to be made that with slight adjustments you can be financially stable enough to afford being a parent in this day and age.
With the national economy being what it is, most households require both parties to work just to make ends meet. With a newborn baby, having both parents out of the house and working is a bit tricky to accomplish. While in a short amount of time after the baby is born they can be under the care of a trusted relative while the parents work their respective shifts, you have to account financially for the time that one parent has to be home with the newborn until they are old enough for relatives to care for them as well.
Is It Plausible To Set Aside Money?
One thing that is always a good assessment tool is the possibilty of setting aside money. This not only is a wise thing to do through the nine months until a child is born, but your ability to do this implies that you have money beyond the needs you have from month to month. This extra money that can be saved is money that can go into the needs (and yes the wants as well) of the child you hope to have. Assess how able you are right now to set aside a quarter of the money that you bring in every month and see if this is plausible.
These are a few strategies that can help you determine if you are financially ready to have a baby. While certainly there are always curveballs where you don’t spend as much as you thought or more than you planned to, but ensure that there is enough for your current life plus the ever-present needs of your future child before you determine an answer to this question.