Are You Financially Ready to Start a Family?

For many of us, as soon as we get married, our parents and in-laws immediately start asking questions about when we’ll start a family of our own. Perhaps even you want to jump on the baby bandwagon with your spouse as soon as you’ve tied the knot. It’s important, however, not to let the pleasure nor the visions of bright and successful sons and daughters tempt you into having kids before you are emotionally and financially ready. Here are some things to consider:

1. Are you fairly close to paying off your debts?

The last thing you want to do is have children when you are still swimming waist-deep in debt. Of course, some debts you’ll likely be paying off for most or your life, like the home mortgage, but be sure that your credit card debt and student loan debt is either eliminated or more or less under control before you to start thinking about adding kids to the picture.
2. Can you afford to start saving money for college as soon as your child is born? You’ll spend, over the course of your child’s life, hundreds of thousands of dollars. But by far the most expensive cost that is required for your child’s future success is college tuition. You can’t necessarily bank on your child getting a full scholarship, nor can you predict what tuition will be by the time your child is going to university. In all likelihood, college tuition in twenty years will be double or triple of what it is now. Starting a college fund as soon as your child is born and regularly contributing to it is absolutely essential. If you cannot afford a college fund now, it’s better to wait on having kids.

3. Are you prepared for the costs of prenatal healthcare, as well as the possibility of you and/or your spouse taking some time off from work?

Aside from the long-term costs of having children, there are various immediate costs associated with giving birth to children. Hospital costs are the first thing that comes to mind, but there are other costs you may not immediately realize. For example, most couples will take some time off from work, often without pay, and you may decide that one partner will stay home indefinitely. This represents a huge opportunity cost that may effectively limit your ability to provide for your new family. Of course, having children is often more of an emotional than a financial decision, and it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that you might have to wait awhile. But if you’re patient, you’ll enjoy parenthood much more because you waited till you were ready. Good luck!

About the author: This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: