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Here are some tips on how to get financially ready for a baby and know your options!
- If you are looking at private clinics and hospitals, ensure you get private health insurance 12 months before, as most private health funds have waiting periods for pregnancy. Also, it would be wise to make an appointment with a private health insurance provider to run through all inclusions with your new or an alteration to your cover.
- Planning for maternity leave – Have a discussion with your HR department or whoever manages your leave request. If maternity leave is applicable, then you should discuss your options and contractual limitations. Most employers give options for leave at half pay, so if your entitlements are, for example, 12 weeks than you could extend your paid leave to 24 months at half pay.
- Organise a meeting with your local government welfare office – this is important as you may be entitled to claim paid parental leave through the Australian Government Paid Leave Scheme. If eligible you can access up to 18 weeks of government funded parental leave.
- Budget for everything – it is important to sit down and list all fixed and day to day living expenses. As your income may change during this period, it would be wise to review your nice-to-have expenses or pause any subscriptions. An example would be your gym membership as you may be limited post birth to attend for a few months. Most gyms are open to pausing your membership and starting it back up when you want to go back and train. Once you have tweaked your expenses, set up an interim budget in the meantime till your financial situation becomes different.
- Set up your insurance with an adviser – this is important as most insurance companies find it hard to insure someone who is pregnant due to the possible complications with pregnancy. Things to take into consideration, gestational diabetes and post-natal depression frequently come up with pregnancy and could potentially affect your future insurability. This is why it is important to review or establish the necessary insurances that protect you and your future family.
- Buy online and save – it is great to set up a budget for these future expenses and shop around to get the best deal if you are not in a rush.
- Call up Medicare and talk to a consultant about the government safety net and if you are eligible for additional rebates as you have met the Medicare threshold.
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